City prepares for busy weekend: Pride Parade, NHL Draft and more

CHICAGO — The city is preparing for a busy weekend filled with all kinds of events. One of the biggest is Sunday's Gay Pride Parade.

The four-mile parade begins at Montrose and Broadway, then goes to Halsted, ending on Sheridan in Lincoln Park. The parade is expected to last about two-and-a-half hours and draw up to 1 million people.

"I'm really excited because it's going to be great weather. It's the best day to be who I am, and my family is coming for the first time, so I'm super excited," said Taylor Mason about the parade.

Last year, we saw heightened security at the Pride Parade after the mass shooting at the Pulse night club in Orlando.

"I was actually at Pulse three nights before that happened, so that certainly resonates with me. I am not mad about all the security because it's necessary. It sucks we have to. I certainly [would rather] be safe than sorry," she said.

Officials with the Office of Emergency Management and Communications would not release specific staffing levels for police and security, but say they're prepared.

"We're going to have a similar plan to what was in place last year, slightly modified. A lot of the same forward command post, back and forth, a lot of communication sharing," said OEMC First Deputy Rich Guidice.

"Chicago police are well prepared for all these events with all public safety they'll take the lead as incident commanders for all these events," Guidice said. "The rest of the city supports them and their actions."

There's a ton of other events happening all over Chicago this weekend:

  • The country music festival "Windy City LakeShake" kicked off at Northerly Island and is expected to draw nearly 50,000 people Friday through Sunday.
  • The NHL Draft is underway at the United Center.
  • The World's Largest Block Party at Old St. Pat's is also this Saturday and Sunday in the West Loop.
  • Chicago Ale Fest is being held at Grant Park on Friday and Saturday.
  • And, the White Sox are in town against the A's with a 7:10 p.m. game Friday, and a 1:10 p.m. start at Guaranteed Rate Feld Saturday and Sunday.

Here's some helpful info for getting around the city this weekend: