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Pride Fest Chicago goes virtual
2020-06-24

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Chicago's beloved annual Pride Fest made the move to Twitch for a special Virtual Pride Fest, presented by Northalsted Business Alliance and Gilead Sciences.

The virtual fest streamed on the platform over two nights, Saturday, June 20 and Sunday, June 21. Each night offered special surprises, like a last-minute drop-in on June 20 by pop star Nick Jonas.

Sunday's stream kicked off with some special words from hostess Ruff 'n Stuff, who thanked Gilead as well as the beneficiaries of the event, Brave Space Alliance, Affinity, Center on Halsted and Howard Brown Health.

From there, they kicked it Sidetrack-style, with hosts Dixie Lynn Cartwright and Dida Ritz, who presented video shorts from performers Aunty Chan, Saya Naomi, Krissy Feetface, as well as a video by Dida herself and another featuring Dixie with Alexis Bevels, in a modern take on The Parent Trap.

Festival staple Boy Band Review offered a few familiar numbers. They were followed by local gay country favorite Steve Grand, who played two songs, including a touching cover of Elton John's "Tiny Dancer."

A brief but bright spot in the evening's festivities was a quick greeting from Broadway diva Billy Porter.

Chicago's own trans rising rap star KC Ortiz chimed in for a jam or two.

From there, it was a deep dive into Black Girl Magic, the groundbreaking drag and performance collective organized by The Vixen, who told the poignant story of the formation of the show and relayed the importance of creating a space run and populated by exclusively Black artists. This sentiment was echoed by fellow performers Kenzie Coulee, Sasha Love, Miss Toto, Shea Coulee, Dida Ritz, Lucy Stoole, Bambi Banks-Coulee and Khloe Coulee.

The evening ended with another festival go-to, Catfight, and some parting jams from DJ Metro.

Get more info at pridefestchicago.com/ .


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