Celebrate Pride this weekend at Navy Pier’s 2nd Annual Pier Pride on Saturday, June 24, by enjoying a full day of Pride activities along the lakefront. Free and open to the public, this family-friendly event is the largest Pride celebration in Chicago outside of the Lakeview neighborhood.
As part of the celebration, Navy Pier looks forward to welcoming back The NAMES Project’s AIDS Memorial Quilt. The internationally-renowned quilt, featuring Chicago-centric panels, will once again be on display for public viewing through Sunday, June 25 in the lower-level corridor below Festival Hall. As a special addition to this year’s showcase, nearly 50 original and powerful photographs from the inaugural 1988 Quilt exhibit at Navy Pier, captured by photographer Lisa Howe-Ebright, will also be on display for public viewing.
Pier Pride Highlights Include:
- 12 p.m.: On June 24, Pier Pride will officially kick off at noon with a fitness class at the base of the Wave Wall staircase that connects the South Dock to Pier Park, where the Centennial Wheel is located. Fitness Formula Club will lead guests through “The Big Gay Get-In-Shape,” a 20-minute high-intensity workout session.
- 12:30 p.m.: Following the fitness class, children and families are invited to gather at the Wave Wall for Story Time with Drag Queens, presented by Muffy Fishbasket. The drag queens will read various storybooks to children throughout the day and be available for photos with the children and their parents following story time.
- 1 p.m: Popular local drag queen, “Charlene Unger from Berwyn, Ill.,” will emcee the day’s program and perform several musical numbers alongside the Ungertones. The Lakeside Pride Marching Band will also be on hand for a live performance and grand parade down the South Dock, while Young Chicago Authors’ Louder Than a Bomb, the world’s largest youth poetry slam competition, will conduct a Pride-themed poetry reading called “Prouder Than a Bomb.”
- 5:30 p.m.: In the evening, social justice educator, diversity professional and international keynote speaker Precious Davis will commence Chicago’s Big Fat Gay Wedding, the largest same-sex wedding in the city, as she officiates a series of marriage ceremonies for LGBTQ couples along the South Dock, against the stunning backdrop of Lake Michigan and the iconic Chicago skyline. Interested couples can bring their marriage certificates and get legally married at the Pier.
- 5:30 p.m.: Live entertainment will continue throughout the evening at the Miller Lite Beer Garden with a full lineup of local talent, including highly acclaimed DJs, Ron Geronimo and Grammy Award-nominated remixer, composer and producer Ralphi Rosario. The program in the Miller Lite Beer Garden will also feature Chicago stars Taylor Bennett, popular hip hop artist and brother of Grammy Award winner Chance The Rapper, and Big Dipper, “the raunchy big boy bear of rap,” whose crazy antics and unique performances have landed him as one of ”Hip Hop’s Queer Pioneers” by DETAILS magazine.
- 9:30 p.m.: The festivities will conclude with a special dance performance by samba dancer and instructor Edilson Lima and company, followed by a disco-themed firework show as part of Navy Pier’s Aon Summer Fireworks.