Over 450,000 individuals turned out for Chicago's 38th Annual Gay and Lesbian Pride Parade, held June 24 along its usual Lakeview route. The number of attendees topped last year's parade by over 50,000.
Click below for Pride Photo Gallery Pics by Kat Fitzgerald, Tracy Baim, Robb Olson, Ross Forman, and Kizzy. www.windycitymediagroup.com/Pride2007/pages/1Altoids.html
The parade kicked off with the lead car occupied by out former NBA player John Amaechi, the grand marshal. He was followed by dozens of politicians, including such familiar names as State Reps. Greg Harris and Sara Feigenholtz. Other officials in the parade included a colorful U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky, Illinois Lieutenant Gov. Pat Quinn, 44th Ward Ald. Tom Tunney, Clerk of Cook County Circuit Court Dorothy Brown and Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart.
According to the Chicago Police's news affairs division, no arrests were made this year. The statistic stands in stark contrast to the 2006 parade, when there were 16 arrests.
There were 250 registered entries for the event, which had the theme 'United for Equality.' PRIDEChicago presented awards in categories for:
—Best All Around Float: The float for the nightspot Sidetrack won for its visual presentation.
—Best Business Float: This award came down to a tie between Hydrate ( for energy and presentation ) and Stolichnaya ( for its unique entry ) .
—Best Organization Floats: For the second consecutive year, Columbia College won, this time for its '60s parody float. Last year, it tied with the Lake View East Chamber of Commerce.
Honorable mention went to Circuit Nightclub and the Illinois Lottery.
Parade day was topped off with ABC-7 Chicago's one-hour show at 11:35 p.m. that showed taped highlights from this year's parade. This was the fourth consecutive year that ABC-7 aired a taped broadcast of the parade.
See photos throughout this issue and online at www.windycitymediagroup.com . Also see pics in Nightspots.
Parade Arrest Report
According to Chicago Police Department News Affairs Officer Marcel Bright, the police have not been notified of any major incidents, arrests or disturbances that occured during the parade route ( as of press time ) .
'Each year the parade gets tamer,' Bright told Windy City Times. 'Nothing major happened, for sure.'
However, there were a few minor incidents that took place during the parade. Around 3 p.m., two protesters told police they were attacked at the 3300 block of N. Halsted by two women who fled on foot. They were not seriously injured.
Also, two people were charged with misdemeanor battery charges: Jennifer Cox, 25, accused of repeatedly striking a woman in the nose; and Brian Morales, 21, accused of scratching a man on the arm with a screwdriver.
In another incident, Mike Carr, Jr., reported to Windy City Times that police arrested his partner, Fred Bachuber, after the latter accepted a Bible from someone at Pine Grove and Diversey, located at the stretch of the parade route where anti-gay protesters congregate annually. Carr said that Bachuber has been charged with disorderly conduct and has a court date.