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It’s another huge weekend for Pride celebrations in Illinois and Iowa — especially in Illinois, where six big Pride fests take place from Galena to Carbondale.

In addition, Iowa hosts the state’s largest annual Pride event:   the three-day Capital City Pride Fest, starting today and continuing through Sunday with not only the festival, but a Pride Stride, silent disco, pet parade, drag shows at The Blazing Saddle and The Garden, and more.

Upcoming events include Red Ribbon Gala, DIY jewelry, concert, art show, more

At least another 11 related Pride events are also happening this weekend in Iowa and Illinois. They include:

This weekend’s Pride fests include Carbondale, Des Moines, Elk Grove, Galena, Geneva, Kewanee, Mount Carmel

Some communities are holding their first or second Pride celebrations. Kewanee, Ill., is plowing forth with Kewanee’s first-ever Pride celebration Saturday after facing religion-based attacks from some community members. Carbondale continues not only its festival, but also a car cruise it started during COVID and a unity walk, tomorrow with the Pride in Action Southern Il Pride Fest. Find out more about all of this at the group’s Facebook page.

Elk Grove celebrates Pride for its fourth straight year. Festivals happening for their third straight year include the Galena Pride Picnic at noon Saturday, Family Pride in Geneva  at 2 p.m. Saturday, and Mount Carmel, with a Pride fair starting at 4 p.m.

Looking ahead: Pride at Bass Street Landing in Moline, Iowa City Pride, more queer cinema, and much more

Next week is one of the busiest Pride weeks of the season, with at least eight festivals happening across the two states including in Chicago, the Quad Cities with Pride Party at Bass Street Landing, and Iowa City Pride. Both the Quad Cities and Iowa City will also hold parades next Saturday, and both Iowa City Pride and QC Unity encourage walkers to join on to their parades for no fee.


Also coming up next week, before the big events, Riverside Pride happens in Fort Madison, Ia., for its second straight year Thursday. The Project hosts an educational dinner at The Current Thursday, too, where you can learn about how to be supportive of LGBTQ+ people in all kinds of environments.

In addition, FilmScene in Iowa City continues its “Doing Gender” series with the award-winning “Tangerine.” And on Friday, there’s a Pool Party in Iowa City and a Pride Paint Party at Clock Inc. in the Quad Cities.

For a rundown of dozens of Pride events, check this calendar for Iowa, and this calendar for Illinois. If you know of an event that should be listed, email