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Pride in the Park resumes at Grant Park with no storms expected


By Jesse Kirsch and Alexis McAdams

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    CHICAGO (WLS) — Pride celebrations are back underway mnow that the weekend storms have passed the Chicago area.

Weather issues in Chicago put the Pride in the Park festivities on pause Saturday, but the festivities resumed Sunday.

The sound of the bass flooding downtown for Pride in the Park Sunday was a stark contrast to the flooding the city saw Saturday.

Musical acts took to the stage as Chicagoans enjoy the first big music event in the city.

“I am so pleased to see how great it is that Pride came downtown and so many great music acts,” said Mark Kelly with the Cultural Affairs and Special Events in Chicago.

Chaka Kahn belted out her hits as the crowds kept growing for the city’s largest Pride event so far this year.

“I think it is an incredible statement. Everyone came out for the community,” Cody DeVine added.

Last year, Pride events were canceled due to COVID restrictions. This year, the Chicago Pride Parade has been moved to October.

“We are all here celebrating. It is still Pride no matter the month. We are all together,” said Alina Petresu.

Pride events taking place across the city, but Sunday afternoon, the Pride Without Prejudice group marched to demand better protection for those in the LGBTQ community.

“We are here to take back our Pride parade, make sure that we include all communities — not just the white community in Boystown,” said Freds Roberts Ramirez.

Over on the Southside, the Urban Pride Parade got underway in Jackson Park with a focus on bringing people together.

Back at Grant Park, vendors set up as people tracked through the mud.

“We are proud, rain or shine, DeVine said.

Pride in the Park is just the first of many events on the list this summer.

“Boy have they been taxed, Kelly said. “Everyone wants to go live and everyone needs their permits.”

There is a packed schedule as the city continues toward a COVID recovery.

Severe weather hit the Chicago area with tornado warnings and flash flooding. Sirens could be heard going off in Chicago neighborhoods, and Lake Shore Drive was impassable at times.

Some people were already on their way to the event when the severe weather moved into the area and they received a warning.

“We actually got it when we were coming to our hotel, and we were like, ‘What the heck did we get ourselves into,’ you know, and then the alarms were going off,” said Evangelina Gonzales, event attendee.

“Everybody was running in the streets, and the wind and the rain was like spiraling on the ground. It was really, really scary,” said Starr Hill, event attendee.

“The wind was whipping everywhere and the rain was coming down, and then like 30 phones all went off for the tornado warning, take cover,” said Bryann Bradley, event attendee. “People acted normal. I’m the only one panicking. ‘Should we get off? Should we not?’ The winds whipping but rain or shine,” said Kelsey Brooks, event attendee.

The festival is expected to start in Grant Park at 3 p.m. Sunday.

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