June in Chicago is spectacular for many reasons. And one of the major highlights is Pride. While the annual Pride Fest and Parade have been rescheduled for October, there are still lots of ways to celebrate, get involved, and support the LGBTQ+ community.
Here are a few ways to celebrate Pride Month 2021 in Chicago.
Pride festivals and events
Get ready to dance in the streets all weekend long at this huge Pride festival in Rogers Park, featuring DJs and live entertainment across two stages and three dance floors on June 26 and 27. The free fest is located on Glenwood Avenue between Morse and Lunt, just off the Morse Red Line stop.
Pride in the Park music festival
This weekend music festival returns to Grant Park on June 26 and 27 with a show-stopping lineup that includes international artists (like Chaka Khan, Tiesto, and Betty Who) alongside local artists, dance floors, activist speakers, and so much more. Get your Pride in the Park tickets today.
Pride in the Park, photo by Adam Alexander
Navy Pier Pride: Head to the waterfront for a day-long, Pier-wide LGBTQ+ Pride celebration on Saturday, June 26. Enjoy special performances from Chicago Gay Men’s Chorus and Radio Gaga, family-friendly storytelling, dancing, and more. Then grab a bite and a drink at the Pier’s many outdoor bars and restaurants — a Rainbow Cone seems like an especially fitting way to celebrate Pride.
Pride party at The Northman Beer & Cider Garden Riverwalk
This popular beer garden on the scenic Chicago Riverwalk is hosting a Pride party on Friday, June 18. Come enjoy drink specials, a live drag performance, and waterfront views.
Arts, theatre, and more
My Dazzling Queer Fantasy gallery opening
The first solo exhibition from Chicago-based artist TotesFerosh will open at Elephant Room Gallery in the South Loop on Friday, June 11. My Dazzling Queer Fantasy captures the diverse beauty and energy of queer culture, while drawing inspiration from comics and superheroes.
A Midsummer’s Night Dream from PrideArts
Local arts organization Pride Films and Plays was founded with the mission to improve and expand LGBTQ+ representation in theatre. This Pride Month, they’re presenting a gender-bending spin on A Midsummer’s Night Dream. The show will run for one night only on June 22, so get your tickets today.
Find Your Family from 2nd Story
This live storytelling event showcases local performers sharing true stories of family, queer identity, and finding joy. The virtual event, hosted by theatrical storytelling collective 2nd Story, will stream live on June 17 and include a post-performance panel of local advocates.
Pride in the Time of COVID-19 panel
A dynamic group of thought leaders and advocates will be reflecting on Pride Month during the pandemic era. Hosted by the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center, this virtual event will feature Senator Mike Simmons, CEO of Equality Illinois Brian C. Johnson, Director/Producer of Art and Pep Mercedes Kane, and more.
LGBTQ+ neighborhoods, attractions, and beyond
Shop local LGBTQ+ businesses
Supporting your favorite local businesses is more important now than ever. And Chicago is full of spots owned by LGBTQ+ Chicagoans. Grab a bite on the patio at Big Chicks or Kit Kat Lounge, shop the latest from local makers at Humboldt House and Wolfbait & B-girls, and stock up on on sweets at Jennivee’s Bakery. Explore more LGBTQ-owned Chicago businesses and hear from some of Chicago’s LGBTQ+ small business owners.
Explore Northalsted (aka Boystown)
The oldest official gay neighborhood in the country, Chicago’s Northalsted neighborhood is a treasure trove of LGBTQ+ hot spots. Duck into local boutiques, dig through funky vintage shops, dance with drag queens, and enjoy weekend brunch on a sunny patio.
See LGBTQ+ landmarks
Chicago is a city known for its rich LGBTQ history — home to the country’s oldest gay neighborhood and the founder of the first known gay rights organization. See the legacy come to life at the city’s many LGBTQ+ landmarks and historic homes. And don’t miss the Legacy Walk in Northalsted, an outdoor museum commemorating the life and work of notable lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender heroes.
Give back to local LGBTQ+ organizations
Whether you’re donating time or money, Pride Month is a great time to give back. Center on Halsted in Lakeview is a community center dedicated to providing a safe and welcoming environment for the LGBTQ+ community. Programs include everything from cooking and dance lessons to HIV testing and group therapy. Other great Chicago-based organizations include Howard Brown Health, LGBTQ Immigrant Rights Coalition of Chicago, and Chicago House.