CHICAGO — It’s a busy weekend in Chicago with many police officers working extra shifts as several big events, including Pride Fest, draw huge crowds in the city.
Despite heightened security due to various LGBTQ events being targeted in other parts of the country, many attending Pride Fest in Chicago said they haven’t felt like their safety is in jeopardy.
That’s good news for Logan Herman-Lindow, who is experiencing Pride Fest for the first time.
“Never been to Pride before so just wanted to come and see what it’s like,” Herman-Lindow said.
Others, like Olivia House, said the festival has become a yearly attraction.
This weekend, Halsted Street between Addison and Grace is overflowing with LGBTQ pride and unity. In recent days, LGBTQ events across the country have come under attack. But festival-goers in Chicago say they aren’t letting recent threats stop them from celebrating pride in a carefree and fun atmosphere.
“Everybody has been talking about that but I feel being surrounded by your community, just makes you feel safer,” House said.
In addition to Pride Fest, several other huge outdoor festivals like Taste of Randolph Street in the West Loop and Lyrical Lemonade Summer Smash are filling up neighborhoods across the city.
With so many people out, safety is a top priority for those celebrating across Chicago. As a result, security guards and CPD officers were visible.
“I have seen them walking all throughout all the crowds and stuff,” Herman-Lindow said.
Many in the crowd like Kardamin Politzer are focusing on having a good time and hoping events like Pride Fest continue to enlighten the community.
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“We’re getting there,” Politzer said. “Thankfully a lot of people are becoming more aware and accepting and events like this help people understand.”
Day 2 of Pride Fest kicks off at 11 a.m. The Pride Parade hits the streets next Sunday.