All over the world, Pride celebrations take place throughout June, which is known as Pride Month. Since the start of the modern LGBTQ+ liberation movement—following the Stonewall Riots in 1969— hundreds of independent Pride events have sprung up in cities worldwide, each distinctly tied in some way to the foundational movement.
After over 50 years of Pride celebrations, it’s easy to find a way to celebrate that feels best to you. From parties and picnics to festivals and parades, here is a list of Pride celebrations around Illinois:
Quad Cities PrideFest (June 3-4)
Held in Schwiebert Riverfront Park, The Quad Cities PrideFest is a weekend full of live music, local vendors, drag performances and burlesque, with a special appearance by Heidi N Closet.
Rockford Pride (June 4)
Begin Pride Month festivities at the Rockford Pride Month Kick Off Party, where you can enjoy food, music, drinks, keynote speakers and pop-up drag performances. For the 21 and over crowd who want to keep the celebration going, stick around for Pride Drag Show After Dark.
Lake County PrideFest (June 4)
Lake County PrideFest is one of the area’s most highly anticipated summer events—with this year’s event touted to be bigger and better than ever. Get ready for drag shows, music, a beer tent, food trucks and special activities for kids.
Buffalo Grove Pride Parade and Picnic (June 5)
Step out to the fourth annual family-friendly Buffalo Grove Pride Parade. At the age of 12, the now 16-year-old Molly Pinta of Buffalo Grove attended Aurora's inaugural Pride Parade, which inspired her to create one for her hometown. Following the parade, attendees are invited to the Buffalo Grove Pride Picnic for food trucks, drinks, face painting, lawn games and DJ entertainment.
Ottawa PrideFest (June 11)
Ottawa is gearing up for its first-ever PrideFest in the city’s historic downtown district featuring a drag show and live music. Guests can also browse unique products made by local vendors, enjoy food from local restaurants and even witness a pet parade!
Galena Pride Picnic (June 11)
The second annual Galena Pride Picnic in Grant Park will feature a full agenda including live music, drag queen story time, tai chi and a meet and great with goats! Take in the amazing scenery of the Galena area while supporting a great cause in an inclusive environment. Check out even more ways to celebrate in Galena country.
Woodstock Pride (June 11-12)
Woodstock Pride is an all-day celebration beginning with a parade and ending with a fabulous closing ceremony, all in Historic Woodstock Square. If live entertainment, vendors and food trucks aren’t enough, extend the fun with pride-themed events throughout the weekend, including a Rainbow Run and Pride Pub Crawl on June 11 and Pride Promenade all weekend long!
Aurora Pride Festival and Parade (June 12)
The third annual Aurora Pride Parade begins at noon on June 12, progressing from Benton Street to Broadway Avenue to Downer Place to River Street. This annual event is a celebration of and for the LGBTQ community of Aurora, the surrounding area, and its allies.
Chicago Pride Festival (June 18-19)
One of the country’s biggest Pride Festivals, the Chicago Pride Fest will be held in the iconic Northalsted neighborhood on June 18-19, leading up to the city’s annual Pride Parade on June 26. The festival features live music by popular artists on three stages, food and drinks, 150+ arts and crafts vendors, dancing and DJs, drag shows, a pet parade, sponsor booths, games, giveaways and more. This year’s musical performers include CupcakKe, Dorian Electra, Alaska Thunderf*ck, Netta, and The Aces.