Drive-through the preferred option for June's suburban Pride celebrations
When it comes to this year's Pride celebrations, especially suburban celebrations, the preferred mode remains drive-through, and COVID-19 precautions remain in place.
Organizers are sponsoring drive-by parades in Aurora, Buffalo Grove, Waukegan and Wheaton, and are encouraging participants to decorate their homes or vehicles in solidarity.
For some events, screenings, face coverings and proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test may be required.
• Buffalo Grove's Pride Drive will take place from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday throughout several neighborhoods featuring decorated homes and lawns. Founded in 2019 as the Buffalo Grove Pride Parade by teenager Molly Pinta and organized by her parents Carolyn and Bob Pinta, the parade was re-imagined last year as a Pride Drive in response to the pandemic. Routes are available on the Pinta family's website at pintaprideproject.com.
• Waukegan's Pride Drive, co-sponsored by the community organization Waukegan Friends, will take place from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday in the vicinity of 236 W. Clayton St. in downtown Waukegan. See waukeganfriends.org.
• Out In Fox Valley, an LGBTQ+ organization located in the Tri-Cities, hosts 2021's Pride on the Fox celebration Saturday, June 12, at Bulldog's Cellar Bar & Grill, 1 E. Wilson St., Batavia. The event commences with a riverfront barbecue at 2 p.m. and concludes with a dance and drag party at 9 p.m. See outinfoxvalley.com.
• Aurora will host its second Aurora Pride Drive from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, June 13. Organizers encourage residents, business owners and clergy members to decorate their homes, businesses and houses of worship in support of the event. Donation boxes will be located along the route to collect nonperishable food items to benefit the Aurora Area Interfaith Food Pantry. See aurorapride.org.
• Elk Grove Village's second Pride Celebration will take place at 3 p.m. Saturday, June 13, at Prince of Peace United Methodist Church, 1400 Arlington Heights Road.
• Woodstock will host a family-friendly Pride Fest Parade from 11 a.m. to noon Sunday, June 13, at Woodstock Square, 121 W. Van Buren St. The socially distanced parade includes walkers, riders and floats. Post-parade activities include entertainment and food vendors. Masks are required. See woodstockilchamber.com.
• OUTspoken Leaders, which supports LGBTQ+ youth and young adults, will host a Wheaton/Glen Ellyn Drive By Pride Parade from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday, June 27. Organizers encourage participants to decorate cars and residences for the hybrid event, which executive director Jacob Kniep says will be livestreamed on the #WelcomeHome app available through Apple or Google Play. The app also includes information on other village Pride events.
• Grammy Award-winner Chaka Khan is among the headliners that will be performing at Chicago's Pride in the Park celebration from 2 to 10 p.m. Saturday, June 26, and 3 to 10 p.m. Sunday, June 27, at Butler Field in Grant Park, Lake Shore Drive and E. Monroe Street, Chicago. Additional performers include DJs Gryffin and Tiesto, Australian singer/songwriter Betty Who and famed Chicago producer Derrick Carter. Proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 PCR test within three days is required for admission. Face coverings are required. General admission tickets are $45 per day or $85 for both days. VIP tickets are $125 per day or $225 for both days. Prices do not include service or handling fees. See prideintheparkchicago.com.
• Equality Downers Grove is teaming up with local stores and restaurants to commemorate Pride Month. The windows of some downtown businesses will feature paintings by local artists. Louisa's & Millie's, Fair Game, Anderson's Bookshop and other businesses are selling Pride merchandise. Pride picnics-to-go are available at Cadence, The Foxtail and Pierce Tavern weekends through June. A portion of the sales will go to Youth Outlook, an agency that supports LGBTQ+ young people. For more information and other activities, see youth-outlook.org.
• The celebration doesn't end in June. Naper Pride will host "Naper Pride Fest -- Together Under the Big Top" from noon to 10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 11, and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 12, at Naper Settlement, 523 S. Webster St., Naperville. The circus-themed fest includes music from regional and national bands, circus performers and traditional big top fare. Admission is to be determined. See naperpride.org.