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THINGS TO DO: 2nd Annual Pier Pride Event

Friday, June 23, 2017 Jen Lezan

Readers, Chicago's Navy Pier is doing it again! In honor of Pride month - Chicago’s Navy Pier is having their 2nd Annual Pier Pride Event taking place the day before the annual Pride Parade on Saturday, June 24 with a full day of Pride activities along the lakefront. The events are free and open to the public, the family-friendly event is the largest Pride celebration in Chicago outside of the Lakeview neighborhood. 

Images courtesy of Navy Pier & Zeno Group

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 be on display for public viewing from Saturday, June 17 through Sunday, June 25 in the lower-level corridor below Festival Hall, near Riva Crab house. 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.

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. 

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 dayandbe available for photos with the children and their parents following story time! It's sure to be a fun filled day featuring family friendly opportunities to show support for the local LGBTQ community!

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 LGBT 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.

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”.

To see the full line up of events and learn more you can check out the Navy Pier Website HERE!

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