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parade goers hold balloons that spell PRIDE

Paradegoers hold up large balloon letters that spell “pride” during the 52nd annual Pride Parade on the North Side in 2023.

Tyler Pasciak LaRiviere/Sun-Times

Chicago pride month 2024: Your guide to 50+ events in June

From booze cruises to comedy nights, here’s a veritable parade of events to celebrate pride month.

The centerpiece of pride month in Chicago is the Chicago Pride Parade (June 30, 11 a.m. start). But you don’t need to wait until the end of June to celebrate since pride events span the month (here’s a handy calendar).

To help make sense of the options, we organized 50+ events into categories: activities, culture, dating, dining, outdoors, parties and shows. In each category, the names of events are bolded and linked; events for lesbians are noted throughout with this icon 💃🏽.

Jump to a specific category:
➜ Activity-based Events
➜ Arts & Culture
➜ Dating & Networking
➜ Dining
➜ Outdoor Festivals
➜ Parties & After-parties
➜ Shows & Performance

For Active Types

Skate Party Pride Guide 2024

The Lighthouse Foundation is hosting a Pride Skate Party in Auburn Gresham on June 8, 2024 to celebrate Black LGBTQ+ visibility.

Courtesy of the Lighthouse Foundation

Shoppers in support LGBTQ+ owned businesses should check out the Chicago Pride Kick-Off Urban Queer Art Show & Market (PrideArts; June 5-9, times here).

Get your groove on with the Pride Skate Party at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Roller Skating and Bowling Center in Auburn Gresham (June 8, 10:30 p.m. to 1 a.m.), a celebration of Black LGBTQ+ visibility on eight wheels; bowling and food are also available.

Want to raise your heart rate? The Defined Pride Throwdown (Defined Training ; June 8, 8 a.m.-12 p.m.), for athletes of all levels, is a competition in which pairs compete in workouts. Fleet Feet Brooks Pride Run (Fleet Feet Lakeview; June 24, 6-7 p.m.) offers a three-mile run followed by a sign-making party for the Chicago Pride Parade.

Swimming — or, at least, partying next to a body of water — can be had at the Dive into Pride Pool Party! (InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile; June 8, starts at 9 p.m.). Or, get on a boat: The Pride Fireworks Cruise (Chicago Lakefront Cruises; June 8, 8:30-11:30 p.m.) offers views of Chicago architecture and Navy Pier fireworks. The Summer Vibes Pride Skyline Yacht Cruise (Anita Dee Yacht Charters; June 29, 12:45-5 p.m.) will take you on a scenic tour of Lake Michigan.

If you’re not content to simply sit and watch, take the stage and mic at the Burleskaraoke Chicago Pride Edition (The Baton Show Lounge; June 12, 7-10:30pm), which brings together karaoke, go-go dancers and stripping Burlesque performers. G.L.O.W.: A Queer Sober Open Mic Night (The Understudy Coffee and Books; June 14, 7:30-10:30 p.m.) is an open mic night with comedy, drama and stunts. Fruit Salad: A country queer open mic night + dance party, is at Dorothy, a lesbian bar in Ukrainian Village (June 19, 6:45-10 p.m.), and features an open mic night followed by a Cowboy Carter dance party.

Want to learn about history and get those steps in? Check out three LGBTQ+ stories walking tours with Tours with Mike, run by tour guide Mike McMains, who worked for years in commercial real estate. The North Side LGBTQ Stories walking tour, which starts outside of the Belmont train station in Lake View (June 8, 15 and 29, starts at 1:30 p.m.), explores the Boystown area. The tour offers stories about the area’s businesses, architecture and history. The Downtown LGBTQ Stories walking tour, which starts at 11 East Ida B. Wells Dr. (June 8, 15, 29, starts at 10 a.m.), explores the fight for LGBTQ+ rights in Chicago. The South Side LGBTQ Stories trolley tour starts in Millenium Park (June 22, tours 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.) and explores the LGBTQ+ communities of South Loop and Bronzeville, which McMains points out, had vibrant LGBTQ+ communities long before the North Side.

Sports enthusiasts have options: Cubs Pride Night (Wrigley Field; June 17, starts 7:05 p.m.) offers a party at the ballpark with entertainment and activities. During White Sox Pride Night (Guaranteed Rate Field; June 18, starts 7:10 p.m.), the Sox will play the Houston Astros. The World Gay Boxing Championships 2024 (Stronghands Gym & Personal Training; June 20, 1-5 p.m.) will showcase the LGBTQ+ community and allies in a boxing exhibition. Chicago Sky Pride Night 💃🏽 (Wintrust Arena; June 27, starts at 4:30 p.m.) sponsored by the Lesbian Social Club, will give courtside access to fans during the team’s warm-up.

And, finally, turn drinking into a bonafide activity when you combine it with a walk. The Official Pride Bar Crawl (June 15, 4 p.m.- midnight) is one option, hitting a number of bars in Lake View, including Charlie’s Chicago, Roscoe’s Tavern and Replay Lakeview. The Wrigleyville Pride Crawl (June 29, 12-6 p.m.) is another.

For Culture Lovers

Gaymer Night AMW Pride Guide 2024

The American Writers Museum is throwing Get Lit: Gaymer Night on June 11, 2024 to celebrate queer geek culture with trivia and an escape room-style game.

Courtesy of American Writers Museum

On its Writing Queer tour, the American Writers Museum in downtown Chicago (June 1-30, tour starts at 3 p.m. everyday except Wednesdays) spotlights LGBTQ+ authors exhibited at the museum, including Susan Sontag, James Baldwin and Maurice Sendak. The tour, launched last June, runs about 30 minutes and is free with admission, $16 for adults. The AWM is also throwing Get Lit: Gaymer Night (June 11, 5:30-7:30 p.m.) to celebrate queer geek culture with trivia and an escape room-style game.

For a children’s story time (kids up to age five) the South Shore branch of the Chicago Public Library is hosting Rainbow Story Time at (June 10, 10:30-11:30 a.m.). The Logan Square branch is hosting Drag Story Time (June 17, 10:30-11:30 a.m.) with local drag artist Másha Potato for kids up to age 13. The Back of the Yards branch is also hosting a Drag Story Time (June 29, 10-11 a.m.) for kids up to age five.

For something more academic, University of Illinois Chicago’s School of Theatre and Music is hosting The 5th Symposium for LGBTQ Studies and Music Education (June 24-26, see the schedule), which explores the intersection of LGBTQ topics and music education.

For Socializers

Pride month dating events include the Bi+ Pride Mixer at Hammy Wammy, an art gallery and event space in Uptown, (June 9, 3-6 p.m.). The mixer raises bi-visibility for Black, brown, and Indigenous people. Hot Potato Hearts Queer Speed Dating (The Hi-Lo; June 24, 7-10 p.m.) was a one-time pride event that morphed into a regular thing on the last Monday of every month.

Out Pro Meaningful LGBTQ Networking (City Center; June 13, 6-9 p.m.) offers networking for LGBTQ+ professionals across industries. The U.S. Bank Lakeview Mixer (Center on Halsted; June 5, 5:30-8:30 p.m.) hosts a networking evening with hors d’oeuvres and raffle prizes from local businesses.

For Foodies

Get in the Kitchen Pride Guide 2024

Get in the Kitchen, which calls itself the “party school” of cooking classes, is hosting three events in June 2024, including a bagel-baking session with drag queen entertainment.

Courtesy of Get in the Kitchen

Drag brunches have become a weekend mainstay but, if you needed a reason to try one, this could be the month to do it. Pride-themed drag brunches include Drag Brunch at Time Out Market (Time Out Market; June 9, noon-2 p.m.) and the Chicago Pride Eve Bottomless Drag Brunch 2024 (Lark; June 29, 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. seatings). The Pride Icons Drag Brunch (Macy’s Walnut Room, 111 N. State St.; June 22, 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. shows), hosted by Chicago drag celebrity Lucy Stoole, will feature a cast of performers paying tribute to pride icons including Lady Gaga, Cher and Beyoncé.

The Kit Kat Lounge in Lake View is hosting parade-weekend brunches, all day on Saturday and Sunday — its Pride Parade Eve Drag Brunch (June 29, seating 10:30 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3:15 p.m.) and the Pride Parade Drag Brunch (June 30, seating 1 p.m. and 3:15 p.m.). Kick off to Pride Dinner Party! (KitchnStudio; June 20, 7-9 p.m.) is a pride dinner party open to 30 guests, hosted by private chef and cooking instructor David Welch in his West Ridge culinary studio. The menu will feature crispy stuffed squash blossoms, whole roasted Branzino, glazed pork shank and grilled pound cake with strawberry-rhubarb compote.

People who like to cook have some fun choices: Get in the Kitchen, located at 3617 N. Broadway in Lake View, calls itself the “party school” of cooking classes. The school has organized three events over parade weekend: Its Pride Weekend Cooking & Queens Pasta Party (June 28, 7-10 p.m.) is a pasta making lesson followed by a drag show; Pride Parade Eve Cooking & Drag Queen Karaoke: Chinese Tapas Night! (June 29, 7-10 p.m.) will teach you to how to make dumplings, scallion pancakes, soy honey shrimp and hot-and-sour chicken bao; and Pride Parade Drag Queen Make Your Own Bagel Brunch (June 30, 9:30-11:30 a.m.) offers a bagel-baking lesson with drag queen entertainment.

For Those Who Want to Bask in the Sun

People stand in the street for Andersonville Midsommar Fest

Andersonville Midsommarfest is June 7 to June 9, 2024 this year with shopping tents, food stalls and performance stages, including an ABBA tribute stage.

Courtesy of Andersonville Chamber of Commerce

Outdoor festivities during pride month make a big, early splash with Andersonville Midsommarfest (June 7-9, times vary by day), the blocks-long, walkable bonanza of shopping tents, food stalls and performance stages (including an ABBA tribute stage) in the city’s charming LGBTQ enclave on the North Side.

But among street festivals, the granddaddy is Chicago Pride Fest (June 22-23, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.), the two-day, morning-into-night blowout that stretches across several blocks in the Northalsted area and offers three stages of live entertainment. This year’s headliners include JoJo Siwa, the lesbian breakout star of Lifetime’s “Dance Moms”; Natasha Bedingfield, an English pop singer; and Sapphira Cristál, the season 16 runner-up of “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” The Kit Kat Lounge (June 22-23, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.) will host a VIP lounge from which you can party while watching the fest on a patio. The same weekend, Black LGBTQ+ Beach Day (63rd Street beach; June 22, noon-7 p.m.) offers wellness activities, a DJ set, and access to free essential healthcare services, such as testing and vaccinations.

The Chicago Navy Pier Pride Festival (June 29, 12-10 p.m.) has live music, educational programming and performances from local LGBTQ+ artists. The Back Lot Bash in the Cheetah Gym Parking lot in Andersonville (June 29-30, starts at 4 p.m.) is a pride music festival featuring G Flip, Leisha Hailey and Kate Moenning. For a neighborhood block party vibe, the Pride North Chicago Block Party (6962 N. Glenwood Ave.; June 28-30, times vary by day) will occupy the street off the Morse Red Line stop with DJs, live entertainment and vendors.

Of course, the Chicago Pride Parade (June 30, starts 11 a.m.) is the month’s largest and best attended pride event. This year, organizers downsized the parade in response to new city safety regulations, leading to a brief flurry of controversy over cuts to the number of entries. Organizers bumped participants up to 150, from 125, including many school groups that were previously denied. Grand Marshals for this year’s parade are stand-up comedian Fortune Feimster, and her wife, Jax Smith. The couple met at the Chicago Pride Parade in 2015.

For Party Seekers

Gracie O’Malley’s Wicker Park location gets the party train going early in the month with its Pride Kickoff Party (June 7, starts 8 p.m.), serving the usual bar fare with giveaways of four Cubs tickets, merch, and, this year, two tickets to see queer singer-songwriter Fletcher perform at the Aragon Ballroom on Sept. 14. Queer Prom at the National Museum of Mexican Art in Pilsen (June 15, 6-11 p.m.) is a 21-and-under pride party, featuring freebies, food and music; since it is a prom, “dress to impress.”

Happening around the city: Adults Night Out: Pride Party (Lincoln Park Zoo; June 27, 6:30-10:30 p.m.) marries a visit to the zoo with drag bingo, games, food and drinks. For something animal-adjacent, check out the Bearracuda Chicago Pride Edition at Jackhammer in Rogers Park (June 29, 9 p.m.-5 a.m.), which is a bear-and-men’s all-nighter with a fetishwear dress code. Pride with Extra Pretty brings a dance party (3-9 p.m.) to Cerise Rooftop, a nightclub perched on the 26th floor of the Virgin Hotel.

Pride Fest after-parties include Pride Fest After Party for Queer Womxn + Friends 💃🏽 at the River Kitchen and Bar in Lake View (June 22, 9 p.m.-2 a.m.) and Very Pride! 2024 in West Loop (Morgan MFG; June 21-22, 9 p.m.-2 a.m.), with two dance floors, DJ sets and immersive art installations. Post-parade after-parties include Chicago Black Pride: Pride in the Sky on the rooftop at The Promontory in Hyde Park (June 30, 10 p.m.-3 a.m.); the Lesbian Social Club Pride After Party 💃🏽 at Budweiser Brickhouse Tavern in Wrigleyville (June 30, 4-9 p.m.); and Pride Parade Queen! (June 30, doors open at 9 p.m.) at Metro/Smart Bar.

For Show Goers

Need to laugh? Sapphic Comedy Hour at Dorothy! 💃🏽 (Dorothy; June 5, 7-8:30 p.m.) features sets from seven sapphic comedians. The Laugh Dance (Extra Pride Edition) (Whiskey Girl Tavern; June 6, 8 -11 p.m.) has an hour of stand-up comedy followed by a social hour. The You’re Being Ridiculous: Pride Show! (Whiskey Girl Tavern; June 20, 7-9 p.m.) will feature LGBTQ+ folks telling funny, true stories. There are two shows for lesbians on the June comedy calendar at The Lincoln Lodge (2040 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Logan Square): On June 22, check out Ali Clayton at the Lincoln Lodge: A Very Gay Comedy Show 💃🏽 (7-8:30 p.m.), featuring Clayton, a lesbian from the South; and, on June 30, Hotter & Funnier: A Comedy Show for Dykes 💃🏽 (8-9:30 p.m.) is a show for, well, lesbians. The Sketch Comedy Drinking Game Show - Pride Edition (Cornservatory; multiple dates June 14-29) offers comedy with a play-along drinking game.

At Lemon, a cocktail bar and show space in West Town, Dyke Night 💃🏽 is a mini-music-festival for pride month, Mondays in June (starts at 7 p.m.), with performances from new artists every week. The music ranges from country to R&B to hip-hop to punk.

If dance is your beat, Raks Inferno: Pride Edition (The Newport Theater; June 14, 7-8:30 p.m.) features a circus cabaret with a cast who has performed internationally; Pole Me Closer: Pole Dance Showcase PRIDE Edition! (The Newport Theater; June 21, 7-8:30 p.m.) turns the spotlight on Chicago pole-dancing artists; and Open Cabaret: A Burlesque, Drag, and Variety Show for New Works (The Newport Theater; June 25, 7-9 p.m.) closes the month with burlesque and drag performances.

Phyllis Cha is a digital news fellow for WBEZ. Follow her @phyllischa.

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From parties, street festivals, family fun and much more, here’s what’s on Chicago’s Pride 2024 calendar.