JUNE 2018 – If you start seeing an inordinate amount of rainbow flags sprouting up around Chicago, there’s a simple explanation: June is Pride month, so it’s time to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community! It ties to the uprising in 1969 in New York after police raided Greenwich Village gay bar the Stonewall Inn. Patrons had had enough of being treated like dirt and fought back. The now-infamous Stonewall Riots lasted three days, but kicked off an equal rights battle that still rages today. The riots started on June 28, which is why many Pride parades and celebrations around North America take place during this month.
Our team at the Chicago Athletic Association hotel celebrates people of all backgrounds and we’re supporting LGBTQ+ staff, guests, and Chicagoans. All month up in Cindy’s, we’ll offer a special Pride Month cocktail, the Miss Vanjie, comprising of Absolut Elyx, Mezcal Union, Campari, rosé, pink peppercorn and grapefruit juice. Proceeds from the drink, which will have an orchid garnish, will benefit Center on Halsted – dedicated to securing the well-being of Chicago’s LGBTQ community. And down in the Game Room, we’re hosting a Pride party on June 21. We’ll partner with Peach, known for its pop-up events celebrating queer women and femme family, but it’s still about inclusion so everyone is welcome!
If you still want more reasons to celebrate Pride, many events will take place in Chicago, culminating with the massive Pride Parade on June 24, where upwards of one million people will line the streets on the North Side. The Parade, which features dozens of floats and groups marching with flags, balloons and other rainbow-clad paraphernalia, kicks off at noon at Montrose and Broadway and the parade route flows down through Boystown and eventually finishes near Diversey and Sheridan.
Earlier in June, pop up to Andersonville on the Far North Side for Midsommarfest (June 8-10), one of the more lively street fairs, which also really kicks off the Pride fun for the month. The following weekend, Pride Fest (June 16-17) will see upwards of 100,000 people hit the Boystown street fest where live music performers include Mya, Belinda Carlisle and Brian Justin Crum. For those who want to flex their athletic ability, the 37th annual Proud to Run offers 5K and 10K routes on June 23 in Montrose Harbor. Finally, the yearly Back Yard Bash, one of Pride weekend’s most popular lesbian gatherings, takes place June 22-24 behind the Clark Street corridor in Andersonville.