Pride parade goes off without a hitch

Julianna Nunez

PRIDEChicago hosted the city’s 43rd Annual Pride Parade on Sunday, with a record-high attendance and a longer parade route.

Parade coordinator Richard Pfeiffer said city officials estimated about 850,000 people were at the parade this year. Last year, there were about 800,000 attendees, he said.

Entries from organizations, businesses, elected officials and marching groups participated in the parade. However, Pfeiffer said the number of registered entries dropped this year from 250 to 200. Officials decided to decrease the number of entries to “tighten the parade up,” he said.

Pfeiffer said that there were no problems within the last two months before the parade.

Last year, the tires of parade vehicles were slashed, but no such incident occurred this year. However, the parade did face a problem regarding scheduling in October.

One church on the parade route has a worship schedule conflicted with the schedule of the parade. The start of the parade was pushed to noon to reconcile with the church.

“The entries in the parade represented – I mean there were floats, there were decorated vehicles, marching groups – a little bit of everything, political and social both,” Pfeiffer said.

He said the parade was extended by five blocks to form a 22-block parade, to better accommodate the amount of people who showed up.

This year also marked the first time openly gay sailors participated in the parade.

Pfeiffer said sailors from Naval Station Great Lakes, located near North Chicago, formed an on-base support group for gay sailors and encouraged them to participate in the parade.

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