Thousands lined the streets of downtown Aurora on Sunday as the state's second largest city held its very first gay pride parade.
“For the first time LGBTQ people in the western suburbs have a pride celebration,” organizer Gwyn Ciesla told ChicagoPride.com.
The parade featured 60 colorful entries, a limit set by the city, along a half-mile route. Participants included gay-straight alliances, LGBTQ groups, bands, businesses, dancers, politicians and faith organizations. HRC Chicago and Lakeside Pride represented Chicago.
Gov. Bruce Rauner joined in the kick-off festivities, as did representatives from Democratic gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker's campaign. The parade grand marshal was Jim Corti, the artistic director at the Paramount Theatre.
The Inaugural Pride Parade, hosted by Indivisible Aurora, was officially approved by the Aurora City Council in March.
The 49th annual Chicago Pride Parade is scheduled for Sunday, June 24 at noon.
(Feature photo from Invisible Aurora/Facebook. Instagram photos used with permission)