Chicago Pride Fest, Parade postponed amid COVID-19 pandemic


Chicago's Pride Fest and Parade have both been postponed amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, according to organizers.

The Northalsted Business Alliance made the announcement regarding the fest Wednesday, saying it hopes to reschedule the event for Labor Day weekend.

“We will continually evaluate the feasibility of hosting the festival with local and state officials as the current crisis evolves,” said Mark Liberson, Chicago Pride Fest chairperson.

The announcement marks the first time in the street festival's 19-year history that it has been postponed. The celebration, which takes place over two-days in the city's North Side Boystown neighborhood, features music, dancing, and arts and crafts merchants.

“Despite the current events, we remain steadfast in our belief that Pride should be celebrated far and wide and we will be creating virtual programming to bring the community and indeed world together to celebrate,” said Ramesh Ariyanayakam, president of the Northalsted Business Alliance.

Further details on a virtual celebration to be held in June are expected "in the coming month," according to a statement.

The Northalsted Business Alliance, which is also behind the Market Days festival, says that event is still scheduled to take place on the weekend of August 8 and 9.

As for the Pride Parade, the event coordinator, Tim Frye, issued the following statement:

"We are sad to announce that the annual Pride Parade will not take place this year on June 28.  We announce this postponement in the hope that conditions will allow the parade to take place later this summer or early fall.

We have always felt that safety is the first priority for our participants in the parade; the hundreds of thousands of spectators; as well as all the city agencies and independent contractors that work so hard to make the parade a success every year.

We hope that there will be a possibility to re-schedule.  However, If that is not possible, we know that the Pride Parade will be back in 2021 and for years to come."