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Pride Parade And Pride Fest To Be Held Separately

By Samantha Abernethy in Arts & Entertainment on Feb 6, 2013 8:45PM

Organizers say the Gay Pride Parade will be separated from Pridefest this year, with the festival taking place June 22 and 23, followed by the parade a week later on June 30. The change would allow for a full "Pride Week" to develop in between.

Pride Fest has typically happened the last Friday and Saturday of June with the parade on the following Sunday. Organizers told the change would alleviate congestion on Halsted, as the Pride Parade has ballooned to attracting 850,000 people to Boystown. One organizer said it would encourage tourists to "make Chicago a week-long destination."

Lakeview Patch writes:

Lake View officials like Tom Elliott—the director of public relations at the Center on Halsted—and members of ELVN say they hear the move is to prepare Lake View for “Pride Week,” potentially connecting the two weekends in the future with more activities during the weekday. That’s combined with Independence Day celebrations on July 4 just days after.

The Pride Parade has become a victim of its own success over the last few years as organizers and police enforcement have been forced to make changes to the route and security plans. In 2011, had to be cut short. For the 2012 parade, the route was extended another five blocks and straightened some to accommodate the crowds. Adding to complications for the 2013 fest and parade planning, the Cubs host the Houston Astros on June 22-23 at Wrigley Field not far away.