It’s June, and Chicago and the rest of the nation celebrate Pride month! Take a stroll downtown, and you will see many rainbow flags, storefronts dressed up for the occasion, and skyscrapers lighting up in rainbow colors at night. But nowhere do you get a better feel for the observance than in the LGBTQ+ mecca of Chicago itself – Northalsed.
Colloquially known by its old name as Boystown, this section of Lakeview is the nation's first officially recognized gay village. It is also the cultural center of one of the most prominent LGBTQ+ communities in the country.
Walk along the award-winning Legacy Walk, the world’s only outdoor LGBTQ+ history museum. It is a Halsted Street corridor from Belmont Avenue to Grace Street that commemorates LGBTQ+ heroes and historical events with colorful monuments, rainbow pylon landmarks, and plaques.
Along the way, stop into coffee shops, cool vintage clothing stores, and funky dress-up boutiques that capture the casual, fun spirit of the neighborhood. Come evening, the party never stops. Check out the local nightlife scene, featuring more than 60 businesses, where you’ll find karaoke, drag shows, dance clubs, dive bars, and late-night diners.
It is also home to Center on Halsted. This non-profit LGBTQ+ community center hosts various public programs from youth support to senior housing to athletic opportunities for the community and its allies.
Naturally, Pride Month is when Northalsted gets its stride, highlighting Chicago's vibrant LGBTQ+ community. Chicago's Pride celebration consists of a whole month of festivities and events, culminating with the annual Chicago Pride Parade. The Pride festival takes place along North Halsted St. The festival is Chicago's pre-parade celebration with a half-mile of vendors and stages headlined by incredible entertainment. Come see it on the weekend of June 18-19. There is no fee to attend, although a voluntary donation is requested at the entry gates to Pride Fest. This donation goes back to community support programs.
The energy in the city peaks on Pride Weekend, which traditionally falls on the last weekend of June each year to commemorate the Stonewall Riots. Chicago Pride Parade, one of the largest gay pride parades in the nation, traditionally takes place on the last Sunday of the month. The coronavirus pandemic brought it to a halt in 2020 and 2021, but Pride is back in 2022!
This year the Pride Parade will be held on Sunday, June 26, starting at noon at Montrose Avenue and Broadway. The parade winds its way through the city’s north side, ending near the intersection of Diversey Parkway and Sheridan Road in Lincoln Park.
The same weekend, don’t miss the Pride in the Park music festival in Grant Park. The newer addition to the long list of activities, this 2-day music festival will be held Saturday, June 25, and Sunday, 26, with an incredible all-star lineup.
For the ultimate list of Pride events in Chicago this year, from drag brunches to storytime for kids, check out this Block Club Chicago article.
Here at Corcoran Urban Real Estate, we are featuring Northalsted as our neighborhood of the month. Follow us on Instagram - @urbanrealestate for neighborhood listings, market updates, and a viral video from the Legacy Walk on N. Halsted Street. Join us as we celebrate the legacy and continuing contributions of the members of the LGBTQ+ community to our company, our city, and humanity as a whole. This month and every day, Live Who You Are.
Written By: Katie Andrews