CHICAGO — Chicago Pride Fest kicks off this weekend.
There will be no parade this year but the fest is packed with events. Mya and Debbie Gibson are among the performers.
The Pride Parade, traditionally held on the last weekend in June, was canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic. In May of 2021, organizers announced the parade would be held on Oct. 3. But last month it was announced the parade would be canceled again for healthy and safety reasons.
Mark Liberson is chair of the fest.
“Celebrating pride is so important,” he said. “We wanted people to build, to come out express themselves, to be able to celebrate what we have in our community and also remember that there are so many communities where people don’t have the ability to live their lives as who they are.”
Many restaurant and bar owners are checking vaccine cards before entry.
Organizers said they are working in conjunction with the Chicago Department of Public Health to offer vaccines and Covid education. Festival goers also have the opportunity to to get a Covid test if they choose.
The festival runs through Sunday.