44th annual Pride Parade today

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Chicago’s 44th annual Gay Pride Parade is Sunday.

The event is expected to have a bit of a political undertone, with the supreme court rulings this week, and, inaction on marriage equality in Springfield.

gppIn 2012, more than 850,000 people turned out for the event that celebrates  Chicago’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender community.

This year’s parade will feature more than 200 floats, performers, and walkers. Former NFL player Wade Davis, who is openly gay, will lead the parade as the Grand Marshal. Players from the Cubs and Bulls are are also set to make an appearance.

More people are expected to attend this year’s parade, because of the landmark Supreme Court ruling that struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, and the separate ruling that reinstated gay marriage in California.

That ruling did little for gay and lesbian couples here in Illinois. State politicians failed to call gay marriage to a vote during their spring session, prompting many activists to demand that politicians be banned from this year’s parade.

Street closures will begin around 10:30 a.m. Sunday morning, at the corner of Broadway and Montrose.  Then, there will be rolling closures as the parade heads south on Broadway starting at noon.

Streets will reopen about 30 minutes after the parade passes. Parking restrictions are in place around the parade route. Police warn they are being strictly enforced.

WGN will have a float in the parade. Tom Skilling, Dina Bair, Frank Holland, Erin McElroy, Dean Richards, Nancy Loo, Muriel Clair and Paul Lisnek will be on the float.

And, of course, you won’t be able to miss Bozo the Clown and his big red hair.

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