Pride Parade anticipates increased attendance in wake of DOMA ruling

Sunday's march likely to exceed 850,000 spectators

  • Parade organizers this year expect to see an increase over 2012's attendance of 850,000 people.
Parade organizers this year expect to see an increase over 2012's… (Brock Brake/ For RedEye )
June 26, 2013|By Kate Bernot, @redeyeeatdrink | RedEye

Nice timing, Supreme Court.

As anyone with an internet connection likely saw this morning, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, meaning that federal law can no longer deny benefits to same-sex couples who are married in states where gay marriage is legal.

The historic ruling comes five days ahead of Chicago's Pride Parade, an event that the city estimates drew 850,000 spectators last year.

Parade organizer Richard Pfeiffer expects that number to grow this year in light of the Supreme Court's ruling.

"People are filling up with so much pride now," Pfeiffer said. "I would expect there would be more attendance."

Though the number of floats will remain the same as last year at around 70, and the number of groups marching in the parade also will stay the same at around 204, Pfeiffer said each group may recruit more marchers than in years past.

"Traditionally, there are about 25-30 marchers per group, with some as large as 75, but we could expect more this year," Pfeiffer said. "And with spectators, more people may be bringing more friends and family."

The parade begins at noon and travels through the Uptown and Lakeview neighborhoods. Parade organizers urge attendees to take public transportation and arrive early for the best spots.

"I know there are people there at 8 a.m. lining up against the barricades," Pfeiffer said. "We hope people get there at a decent hour to see it."

More parade information can be found at chicagopridecalendar.org and in RedEye's weekend festival planner.

kbernot@tribune.com | @redeyeeatdrink

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