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Art Johnston and Jose “Pepe” Pena

PRIDEChicago, the all-volunteer organization behind the iconic Chicago Pride Parade for over 50 years, announces the selection of Art Johnston and Jose “Pepe” Pena as Community Grand Marshals for the 2024 Chicago Pride Parade on Sunday, June 30th starting at 11 a.m. 

Chicago activist and bar owner Art Johnston (right) and his partner in life and business, Jose “Pepe” Pena. The couple, who have been together for 50 years, helped create community – opening the iconic gay bar Sidetrack in 1982 – and fueled a civil rights movement that is still active today. Johnston was an important organizer in passage of Chicago and Cook County human rights legislation and was a co-founder of the Illinois Federation for Human Rights, now known as Equality Illinois. The duo, nationally recognized LGBTQ+ civil rights leaders, are also the subject of an award-winning feature documentary, ART AND PEP. 

The 53rd annual Chicago Pride Parade starts at 11 a.m., Sunday, June 30th 2024 and will travel through Chicago’s landmark LGBTQ+ neighborhood of Lakeview. Themed “Pride is Power,” the parade promises to be a celebration of love, unity, and resilience, reflecting the incredible culture and spirit of the LGBTQ+ community. For more information, visit PRIDEChicago.org

The parade serves as the crowning event of Pride Month in Chicago, capping off a series of celebrations that unite our diverse community. Among these is the highly anticipated 23rd annual Chicago Pride Fest, taking place on June 22nd and 23rd, 2024. The two-day street festival is organized by the Northalsted Business Alliance chamber of commerce. For further details, visit Northalsted.com

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