AURORA, IL — A pride parade organizer made a request Tuesday for the city to approve an inaugural parade, possibly accompanying event or events, in Downtown Aurora June 17. Gwyn Ciesla, an Aurora resident and organizer with the group Indivisible Aurora, explained the vision for the parade.
"It's going to be Extremely G-rated, there will be no alcohol, there will be no nudity, things like that. It will be very tame," Ciesla said, adding that this would be something kids could feel comfortable going to. That Sunday in June coincides with the end of Blues on the Fox festival and Father's Day, and is sandwiched between Harry Potter festival the weekend before, and Chicago's Pride Parade the week after. June is pride month for the LGBT community and its allies.
The parade, with a limit of 60 floats or so, would kick off at 1:00 pm., and follow the same route as the Memorial Day Parade, staging and culminating on River Street. They're waiting on a certificate of insurance and talking to police about possible conflicts with Father's Day traffic.
Aurora's Special Events Coordinator Gina Moga said there's also the possibility of organizers seeking a special events permit to have a small vendor fair or event along Water Street Mall or Stolp Avenue.
Ciesla hopes the event will draw in thousands, and is working with other groups to offer more options for that weekend to boost the local economy.
One member of the public, Rev. Peggy Hicks, said, "We're just worried about this event and I think in all due reverence to people, we want to know exactly what they're going to do." Hicks, along with other members of the clergy, plan to meet with Ciesla in the coming weeks before the Government Operations Committee takes it to a vote, although Indivisible Aurora's Facebook page has already posted a banner with the event's date. The committee agreed to push the vote back to Feb. 13.