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Feeling Prideful? Try These Six Parade Alternatives

By Joseph Erbentraut in Arts & Entertainment on Jun 23, 2010 5:40PM

Photo by *April*
As June approaches its end and the weather becomes increasingly unpredictable, one of the city's biggest and most rainbow-intensive annual parties also looms. This Sunday, the 41st annual Chicago Pride celebration in the city culminates with the raucous parade down Halsted, an event that typically attracts upwards of 500,000 drunk people and politicians to Boystown. But the parade is only part of the grandiose gayness the city has to offer for those looking to show some Pride this week. Parades not really your scene? In need of a warm-up for all of the insanity this Sunday? These six events are worth checking out and skew toward the free/cheap:

  • Tonight, 6:30 p.m. Portland, Ore.-based 16-member orchestra Pink Martini play songs that pull their inspiration from every corner of the globe, like a mini-musical caucus of international ambassadors. Their tunes consistently bubble over with infectious rhythms and they're queer-fronted. Their performance tonight is part of the Grant Park Music Festival. Free, Millennium Park (Pritzker Pavilion), 201 E. Randolph
  • Tonight, 7:30 p.m. The New Town Writers' Solo Homo is an LGBT performance series featuring some of the city's finest queer voices including Cookie Crumbles, Mike Rogers and Sissy Van Dyke. Tonight marks the final night of this, their eighth installment's run. $12, Strawdog Theatre (Hugen Hall Cabaret), 3829 N. Broadway
  • Thursday, June 24, 10 p.m.-4 a.m. Though she did not win the top prize in the latest season of RuPaul's Drag Race, second runner-up, Boston's Jujubee is a first-rate star. Known for her cutting wit and seductive charm, she is a performer you won't want to miss. Also featured: DJs Chaotic Good, Andrw James, Baby Bamboo and Teen Witch (Ratcatchers). $10 advance, Berlin Night Club, 954 W. Belmont
  • Friday, June 25, 7 p.m.. For the Bible Tells Me So is an incredible documentary, unraveling the misreading of biblical passages underlying anti-gay rhetoric. Tracing the lives of five families of faith, the film explores a bridge between Christianity and the LGBT community. Check it out in this screening. Free, Broadway United Methodist Church, 3338 N. Broadway
  • Friday, June 25, 10 p.m.-3 a.m. Queerer Park is a relatively new queer dance party that's been making waves with its sweaty use of loft and warehouse spaces. Their parties truly welcome everyone, as long as you're ready to dance your face off. The latest party benefits Camp Trans and features DJs La Perla, Black Gold, Barbara Butch & Unisexy. Free, Throop Junction, 1629 S. Throop
  • Saturday, June 26, 3-10 p.m., Sunday, June 27, 2-10 p.m. Ever wish Pride had a little something more for the ladies or, for that matter, folks less amused by shirtless dude dancers? Backlot Bash has answered that call. Their seventh-annual event boosts a packed lineup of bands, including headliners Black Betty and Dot Dot Dot, and a giveaway for the lesbian Caribbean cruise of your dreams. $10 before 5 p.m., $15 after, behind Cheetah Gym, 5238 N. Clark

Visit the Pride website for more information on other events going on around town and details on the parade's route and lineup.