Pride Celebrations Right Around the Corner

In the next few weeks, many of our local and regional neighbors will celebrate pride with festivals, concerts, picnics, and parades. This list, while not exhaustive, includes many of the events within driving distance.

Springfield Pridefest – Saturday, May 19. This festival celebrates its eighth year with the theme “No H8. No Labels.” The day includes a pride parade, two stages of entertainment, food and drink vendors, merchandise vendors, and information booths.  For more information go to or search “Springfield Pridefest 2018” on Facebook.

Quad Cities Unity Pride Week 2018 – June 1-9. This week-long fest includes a pub crawl, drag race, pride brunch, family night, and culminates with a pride parade at noon on Saturday, June 9. For more information go to

PrideFest Milwaukee – June 7-10 on Milwaukee’s lakefront. Performers including the B-52’s, lots of food, and tons of vendor booths are a part of this four-day event at Milwaukee’s Lakefront Festival Park. Search “PrideFest Milwaukee 2018” on Facebook for more details.

Andersonville Midsommarfest – June 8- 10 in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood. This increasingly-popular street festival is not strictly a pride event but it has a queer sensibility and is in an area that is quickly becoming home to increasing numbers of LGBTQ people.

Peoria LGBT+ Community Cookout – Saturday, June 9. The fourth annual event will be at the Dogwood Shelter at Detweiller Park. Organizers will supply the meat and attendees are asked to bring a food item to share. The picnic which includes information booths and games begins at 1 p.m. For more information look for the Facebook event “4th Annual LGBT+ Community Cookout.”

Prairie Pride Coalition “Family Reunion” Picnic – Sunday, June 10. See article in our Spring-Summer newsletter for more information.

Aurora Inaugural Pride Parade – Sunday, June 17. Aurora is the state’s second largest city and the organizers decided it was me for them to have a pride event of their own! The parade kicks off at noon in downtown Aurora. For more information go to the parade’s Facebook group page.

Chicago Pridefest 2018 – June 16-17 in Chicago’s Boystown neighborhood. This weekend street festival includes food, drink, and multiple stages of entertainment including Belinda Carlisle. Search “Chicago Pride Fest” on Facebook for more information.

Chicago Pride Parade – Sunday, June 24. This granddaddy of pride parades celebrates its 49th anniversary this year. Head to Boystown where the parade will kick off at noon.

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