=On June 24, thousands of people journeyed to Navy Pier's Pier Pride for a day filled with fun and entertainment along the lakefront.
Guests were able to participate in activities such as Pride face painting, "Story Time with Drag Queens," fitness classes and more. The day also included live performances from poets and rappers during the event's "Prouder than a Bomb" segment. Chicago rapper Taylor Bennett also hit the stage with music from his new project, Restoration of an American Idol.
Pier Pride not only provided live entertainment but a little love as well. Several same-sex couples could be seen along the pier in a mass wedding ceremony in what was called "Chicago's Big Fat Gay Wedding."
One of the bigger highlights of the day was the return of the NAMES Project's AIDS Memorial Quilt. The quiltone of the world's longest art projectswas made by Chicago-based organizations and individuals ato honor the lives of those lost to the disease. The quilt was once on display at Navy Pier in 1988 but made its way back for Pier Pride.
Overall, Navy Pier perfectly executed an inclusive pride celebration despite the presence of some guests who wore apparel showing their dislike for homosexuality. However, the night ended with disco-themed fireworks and plenty of smiles.