Chicagoans celebrate with Pride Parade

June 28, 2010 10:32:26 AM PDT
A colorful celebration took place Sunday in the Lakeview neighborhood as hundreds of thousands of revelers celebrated after Chicago's 41st Annual Pride Parade.

Leading the parade this year was country music star Chely Wright, who recently announced she's gay.

Once the rain blew out of Chicago Sunday morning, rainbows appeared all along North Halsted. No matter where you looked -- from the floats to the sea of people -- it was easy to see that it was one huge party.

ABC7's coverage of the Pride Parade is available on-demand by clicking here.

Wright, a singer-songwriter-- is the first prominent country star to openly state that she is gay. She served as the parade's grand marshal and says she has fallen in love with Chicago.

"I had no idea what a gay community, what a presence the gay community has in Chicago. I want to move here," she said.

This year's theme was "One Heart, One World, One Pride," and the 250 floats, performers and bands made that theme their own.

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn and Chicago police Supt. Jody Weis were among the dignitaries taking part in the festivities.

"We just came out here to support all our friends, our gay and lesbian friends, and my sister," Brenda Samuel told ABC7 Chicago.

Among those on hand was Blackhawks defenseman Brent Sopel, and he brought the Stanley Cup with him. Sopel, who was just traded to the Thrashers, says he was proud to be there and honor the memory of the gay son of his former manager.

"It's about freedom of expression, and it's great," Sopel said.

Despite the heat and humidity, just about everyone there was ready to dance, and ABC7 was proud to be at the party.

ABC7's coverage of the Pride Parade is available on-demand by clicking here.