Tuesday, December 22, 2015

PRIDE PARADE: Organizers Propose Earlier Start Time, Fewer Entries For 2016 Parade In Boystown

The Chicago Pride Parade will continue to be held in Lakeview and Uptown in 2016, but organizers want the event to start an hour earlier than in previous years. The parade will also have 25% fewer entries in 2016. That's all according to a parade permit application filed with the city this month.


To be sure, long-time organizer Richard Pfeiffer's application is merely that—an application. However, he is in the best position to know the city's expectations and plans for the event.

In his proposal to the city, Pfeiffer says the 2016 parade will kick off at 11AM on Sunday, June 26. That is one hour earlier than its traditional noon start.

Organizers opened a can of worms in 2011 when they announced a 10AM start time and a new parade route that would have taken the boisterous march past the front doors of Our Lady of Mount Carmel church during Sunday mass. The start time was subsequently rolled back to noon.

The parade route will remain unchanged in 2016, according to Pfeiffer's application, and Mt. Carmel's latest Sunday morning mass begins at 11AM. It is not yet clear if the parade organizers have discussed their plans with church representatives. A CWB Chicago email to the church has been forwarded to church pastor Father Patrick Lee for review.
UPDATE DECEMBER 23: Alderman Tom Tunney's office is telling Mt. Carmel that the 11AM start time is an "error" and that the parade will begin at noon. That's quite a "mistake" for Pfeiffer, whose annual applications are transcribed verbatim from year-to-year (For example, compare the 2013 application to this year's). For his part, Pfeiffer says he is "talking to the alderman's office" about returning to a noon start time.
The 2016 parade will also have about 50 fewer entries than the 2015 event, with Pfeiffer estimating 150 parade units, down from the 200 he estimated in his 2015 permit application and down from the 222 units that actually participated according to organizers' final 2015 line of march.

Most of the parade cuts are being made to vehicular entries, which Pfeiffer says will be limited to 65, down from 110 last year. The number of floats is expected to drop modestly from 75 to 70, the application says.

As in all previous parade applications, Pfeiffer estimates that the parade will last 2 hours, 15 minutes—with few exceptions, that's the maximum time allowed under city ordinance. In reality, the parade lasted nearly five hours in 2015 and about three hours in 2014 and 2013.

The Pride Parade and its aftermath saw 52 arrests in 2015, up from 46 in both 2014 and 2013. Multiple stabbings and robberies were reported this year. A man was shot in a gang-related incident at Belmont and Sheffield as post-parade crowds lingered long after the 2014 event.

Concerns about safety led local aldermen to form a top secret "advisory committee" whose members are not publicly identified and whose work is not available for public review.  Not surprisingly, the aldermen all say that their handpicked committee thought the 2015 parade went beautifully.

Still to be determined is the status of an idea that was floated after the 2015 parade to host an outdoor festival along Halsted Street following the parade.

Image: torbakhopper on Flickr
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38 comments:

  1. How does starting the parade an hour earlier solve anything? How about we cut all the politicians from the parade and keep it 50% less?

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    1. Maybe it will cut down the number of people with the earlier time.
      Let's be realistic, a lot of people attending will be starting the party the night before and won't be up that early. 😊

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  2. An "outdoor party" along Halsted street following the parade? We have always had that and it lasts til about 4 AM the next morning.

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    1. By "...along Halsted..." they mean in the 3-4 blocks of residential neighborhoods running along Halsted between Belmont and Irving.

      oh...and those aren't the residents of those expensive condos and apartments having this outdoor party. Oh, no. No sir-ee, they're suburbanites, out of state visitors and people traveling to the area to take advantage of...well...whatever or whomever they can.

      But, lets keep doing it, its great!!!

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    2. They already have parties "along Halsted" every year, and it gets worse each passing year. This past "Pride" Sunday, just in my yard alone, I experienced pissing, dump-taking, vomiting, guys having sex (actually behind my building, not in the front space), shrubbery trashed, garbage strewn everywhere, and part of the fence damaged. Oh yeahhhhh, Tunney, bring it on, hell, why not see if we can cram 2 million in the neighborhood this year.

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  3. move it downtown, that will get rid of violence in the area cause you are removing the people. Also have the bars have more security in and around each bar.

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  4. Is pride already a mere 6 months away! Is it too late to plan for my getaway??

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  5. Ha ha, promise fewer floats and cars and then up the count.

    Id like to know in terms of dollars spent in policing, court and jail, street workers to close and open streets, clean up streets, tow truck drivers, etc is there any real financial benefit to the public? Yeah some bar owners and restaurants rake it in, but do the taxes collected cover all the expense to the public?

    This parade has outgrown the neighborhood and needs to go downtown.

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    1. Move it downtown. It's over crowded in Boystown with people waiting for hours just to get into sidetrack and roscoes after the parade. How about an amazing after party at the Pritzker Pavilion at Millennium Park with actual stars, instead of the has bends that host the usual Halsted street events. How about some spectacular parties at Cindy's at the Chicago Athletic CLub. Most people I know are disgusted with the current Pride Parade and avoid it all costs. It only attracts riff raff, and its time for a venue change.

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    2. Oh be nice, I heard Tiffany might be performing this year. If all goes well Huey Lewis and Rick Springfield might show up too.

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    3. And I'd be willing to bet you the parade entries that are cut will NOT be politicians or liquor distributors.

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  7. So where does the entry money end up? Is it revenue in Mr. Pfeiffer's pockets? Is an individual profiting big time from a "City of Chicago" event? And who pays for police surveillance, street cleaning, etc.? Are taxpayers financing Richard Pfeiffer's personal profits? I am asking in good faith. I just want to know.

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    1. Yep, pretty much. And its well known, that because of Pfeiffer's direct involvement and control over the years, the event is one of the most disorganized events in the city. Very little thought has been put into this event during the last several parades. You sign up, pay your fee, and are given a position which carries very little meaning on parade day. Like any long term business without direction, or insightful management, this event will die out on its own. Lets face it, this area of Lakeview missed it's opportunity to remain a unique neighborhood,and destination, due to its inability to let go of old fashioned and outdated ideas.

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    2. I'm going to assume this dude is making good money for "organizing" the parade. But we'll never see the books.

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  8. Hah! That's the first thing I thought of when I saw the earlier start time again......everyone attacking that poor church again if they made a simple, reasonable request.

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  9. There's nothing associated with that mess to be proud of. Sad. It was wonderful back in its day when it meant something.

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    1. That's how I feel too - I mean, when my friends came out it was still a big ordeal to come out and be proud to be gay. Now it's turned into TBOX with rainbow flags.

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    2. "TBOX with rainbow flags."

      Pretty much. Great comment!!

      Delete
  10. I've said this before and I'll say it again, after attending numerous gay pride parades throughout the U.S., including some rather small cities, Chicago's is a joke. The floats, marchers, narrow streets, overall atmosphere is utterly horrendous. Obviously what Chicago needs is an entirely new organizing committee. Are these people elected? How do we oust them?

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    Replies
    1. Controlled by Pfeiffer and the Boystown Gay Mafia. Art Johnston etc. All irrelevant so called GLBT leaders today. We have gay rights time to move on and assimilate in society.

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    2. Assimilation means the Boystown economy goes under. The so-called GLBT "leaders" want nothing to do with that! Keep victimhood alive--along with the sex and drugs on Halsted--and the Velvet Mafia stays in power. We might as well live in Naples, Italy.

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    3. ^Bingo. I figured this out my first 8 months in Chicago. In their favor, there will always be a perpetual slew of gay transplants from across the country that don't know any better and regard this patronization as a utopia.

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  11. Nothing about Pride all about $$ for Pfeiffer, Sidetrack, Roscoes and all the other bars.

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    1. The Tequila DS, Dive Bar, mEAT, minibar, conglomerate under Stu Zurren takes in a pretty hefty chunk of the parade profits as well, I understand.

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  12. And don't forget Tunney - $$$ into his campaign fund every time he nods his head in approval.

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  13. Some pretty good suggestions in here. Move it downtown and upgrade the quality. Let is breath. Who can deal with drunk idiots in tight spaces other than drunk idiots.

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  14. Easy fix -
    50% of all entry fees go into an escrow account. Organizers add a $50K bond.
    Deduct the following:
    - $500 per arrest
    - $500 per ambulance run
    - $500 per code violation along the route (over capacity etc.)
    - $500 per report of property damage over $300
    - $250 per ANOV
    - $250 per minute over alloted time
    - $250 per ton of trash on the street

    That should about handle it. Simple.
    .....Next

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  15. Thanks for the update on the 23'rd CWB.
    So yeah, just by looking over these applications, you can see the errors, unprofessional submission, inaccurate starting and ending times, as well as # of participants, and failure to disclose sound amplification equipment used. With all the issues surrounding the recent years event, is no one downtown fact checking this permit request and the person submitting it? Even more so, by using the term "Gay and Lesbian Pride Parade" on the application, shows you what type of outdated, if any, planning goes into this event. Based on experience, it was a big opportunity for businesses on Halsted to make money for years. Fast forward to 2015, its the only opportunity during the year to make that much money, as the community continues to struggle with its identity and direction. These days two things fuel this event: greed and booze.

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    1. You must be new in town to ask "is no one downtown fact checking this permit request and the person submitting it?" Its not the information on the app that anyone is interested in. As Royko use to phrase--Ubi est mea? or where is mine? That is the measure by which approval is given.

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  16. Well Mr. Pfeiffer, please let us know what will be done to protect the parade participants from a possible terrorist attack in the event it is kept as disorganized as it has ever been? I can picture the deaths caused by a stampede on crowded streets such as Halsted around Roscoe in the event a suicide bomber or terrorist with an automatic weapon decides to take part in the festivities. Wake up people, these days this is a real possibility!!! I would hold Pfeiffer completely responsible. Move the damned thing downtown where there will be better security and crowd control!

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  17. We live behind Ann Sather on Belmont and we leave town every year during this event. It brings out every gang member, prostitute, drug dealer, and low life from the south and west sides of town.

    Every year when we return, the street is ankle deep with garbage, people are fist fighting on the streets, people were vomiting in the alley behind Ann Sather....yuck.

    There are no less than 5 drug dealers at the Walgreens at Belmont and Sheffield every year...with the police standing across the street doing absolutely nothing.

    While I recognize that we are next to boys town...if the organizers can not run a civil and safe event...then the event should be discontinued...PERMANENTLY!!!

    It is interesting to me also that any of my friends that are gay, or people that we meet in boys town that are gay, do not attend because of such a disaster it turns into every year. The residents of these areas should bring these issues forward at election time.

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    1. There are drug dealers 3' from Sidetracks door but cigarette smokers have to be 15' away. Do we get it now?

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  18. Hey, here's a friggin' idea: NO PARADE AT ALL!

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  19. If the parade moves downtown the aftermath still happens in Boystown - only without the resources the neighborhood gets now with the parade (slim though they may be). It's better to keep everything here...

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    1. You are buying the false assumptions that our alderman and the parade organizers want you to.

      (1) there is absolutely no way to know what would happen after a parade that does not occur here.

      (2) The idea that the city would not provide resources for a potential problem spot is ludicrous. What politician or emergency services department would say "we didn't staff for that?" None, of course.

      (3) No neighborhood should need to "keep" trouble.

      (4) We'd like the parade to stay, but the efforts made so far have been minimal and ineffective.

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  20. Dear God, I wonder what this forum will be reporting on Monday, June 27, 2016, the morning after the shitstorm/aftermath of the parade. Each year gets worse. What does it take to get this thing out of the neighborhood or just closed down altogether? And could someone explain WHY there is never a report on the financials, and is it true this Dick Pefiffffer guy rakes in bazillions each year from the parade?

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