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Chicago Pride Parade
Photograph: Jordan Avery

The 2021 Chicago Pride Parade has been canceled again

The parade, which was originally postponed to October 3, will return next June.

Emma Krupp
Written by
Emma Krupp

Earlier this year, as vaccination rates ticked upward and COVID-19 cases downward, Chicago Pride Parade organizers announced that the iconic LGBTQ+ parade—which usually wraps up Pride Month during the final weekend of June—would be postponed to October 3. Now, amid the spread of the Delta variant, the parade has been officially canceled for 2021.

“To use the words of a song from the ’60s: ‘You Can't Always Get What You Want’ we really wanted and hoped that there could be a parade in 2021,” parade coordinator Tim Frye said in a statement. “We don't feel, though, that we can do it safely for everyone in the parade and the people watching. We must cancel the parade for the second year.”

Organizers had selected October 3 as a new date in part to honor the beginning of LGBTQ+ History Month, with plans to honor several local LGBTQ+ organizations as well as Richard Pfeiffer, Frye’s husband and former Pride Parade co-coordinator who died in 2019. The parade joins several other upcoming Chicago events and festivals that have been canceled due to COVID-19 concerns, like the Hyde Park Summer Fest and Little Italy Festa. As of right now, there’s no word on whether Chicago Pride Fest—the two-day celebration that typically coincides with the parade, which was also pushed to October—will continue this year.

Next year, the Chicago Pride Parade will resume its regular weekend slot on the last Sunday of June: Frye said that the parade is set to return to the streets of Lakeview and Uptown on June 26, 2022. 

“We're going to believe that in June 2022 we are living in a far safer world than now,” Frye said in the statement. “We intend to have the best, most joyous, fabulous, memorable Pride Parade ever. Count on it!”

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