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Photos: Chicago's 2016 Pride Parade Had A Moving Tribute To Orlando

By Rachel Cromidas in Arts & Entertainment on Jun 27, 2016 4:37PM

Chicago's 47th annual Pride Parade had all the elements of a good party—rainbow balloon animals, a marching band and jets of pinks smoke—but it started on a somber note. To commemorate the victims of the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando two weeks ago, the first marchers in the parade held photos of each of the victims. The shooting left a total of 49 people dead, many of them LGBTQ people of color.

After kickoff, at noon, the tone lightened. The parade's grand marshal, actress Monica Raymund of Chicago Fire, waved to the crowd from the backseat of a convertible. The beloved Dykes on Bikes made a rip-roaring appearance (and Mayor Rahm Emanuel made a quieter one, wearing a T-shirt that read "Disarm Hate" in rainbow lettering) as the parade wound from Montrose and Broadway down to Diversey and Sheridan.

Overall, the crowd totaled about a million, according to an estimate from Chicago's Office of Emergency Management and Communications, and there was ramped up security along the parade route in light of the Pulse shooting. Overall, police made seven total arrests: three for a fight that broke out in the Belmont Red Line station, one for unlawful use of a weapon, one for battery, one for cannabis and one for littering. That's a much lower figure than in years past—last year police made a total of 52 arrests, two of them felonies, amid concerns that Pride was getting too large and rowdy to stay in Lakeview.

Related Pride coverage:
*Chicago's 2016 Dyke March was queer AF, and it was glorious.
*Pride at Montrose organizers say police forced them to shut down their party early on Sunday.