Chicago Pride Parade 2011

Even though the tires of dozens of floats were slashed the night before the big parade, the Chicago Pride was a hit with approximately 750,000 people in attendance, nearly twice as many as last year.

The parade was a both a never-ending commercial for local businesses to broadcast their support and a chance for festival goers to dance, sing and strip themselves of everyday conventions.

There were plenty of scantily clad men, women and transvestites making moves on the floats down N. Halsted and Broadway avenues, but there were just as many people in t-shirts and jeans strolling alongside floats to represent their local affiliations.

When the last float had passed,  hoards of people started moving onto the street through opened gates that the police had overlooked opened gates. Pretty soon, hundreds of people were walking alongside the parade that circled through Boystown.  After they realized what was happening, the police quickly secured the entrance points, but not before Gabe and I snuck in and walked to our pride’s content.

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Kate Springer

Freelance writer and editor based in Hong Kong. Contributor at CNN, Forbes Travel Guide, BBC Travel, Fodor's Travel Guide, superfuture, Tatler, and more.

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