It’s another super busy weekend for Pride in Illinois, with the Quad Cities, Dixon and Chicago all holding their annual fests, along with Iowa City in eastern Iowa.
In addition, you can find Pride parades in Moline, Ill., and Iowa City, Ia.; Pride sports nights with soccer in Des Moines, or baseball in both Cedar Rapids, Ia., and Joliet, Ill.; and family events including a couple family-friendly gatherings by Clock Inc., in Rock Island and a Pride choir of 20 clarinets in Chicago.
In addition, for southern Illinoisans, tonight is a drag show at the Varsity Center — and also your last chance to take in SEEN: A Multimedia PHotography Exhibit,” by local nonbinary artists A.B. Art and Kimberly Needham.
This weekend is also filled with recognitions of Juneteenth, or Emancipation Day, which honors the day that 250,000 people kept in captivity were finally freed in 1865 from slavery, months after the practice had officially been abolished. You can find Juneteenth celebrations in almost every community this weekend, and we’ve found some online gems that you can join remotely from anywhere.
Northern Illinois the focus of Pride events this weekend, along with Iowa City Pride
For a detailed look at what Iowa City Pride Fest has to offer Saturday with its festival and Pride march and parade, check out this Iowa City Pride Fest article published earlier this week, where you’ll also find Iowa City/Cedar Rapids area events for the next month. They include the Pride Pool Party and Picnic, a family-friendly event with free pool admission.
And for Quad Citians celebrating Pride Party at Bass Street Landing Saturday and the region’s Pride parade, find more in this “Pride in the Quad Cities this weekend” article also published earlier. Watch, too, early Saturday for a special advance on BTDT, Anthropoid, Nonetheless and Impossible Wonderland, the youth and teen bands from the QC Rock Academy that are headlining tomorrow’s Pride Party at Bass Street Landing in Moline
The Pride Party comes right after the QC Unity Pride Parade, at 2:30 p.m. near Vibrant Arena, 1201 River Dr., Moline.
- Chicago Pride Fest starts Saturday and continues through Sunday. It’s one of the largest Pride Fests in the world and offers three stages of live music and drag, a massive vendor fair, and related parties throughout the city. This is the first of two big weekends for Chicago; next weekend, the city will celebrate its parade and Pride in the Park.
- The north-central Illinois community of Dixon holds its second annual Pride Fest, starting at 2 p.m. This is the first of two annual events coordinated by Sauk Valley Pride, which also will hold an August Pride celebration. Find food, a vendor fair, and drag performances throughout the day at Page Park, starting at 2 p.m.
Clock Inc. in Rock Island among those offering additional Pride events soon
- Tonight: Pride Paint Party You can still register here for this chance to paint, laugh, sip and chill with Art With Kare Traveling paint Parties. The art-filled fun starts at 6:30 p.m. at Clock Inc. headquarters, 4102 46th Ave., Rock Island, Il.
- Tomorrow: head to RAYGUN, downtown Davenport, at 11 a.m. to catch the latest Banned Book Reading.
- Monday night: Clock Inc. Pride Bingo: Gather at Davenport’s Raccoon Motel, 315 E. 2nd St., to enjoy some fun and help raise money for Clock Inc. This event is for adults only, and space is limited so organizers encourage you to arrive early. You can also bring your own food.
- Tues., June 27: A Pride Potluck is open to everyone, of all ages: gather at Clock Inc. headquarters starting at 6 p.m.
Seven great online Juneteenth celebrations
- “How the Word is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America,” by Clint Smith will be the focus of a virtual discussion happening Monday, courtesy of the Iowa City Public Library and the Iowa City Office of Equity and Human Rights. This event is 6 to 7:30 p.m., and you’re also welcome to attend in person, Room D. The library can also help provide access to the book in several format. Register here, or ask about access to the book here.
- 2023 Accessible Juneteenth: Based in Chicago, this third annual event is presented by Chicago Disabled People of Color Coalition and several other groups. The goal: “commemorate Black people with disabilities who have helped create a more free world for Black communities worldwide.” A DJ will play inspirational tunes throughout the event, which will also feature spoken word. The live event happens 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, but you can join online from anywhere at this link, or through the livestream at DPOCC’s Facebook page.
- Enjoy Juneteenth Spoken Word Monday and readings and “Celebration of Voices of the Diaspora,” a discussion of books by Michelle Obama, Amanda Gorman and Annette Gorden-Reedy Tuesday, courtesy of the Dandelion Roots and Sage Circle. Both events are free.
- Understanding Juneteenth a documentary film based on the events of 2020 and 2021. This look at how Juneteenth is honored historically in America aims to look beyond its commercialization. Admission is whatever you choose, and based on an honors system. Click here to sign up.
- “Celebrating Juneteenth” by Crossing Borders Music features new videos from The Honourable Elizabeth A. Baker, Jordyn Davis, and Jessica T. Carter; the online premiere of the 2021 revised version of String Quartet No. 1 by AJ Isaacson-Zvidzwa; a short documentary by Chicago filmmaker Rubye Lane about the project; and eight other musicians on violins, viola, cello and more. This event is 7 to 8:30 p.m. and will be live-streamed here.
- Check out CNN for a celebrity concert, “Global Celebration of Freedom” , starting 7 p.m. CST Monday. Featured: Miguel, Jodeci, Kirk Franklin, Questlove and more.
- Juneteenth Jubilee: A Black Burlesque Show show for Juneteenth, tonight: This showcase of Black and brown bodies features 11 performers from across the country. And while you can only attend tonight’s live performance, you can watch an edited version of the show for two weeks after the performance. Register here.