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Friends sitting on the grass, enjoying an outdoors music, culture, community event, festival.

Chicago’s LGBTQ Pride festivities are officially underway, culminating in the Chicago Pride Parade on June 24. Between Uptown and Lincoln Park, there’s a whole lot to do and celebrate all month long.

While June is National Pride Month, Pride is more than a time for fun in the sun. It’s a month rooted in the LGBTQ Rights Movement.

The first Pride Parade took place a year after the Stonewall uprising, a series of spontaneous riots in protest of police raids on New York City’s Stonewall Inn. The leaders of the uprising were largely drag queens and transgender women of color including historical figures Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera.

A month after the riots, bisexual activist Brenda Howard organized one of the country’s first public LGBTQ marches: The Christopher Street Liberation Day March. A year later, on June 28, 1970, Howard organized another march to mark the one-year anniversary of the Christopher Street Liberation Day and the Stonewall uprising.

“You needed some kind of help organizing some type of protest or something in social justice? All you had to do was call her and she’ll just say when and where,” said Larry Nelson, Howard’s partner, in an interview with The Advocate.

Today, LGBTQ Pride parades take place all across the country including Chicago, which is celebrating Pride for the 49th year in a row. If you’re one of the 1.97 billion active monthly Facebook users, you can learn more about the Chicago Festival and Parade from the Chicago Pride Facebook page.

Fittingly, Chicago’s theme for the parade this year looks back on Pride month’s history: “Remember the past, create the future.”

Foot traffic during the Chicago Pride parade is often significant for local businesses, so expect bars and restaurants to be busy. The Pride Festival, which takes place between June 16 and 17, begins at 11 AM and goes on until 10 PM.

The Chicago Pride parade begins at noon on June 24, but the earliest people arrive between 7 AM and 9 AM.

“For the liveliest viewing spots head to the Boystown section of North Halsted Street, between Belmont Avenue and Grace Street,” recommends the official Chicago Pride website.

“If you are seeking a less crowded area to view the parade,” the site says, “look for your viewing spots near the beginning of the route along Broadway between Montrose Avenue and Sheridan Road or further along Broadway between Belmont Avenue and Diversey Parkway.”