Organizers push back against plan to downsize the Chicago Pride Parade 2024 in Lakeview on June 30

ByLeah Hope and ABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Tuesday, April 30, 2024
Organizers push back against plans to downsize 2024 Pride Parade
The city is getting pushback about plans to downsize the 2024 Chicago Pride Parade, with organizers saying it's too important to the LGBTQ+ community.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Chicago Pride Parade will step off in two months.

On Tuesday, there has been pushback to a reducing the size of the parade.

"At a moment when LGBTQ communities are being attacked to the level that we are across the country, the city should be trying to make this the biggest and most welcoming," said Mony Ruiz-Velasco, who is on Mayor Brandon Johnson's Advisory Council on LGBTQ+ Affairs.

Members of the mayor's LGBTQ+ affairs advisory council and parade organizers issued a statement sent to Johnson's office, calling on him to "restore participation in the parade commensurate with prior years."

In April, parade organizers announced entries would be capped at 125 groups, down 35% from last year, due to city's safety concerns. They added that the parade would start an hour earlier at 11 a.m.

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"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," a statement from parade organizers read. "We remain committed to prioritizing LGBTQ+ organizations, LGBTQ+-owned businesses, and businesses with LGBTQ Employee Resource Groups."

The group Tuesday agreed to a later start, but joined together to try and maintain the parade as it has been in years past.

"For many people, it's the first place where they can come as their authentic selves and be celebrated for who they are," Ruiz-Velasco said. "Rather than shrinking it, we want to be celebrating the work that has happened over many, many decades."

Ruiz-Velasco is also deputy director of Equality Illinois. She says any changes should be made with consultation with the community.

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"It's not just LGBTQ people. It's our allies marching with us because we have built a movement of solidarity and support across communities," Ruiz-Velasco said.

A spokesperson for the Chicago Department of Transportation said, "We are constantly evaluating options to improve resource allocation while still delivering the best possible experience for our visitors, residents, and communities."

Regardless of the size of the parade, the 53rd Chicago Pride Parade will be held on June 30 in Lakeview.