'First big party of the summer' kicks off this weekend - FOX 32 News Chicago

'First big party of the summer' kicks off this weekend

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

It's billed as the first big party of the summer. The Chicago Pride Fest kicks off this weekend in the Lakeview neighborhood.

June is Pride Month and the two-day Pride Fest always occurs the week before the Pride Parade. The event, which takes place on North Halsted Street between Addison and Grace, is marked by two days of food, music and art.

A couple of years ago, the Fest was only a day and a half event. But over the years, it has grown into one of Chicago's most popular events. The fest has not only expanded in time, but in attendance.

2014 marks the twelfth year of the Fest. This year's event will be a big one for the gay community in Chicago, as many same-sex couples were married on June 1 when their marriages were recognized by the state.

The fest will feature 60 vendors and non-stop entertainment from top dance and musical acts, including Jennifer Hudson.

"We are very excited, not only because she is a hometown girl, but she is a huge name in the music industry," one organizer said.

Additionally, throughout the month of June, there are close to one hundred different events in Chicago celebrating Pride Month, with the Annual Pride Parade being the largest. The Parade takes place Sunday, June 29.

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