Chicago Pride Parade organizers announce changes, 2024 event to be downsized

Karen Jordan Image
Thursday, April 11, 2024
Chicago Pride Parade to be downsized, organizers say
The Chicago Pride Parade 2024 will be downsized as the event steps off in Lakeview on June 30, organizers said Wednesday.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- One of the city's largest parades is downsizing.

Organizers of the Chicago Pride Parade said the event will be smaller this June.

Entries will be capped at 125 group. That is down 35% from last year. The parade will also kick off an hour earlier, at 11 a.m.

"We understand there will be some disappointed groups that will not march with us this year; we extend a heartfelt thank you for your support and understanding," as statement from parade organizers read. "We remain committed to prioritizing LGBTQ+ organizations, LGBTQ+-owned businesses, and businesses with LGBTQ Employee Resource Groups."

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Alderwoman Maria Hadden of the 49th Ward, a member of the special events committee, said she can only speculate that there's concern about over-extending the city's police department ahead of the Democratic National Convention later this summer.

"I think we've got five really big citywide events happening before we even get to the DNC, and that might be cause for concern," Hadden said.

The Chicago Department of Transportation did not answer to why the Pride Parade is being downsized and whether other events this summer will also have to scale back..

"As with all major events in the city, we are constantly evaluating options to improve safety while also delivering the best experience for our visitors, residents, and community," a statement from CDOT read.

The Center on Halsted participates in the parade. Joey McDonald said the organization works closely with organizers to plan the event. He said despite the smaller size, there will still be a big celebration.

"People are still excited about it," McDonald said. "People will want to participate. We're planning huge."

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McDonald said the parade can draw hundreds of thousands of people to Lakeview and surrounding neighborhoods.

It will be the 53rd year for the parade. It steps off June 30.