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Pride Parade
Photograph: Jordan Avery

The best LGBTQ+ events for Chicago Pride Month 2021 and beyond

The Chicago Pride Parade is happening a little later this year, but you'll still find plenty of ways to celebrate Pride.

Written by Emma Krupp in association with Good News

After a year of mostly virtual events, Chicago's Pride Month festivities are back and more spread out than ever, thanks to the Chicago Pride Parade's new October weekend slot. Still, don't let that stop you from celebrating Chicago's vibrant LGBTQ+ community all summer long—organizations from across the city are hosting queer-friendly events, from drag brunches to iconic festivals like the two-day Pride in the Park bash, in June and beyond. You can even raise a toast to the community at your favorite Chicago gay bar, most of which have reopened for drinking, drag performances, singalongs and more. Check out these Pride Month events taking place throughout June and the rest of the summer.

Best Chicago Pride events

Chicago Pride Parade 2019
Photograph: Grace DuVal

Chicago Pride Parade

Things to do Festivals Pride Parade Route, Uptown

Last year's Chicago Pride Parade was canceled and this year's festivities have been pushed back from their usual weekend in June, but the rainbow-colored celebration will be back on the streets of Lakeview and Uptown. Moving to October, Chicago's LGTBQ+ community and its allies will gather along the usual route: winding south from Montrose and Broadway via Halsted and Diversey before ending at Cannon Drive. The parade typically attracts more than one million attendees—that number isn't expected change, in spite of the colder October temperatures that will greet revelers as they line the streets. You'll likely still need to stake out your prime spot along the route as early as you can.

Northalsted Market Days
Photograph: Kaitlin Hetterscheidt

Northalsted Market Days

Things to do Festivals Belmont Ave and Halsted St, Lake View

Northalsted Market Days is the largest two-day street festival in the Midwest, welcoming 100,000 to the streets of Northalsted (also known as Boystown) for an LGBTQ-friendly summer celebration of music, food and dance. The 2021 lineup has yet to be announced, so stay tuned—past acts include Swedish duo Icona Pop and former Prince collaborator Sheila E.

Drag Brunch at the Walnut Room
Photograph: Courtesy Macy's

Drag Brunch in the Walnut Room

LGBTQ+ Macy's, Loop

For the first time ever, Macy's opulent Walnut Room will host a series of drag brunches this summer. The first event—held in honor of Pride Month—will be hosted by local performer Lucy Stoole and feature performances from RuPaul's Drag Race contestant, Kylie Sonique Love, 2021 Drag Queen of the Year Pageant winner Tenderoni and Minneapolis-based drag queen Sasha Cassadine. While you watch, you'll be treated to raspberry-stuffed French toast, mimosa flights and other colorful snacks. Can't make the first event? The Walnut Room is also hosting a '90s themed drag brunch on July 24—stay tuned for more details on who's performing.


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