Pride in the Park Chicago,which debuted in 2019, is a one-of-a-kind LGBTQ+ Pride celebration held annually in Grant Park in the Illinois city’s downtown. Committed to “delivering all-star lineups, iconic performances, and unrivaled partnerships with diverse queer and allied small businesses,” the 2021 event welcomed more than 30,000 attendees. Visitors last year enjoyed performances by Tiësto, Gryffin, Chaka Khan, Tracy Young, Betty Who, Mila Jam, legendary drag queens, and more.
The event returns to Chicago for another unforgettable two-day celebration on June 25-26. The 2022 headlinerslineup includes Alesso, the Grammy-nominated DJ, singer/songwriter Daya, and fashion Icon and musician Shea Couleé. (Find the full 2022 Pride in the Park Chicago lineup here.)
“We’re so excited that we can bring back the Pride in the Park experience,” Dusty Carpenter, the lead organizer of this year’s event, said in a statement to the press.
That experience will again be a partnership with CircuitMom Productions, the events company run by Matthew Harvat, whose alter-ego, the drag star Circuit Mom, has become an iconic presence in dance music festivals around the world.
“It was humbling to see the overwhelming support and enthusiasm it received last year,” Carpenter tells Out Traveler. “So we are most definitely committed to putting together an even greater experience this year.”
Part of that will come with the return of Chicago’s Pride parade, back after a pandemic hiatus. As Carpenter looks forward to the June event, he says it’s the community that really makes Pride in the Park what it is.
“It’s the community that showed up and showed out while being able to live their truth in such an embracing environment,” he says. “As much as we celebrate Pride today as a party, it started as a protest by a courageous Black trans woman, which immediately gained momentum as the queer community marched in the streets — now leading to the Pride Parades we see today. And now with the legendary Chicago Pride Parade making a return that Sunday, it’s so meaningful that after the parade people can come downtown to continue the celebration.”
This piece initially appeared in Out Traveler print issue Summer 2022. Find our run down of 2022 Pride events here.