Wednesday, October 5, 2011

2012 Pride Parade To Start In Uptown

After massive crowds and uncontrolled drinking, the start time and route for the 2012 Pride Parade are being altered according to this story in the Chicago Sun-Times today. While the 10 a.m. start time is two hours earlier than usual in an effort to curb drinking, the modify route puts the start of the parade at the intersection of Broadway, Montrose and Sheridan, heading south on Broadway before turning on Halsted at Grace. This will directly impact thousands of Uptown residents, not only with streets closures due to the parade, but presumably the floats will be staged in Uptown on Broadway north of Montrose.

Here is some additional information from the Chicago Sun-Times article:

The number of entries will be reduced from 250 to 200 to shorten the duration of the parade and return the streets to neighborhood residents sooner.

And the route of the parade will be lengthened five blocks — from 17 to 22 — and dramatically altered to stagger crowds, add two CTA L stations to accommodate arriving spectators and reduce neighborhood choke points.

The city’s second-largest parade used to begin at Belmont and Halsted, travel north on Halsted to Grace before making a V-turn back down Broadway from Grace to Diversey.

That prompted complaints from area residents that the parade created, what Tunney called a “dangerous situation” that cut off access to emergency vehicles and made it difficult for area residents to get home.

The new route will begin at the corner of Montrose and Broadway and travel south on Broadway to Halsted before turning east on Belmont, south on Broadway and east on Diversey to Canon Drive.

The change will undoubtedly bring thousands of parade watchers to our neighborhood, and hopefully shed a positive light on Uptown. What do Uptown Update readers think of this parade reroute?

Update:  Here's a more in-depth article from Windy City Times:  "Responding to a steep jump in attendance and chaos at last year's Pride Parade, parade officials announced several changes intended to curtail public drinking and disburse crowds over a larger section of the neighborhood."


  1. I think it's great! This way I can ride in the parade right from my front door :)

  2. I can`t wait to have all the noise and crowds at my door so early in the morning. If your a bar or liquor store you probably make a killing on that day. I might not like everything about the altered parade route but I do know it sure is a fun thing to see.

  3. This makes sense to me. I never understood how they could get away with essentially trapping everyone in that triangle area with those barricades. People do need to get around that day. Hopefully, this will make the route more manageable and alleviate the terrible congestion. @Wiseguy, there are no liquor stores open before noon on Sunday, so this wont really affect their business. The parade will probably be over by then.

  4. @Kshizzle Bars/liquor stores can sell alcohol starting @11 am on Sundays, 7am all other days.

  5. Luv it just luv it!!!! Now I don't have to walk down the block. In 2012 I can walk out of my door and see the BEST parade in chicago. Pride at it's best!!!!

  6. This sounds Great to me. It is a wonderful parade, and to have move closer to home is great!!!! WOOT!!

  7. Setting aside my other views on the parade and its logistics, I would hope that we pay close attention to the quality of the post-parade cleanup effort.

    The last thing we need in Uptown is more litter...and just because the parade time will be earlier does not mean people won't be drinking, it just means they won't be drunk yet.

  8. AND mabie that will attract some NICE restruants on the line of Tom boy, a few gay-lesban bars or better yet clubs, omg a slow take over!!!! THEN the rest will move. What a nice vision...I don't mean to sound discriminative but you don't see too many gays and lesbans killing eachother, shooting eachother, robbing eachother on and on and on. Not saying we don't have our own set of problems but it's better than what we have here and now...sooo mabie uptown will be the future up and comming gay and lesban neighborhood. Wink wink.

  9. @Millie's, I was not aware of that. Whenever I've tried buying at Dominicks on Foster and Sheridan before noon, they have refused me. I never understood the purpose of limiting sales on Sunday anyway. Seems a little too preachy to me...

  10. Bah humbug.

    I believe that moving the start point of the parade is a classist/racist move to increase the velocity of gentrification in Uptown.

    The indigenous people of Uptown will not be moved.

    This is merely a continuing step in the obfuscation of the true paradigm of cultural cleansing, that is happening as the settler community moves in to displace the native peoples.

    It's UPtown, not YUPtown.

  11. Seriously,

    if this were an everyday thing I would be A friggin Palled.

    One day I can handle. It's really just a few hours of inconvenience.

    The center of population in the gay community seems to have moved north, while the commercial areas remain in "boystown", but if we can poach some of their businesses that will be fine with me.

    We need more businesses in Uptown and we need more people living and visiting here.

  12. 800,000 in attendance this year!? Wow, what a morph - there were maybe 200 marchers and 1000 watching at my first Chicago parade forty years ago. (along with cat calls, jeers and even a few raw eggs tossed). Ah, those were the days.

  13. I ended up witnessing three pretty horrific fights, one of them where somebody was thrown down the stairs at this year's Pride, I think I am done with that nonsense. No thanks!

  14. @IP: Yep, it's UPtown, not YUPtown...but it's becoming more and more GUPtown (which is very VERY fine with me)!

    As far as lining up floats (and other units)--yes, they will certainly line up some along the west side of Broadway north of Montrose...but I think that they will also use a big chunk of the south side of Montrose, especially along Graceland Cemetery's wall (because there are no revenue-generating METERED PARKING spots and no businesses demanding free passage for non-GLBT customers there). 200+ units at an average of 75 feet each equates to pretty close to 3 miles. We're going to have a LOT of people here, folks!

  15. I will make sure I am out of town this weekend. ugh! 800,000 people yikes.

  16. I just hope Uptown doesn't become the Porto-Potty-O-Da-Party. Maybe the old KFC can be Porta Potti-Plaza? I'm sure they will figure it out.

    I've never actually seen the pride parade, not that I don't enjoy a good Bacchanalia.....many Mardi Gras times.,, Southern Decadence Parade a coupla times, and the Krewe du Vieux years..... better stop there it gets crazy. Lets just say I don't blush easily anymore...hehe

    Straightening out the route is right out of the New Orleans Carnival playbook.

    It looks like the organizers are trying to tone it down, the fate of the once great South-Side Irish Parade teaches us: Don't take it for granted. Chicago isn't New Orleans and there is a lot less tolerance for revelry. Imagine a parade in Chi-town at night and almost every night for a couple weeks, it will never happen, a sad commentary.

    Thinking about this new development and....there is a damn good way Uptown could make some money on this for local businesses and non-profits beyond the nominal and incidental sales and parking.

  17. Generally speaking, I think it was the right thing to do. I do believe an earlier and shorter parade along a longer more dispersed route will result in fewer drunken incidents. It will be a lot closer to home and while we won't be able to properly watch it from the living room, we will be able to see it.

  18. A later start would make more sense. People party all night until bars close at 5 AM, then they have brunch with more alcohol to go so when the parade starts they are still drunk and high. A later afternoon start would be better like 2pm. Then people would sleep a little.

  19. I see comments from a few businesses on Broadway in Lakeview that they are upset about the route change because they depend on the parade customers and now they're not on the route anymore. While I feel for them, I certainly hope Uptown businesses take advantage of the large number of people who will be in our neighborhood on Pride Day, and make them welcome.

    I marched in last year's parade, and we had to line up two hours early. We were excellent customers of the businesses located where were were waiting. Certainly the restaurants, and other businesses, in the area should be ready for pre- and post-parade clientele. What an economic boom this could turn out to be for our community.

  20. I'm more than a little miffed at the cops and Tunney for the changes. Their comments put all the blame on the parade attendees, and none on the horrible missteps by the planners, and the cops and others responsible for managing the overflow. There were a handful of fights at the Lakefront this year--did they blame them on everyone at the beach? Did skirmishes at the Taste move the cops to close it down? Not so much.