Pride in the Park Chicago returns to Grant Park in June

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Pride in the Park is back, returning to Grant Park as one of the first outdoor summer festivals to come back after the coronavirus pandemic shut everything down in 2020.

Organizers said they will hold a two-day, COVID-safe outdoor festival June 26 and 27.

"It's exciting and for one of the first events to be a pride event, very fitting for Chicago, one of the very first cities that have an official LGBTQ neighborhood," said Dusty Carpenter, president and organizer of Pride in the Park.

Carpenter said this was a plan months in the making.

"We kind of just really lucked up, you know, I could have never thought this wouldn't be possible in May, but the end of June is kind of the perfect timing and all the information that's coming out from the CDC, the last couple days watching how numbers are trending," he said.

The festival will bring performances and speech embracing equality, diversity and fun to Grant Park, and will employ hundreds in the city.

"Organizers, designers, drag queens, performers, all have not worked in like 16 months," Carpenter pointed out.

Event organizers have implemented a robust safety and health plan to keep festival attendees safe while still having fun.

"Anybody that is 18 and up is going to be required to have the 'Health Pass by Clear' app and there's two requirements, you're either going to have to verify your vaccination to clear, or you're going to have to have a negative PCR test within three days," he said.

Organizers plan to release information about the big name talent coming to the festival sometime next week.

"Talent, what I can give you a little hint on, between who we already have on board, we have a total of 11 Grammys wins, so we're gonna have some amazing talent this year," teased Carpenter.

Tickets for Pride in the Park go on sale Friday at noon. Because of COVID restrictions, there will be a limited amount available.

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