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Pride Fest Chicago: 16 Music Acts, 17 Drag Queens, Dozens of Port-a-Potties

By Serena Dai | June 21, 2013 6:48am
 Instead of a long weekend in June with a two-day street festival followed by the huge Pride Parade, the street fest will be held the weekend before the parade, according to event organizers.
Gay Pride Chicago
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BOYSTOWN — Pride Fest is here.

It's the first year the two-day street fest is separate from the Pride Parade, which is slated for next Sunday, and Pride Fest organizers Northalsted Business Alliance and Special Events Management will be bringing two stages, 16 musical acts, 17 drag queens and — most importantly — dozens of port-a-potties to Halsted Street this Saturday and Sunday.

Since previous fests started at midday on a Friday, organizers expect an increase in the total number of attendees this year, up to about 50,000 across both days from last year's 40,000, said Jen Gordon, spokeswoman for Northalsted.

The parade, run by organizer Richard Pfeiffer, attracted about 850,000 people to Uptown and Lakeview last year, according to city estimates. Northalsted decided holding Pride Fest a weekend earlier would help alleviate congestion, offer people more time to get in town and ease pressure on police.

Traffic and parking will be limited in the neighborhood this weekend, especially since the Cubs play the Houston Astros at 3:05 p.m. on Saturday and at 1:20 on Sunday at Wrigley Field.

Halsted will be closed to traffic from Grace to Addison, and Waveland will be closed between Halsted and Broadway, according to Ald. Tom Tunney (44th)'s office. Closures begin at 1 a.m. Saturday and continue until 3 a.m. Monday

There will be no parking on those streets or on Bradley Place from Halsted to the alley near 820 W. Bradley Place. Whole Foods' parking garage will still be open for customers.

Bus riders, also take note: The No. 8 Halsted CTA bus will be rerouted to Broadway. 

The celebration of LGBT pride kicks off at 12:30 p.m. Saturday with a drag show from the ladies from places like Kit Kat Lounge and HydrateIt also features art and crafts and food vendors. 

Here's the full musical lineup for the fest:

Saturday, June 22


12:30 p.m. Pride drag show

2 p.m. Aubrey O'Day, former Danity Kane singer

3 p.m. Pride drag show

4:30 p.m. Jessica Sutta, former Pussycat Doll

5:30 p.m. Pride drag show

6:30 p.m. Blu Cantrell

7 p.m. Pride drag show

8 p.m. Sasha Gradiva

8:30 p.m. Xelle

9 p.m. Dev


1 p.m. Tandem 6

2:30 pm. Chicago Gay Men's Chorus

3:30 p.m. Chicago Spirit Brigade

6 p.m. Wedding Banned

7:30 p.m. Windy City Cowboys

8 p.m. Rock Candy

Sunday, June 23


Noon Miss Foozie's Pet Parade Registration and Start

1 p.m. Pride drag show

2:30 p.m. Deborah Cox

3 p.m. Pride drag show

4 p.m. Ultra Nate

5 p.m. Inaya Day

6 p.m. Neon Hitch

7 p.m. Sandy B.

8 p.m. Janice Robinson and Tameka Starr


1 p.m. Miss Foozie's Pet Parade Contest

2 p.m. HAG

3:45 p.m. Chicago Spirit Brigade

4 p.m. The Personnel

6 p.m. Rod Tuffcurls

7:30 p.m. Sixteen Candles