The 19th annual Pride Fest took over Boystown running down Halsted St. from Addison to Grace on June 22 and 23. The weather remained unpredictable over the weekend ranging from sunny, cloudy and dark to downpours of rain with varying temperatures. This became a challenge for many scheduled performers, although the rain only slightly delayed some set times.
The packed two-day festival had musicians singing on three stages with pop songs from Betty Who and country pop on Sunday night with LeAnn Rimes. Drag performers such as Khloe, Mimi Marks and Ruff n' Stuff kept the crowd entertained at the Papa John's North Stage. Miss Foozie's Pet Parade was bigger than ever and this year was the first time for 103.5 KISS FM's Rainbow Run that had contestants running in heels to hopefully take home $1,000.
Some of the major sponsors to the festival included Bud Light, Nissan and U.S. Bank.
New additions this year included Papa John's Pizza and a United States Olympic Team activation. Among the many vendor booths there were a few that sold thirst quenching beverages including samples from the fiber infused hellowater and Barefoot Wines had a huge two-story deck for a view of the surroundings. Official merchandise for Pride Fest was also sold at several locations along the way.
A $10 suggested donation benefitted the Northhalsted Business Alliance that works to stimulate the district's commerce. Stay tuned to NorthHalsted.com for information on next year's Pride Fest and the upcoming Northhalsted Market Days street festival on Aug. 10 and 11.