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The Chicago Pride Parade, also colloquially called the Chicago Gay Pride Parade, is the annual gay pride parade held on the last Sunday of June in Chicago, Illinois in the United States. It is considered the culmination of the larger Gay Pride Month, as promulgated by the Chicago City Council and Mayor of Chicago.
The first parade was organized in 1969 upon the establishment of Boystown, Chicago, the nation's first government-recognized gay village. The parade takes place through the main streets of Lake View East, a neighborhood enclave of the Lakeview community area. Recent parades have started at noon on Halsted Street, proceeding north from Belmont Avenue, passing the Center on Halsted at Waveland; south on Broadway Avenue (at Grace) to Diversey Avenue and east on Diversey Avenue to Cannon Drive.
With the increasing political participation of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans and the community's relatively high financial resources through political action groups and as individual donors, Illinois politicians have increased their presence at the Chicago Pride Parade. Both the Illinois Democratic and Republican Parties are heavily represented, most noticeably by current Governor Rod Blagojevich, a Democrat, and Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka, a Republican. Both have strong support from many gay and lesbian groups.
The 2007 parade was the 38th annual parade. The 2005 parade included 250 entries and was attended by over 400,000 spectators. Among them were several marching bands, dance troupes, twirlers, and many political figures.
Annual Parade Details Edit
- 1985: (17th) Attendance: 35,000
- 1986: (18th) Attendance:
- 1987: (19th) Attendance:
- 1988: (20th) Attendance:
- 1989: (21st) Attendance:
- 1990: (22nd) Attendance: 100,000
- 1991: (23rd) Attendance:
- 1992: (24th) Attendance: 115,000
- 1993: (25th) Attendance: 140,000
- 1994: (26th) Attendance: 150,000
- 1995: (27th) Attendance: 175,000
- 1996: (28th) Attendance: 150,000
- 1997: (29th) Attendance: 200,000
- 1998: (30th) Attendance: 200,000+
- 1999: (31st) Attendance: 250,000
- 2001: (32nd) Attendance: 350,000
- 2002: (33rd) Attendance: 350,000
- 2003: (34th) Grand Marshall Billy Bean Attendance: 375,000
- 2004: (35th) Grand Marshall Esera Tuaolo Attendance: 375,000
- 2005: (36th) Grand Marshall Wilson Cruz Attendance: 450,000
- 2006: (37th) Grand Marshall George Takei Attendance: 400,000
- 2007: (38th) Grand Marshall John Amaechi Attendance: 450,000
- 2008: (39th) "Live, Love, Be Proud"; Eric Alva;
- June 28th, 2009: (40th) "Stonewall: 40 Years After"; Grand Marshal Alexandra Billings; Attendance: 500,000
- June 27th, 2010: (41st) "One heart, One world, one pride"; Grand Marshal Chely Wright; Attendance: 450,000  
- June 26th, 2011: (42nd) Grand Marshal Fernanda Rocha; Attendance: 750,000 
- June 24th, 2012: (43rd) Grand Marshal Evan Wolfson of Freedom to Marry; Attendance: 850,000 
Unless otherwise noted attendance estimates are from Chicago Sun-Times Archives estimates
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