53rd Chicago Pride Parade
Sunday, June 30th
- WHAT: 2024 Chicago Area Mensa Rainbow Pride Parade and Luncheon afterward.
- WHO: You, your family, and any friends who might want to join you.
- WHEN: Sunday, June 30th.
- TIME: Line up begins around 11 AM and continues until noon, but feel free to arrive earlier if it’s more convenient or you like socializing. We will make a concerted effort to make sure new participants meet other new participants and the rest of the group. The group photo will be taken at ~12:10 PM.
- WHERE: The line-up is north of the intersection of Montrose and Broadway in Chicago (where the parade starts). We will know the exact location about one week before the parade. Everyone who RSVPs will be notified of the exact location a few days before. The Parade Route will snake south through the north side of Chicago on Broadway and then Halsted to Belmont, then Broadway again and end at Diversey and Sheridan (see map below).
- WHY: To show our solidarity with members of the LGBTQ++ community, their friends, families, and Allies. Expect ~1 million spectators along the route to be cheering us on.
- HOW: Because parking nearby will be almost non-existent, it’s recommended that you share a ride, use public transportation, or park further away near public transportation and use it. You can also use one of the ridesharing services but they will not be able to drop you off near Broadway—expect to walk a few blocks from wherever they can drop you off.
- T-SHIRTS: If you don’t have a shirt from last year, we had ordered extras. Shirts will be given out on a first-come, first-served basis at the April and May Monthly Gatherings as well as the day of the parade. The cost was being covered by donations from members of the Rainbow SIG.
- WEAR/BRING: Wear your CAM Mensa T-Shirt or other shirt in a bright color of the Rainbow Flag. Wear comfortable walking shoes that you’ve already broken in (you don’t want to have blisters for a week afterwards)! Wear a cross-body-strap bag containing two bottles of frozen water, sunscreen with a high SPF, your wallet with at least $25 for the luncheon afterwards (more if you’d like to enjoy one of the many cocktails available), and any personal items you might need (tissues, hat, umbrella, smart phone, camera, snack, chewing gum, etc.).
- AFTERWARDS: And like last few years, we will gather for a late private lunch after the Parade and continue to share the warm feelings before heading home. The cost of the luncheon is expected to be $25 for each member of Chicago Area Mensa and one guest as per GOBS spending guidelines. The charge for others or additional guests will be higher but not more than $50. The earliest the lunch will start is 3:30 PM. The exact time all depends upon our position in the parade. If we are at the back of the parade, the luncheon will start much later. We will know our position about one week before the parade. The venue will be within walking distance somewhere west of the end of the parade route. Everyone who RSVPs for the luncheon will be notified of both the venue and a more accurate time a few days before. You will also be asked about your menu option preference—which will be preordered. You can attend the luncheon even if you don't participate in the Parade.
If you are interested in participating this year, please RSVP by emailing
at your earliest opportunity, but no later than
Monday, June 17th,
and let us know if you will
- walk the twenty-one block route (limited to 150 people) or need to ride in the float (limited to 12 people on the float). If you plan to walk (alas, the Parade coordinators won’t allow you to walk and ride — just one or the other), it might be a good idea to start increasing the amount of walking you do in a day so you won’t develop blisters!
- want a Chicago Mensa tee shirt in size ? (if available and you haven’t picked one up at a Monthly Gathering).
- join us for the late lunch after the parade (limit is 60 people).
Below a few fellow Ms shared what they experienced or why they marched:
The Pride Parade is such an amazingly *joyous* occasion that I can’t help smiling all the way through it, and I have worn out legs, arms and face walking, waving, high-fiving and grinning.
In years past, I’ve walked the parade route. The energy from the onlookers was incredible. Afterwards, my feet didn’t hurt — my face hurt. I just couldn’t stop smiling. Try smiling for a few hours straight and see what your face feels like. Better yet, join us and you can do your smiling at the parade. It’s truly a wonderful experience.
I participate to show support and solidarity with my many LGBTQ+ friends and family members, and because, as our shirts say, “Diversity is smart.”
As a straight, cis, white, privileged weirdo dude, if anyone should be suspect at a Pride Parade, it’s me. This is the reason that I’m an Ally: there is no more profoundly spiritual experience that the human animal can experience than to be part of a group in which every person is telling every other person, as clearly and loudly and intensely as possible, “We welcome you to be here with us and to be a part of us, without condition.” This experience was humanity at its best.
I participated to show my support. What I experienced, however, was amazing. There was so much joy and love from the crowd, it inspired me to hope that perhaps someday it just might be possible for people to live in a world where it won’t matter what your gender, race, age, or sexual preference is. It was so inclusive, uplifting, and joyful — unlike anything I’ve ever had the pleasure to experience.