Chicago’s Pride Parade kicks off Sunday with a warning to behave

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CHICAGO -- It's going to be a festive day on the North Side Sunday for Chicago's annual Pride Parade, the culmination of National Pride Month.

More than one million people attended last year, because it was the first Pride Parade after same-sex marriage became legal in Illinois.

Even more people are expected this year, to celebrate Friday's Supreme Court ruling in favor of marriage equality.

Parade organizers are urging people to behave, because the city has said this could be the last year the parade is held in Lakeview if the crowds can't be controlled. Some city officials want the parade to be moved downtown next year.

In addition to the hundreds of Chicago police officers who will be patrolling the Lakeview neighborhood, parade organizers have hired 90 off-duty police officers for extra security.

Some neighborhood bars that usually close at 4 a.m. have decided to close at 2 a.m. to help prevent alcohol-related problems. Anyone caught drinking outdoors could get a $1,000 fine.

gay pride parade route

Street closures along the four-mile parade route begin at 8 a.m. Sunday, and are expected to be back open by 8p.m.

The parade kicks off at noon Sunday at Montrose Avenue and Broadway, then heads South to Halsted Street to Belmont Avenue. From there, it goes back down Broadway to Diversey Parkway.

The Stanley Cup will be in the parade, along with members of the Chicago Blackhawks. Look for them on the WGN Radio float. This will be the second time the trophy has made an appearance in the Pride Parade. The Stanley Cup was also there after the Blackhawks won it for the first time in 2010.

Be sure to also look for the WGN-TV float. Bozo the Clown will be on it, along with Sean Lewis, Tom Skilling, Dean Richards and Muriel Clair. Also Demetrius Ivory, Erin McElroy, Paul Lisnek and Courtney Gousman.

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  • Josh Weinstein

    It would be a shame if the pride parade was moved out of Lakeview, but they get bigger every year and it is understandable that they may have no choice but to move it downtown. Lakeview is simply not set up for crowds numbering over a million people. But a big part of the parade, for many people, is not just the floats, but also seeing Boystown, going to the shops and the bars. Economically, it is a great thing for the community. And having the parade in Lakeview just creates the best atmosphere. The parade would lose something if it were moved downtown. It makes sense logistically, but I hope that the city will do what it can to keep the parade in Lakeview if at all possible.

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