Chicago's LGBTQ Pride Parade, the third largest in the nation, has been postponed due to the COVID-19 crisis.
"We are sad to announce that the annual Pride Parade will not take place this year on June 28," parade coordinator Tim Frye said in a statement issued Wednesday. "We announce this postponement in the hope that conditions will allow the parade to take place later this summer or early fall."
"Safety is the first priority for our participants in the parade; the hundreds of thousands of spectators; as well as all the city agencies and independent contractors that work so hard to make the parade a success every year," he continued. Even if rescheduling the 2020 parade is not possible, "the Pride Parade will be back in 2021 and for years to come," he said. Chicago's parade trails only New York's and San Francisco's in terms of size.
Also, the city's Pride Fest, a street festival set for the weekend before the parade, has been tentatively rescheduled for Labor Day weekend, said officials with the Northalsted Business Alliance, which organizes the event. The group is working on virtual programming for June and still plans to hold another popular street fair, Northalsted Market Days, August 8-9.
Frye had hoped this year's parade would be a tribute to his late husband, Richard Pfeiffer, who was parade coordinator for many years and died of cancer last October. Frye said he also recognized the parade's importance to the LGBTQ community, especially at a time of crisis. Delaying the event "was a decision I hated to make, but I didn't see any other way," he told Windy City Times.
New York and San Francisco have already canceled their Prides due to the health situation, and organizers are looking at ways to celebrate online. Los Angeles has postponed its event.