By Tisha Lewis, FOX 32 News Reporter - bio | email
CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -
The Pride Parade is this Sunday. Thousands will show up on the Northside to watch and party, but there are new rules in play that parade goers need to know.
"This is like VIP section... This is like the best view... This is an amazing view. It's like Rio De Janeiro parade. You see all kinds of people happy, you feel part of it and you really get involved. Everybody is walking and the balcony is full," said Ramzan Dhanji.
The view from above may be the best view for the Pride Parade, but police are cracking down on balcony and rooftop parties past capacity.
Ramzan Dhanji who works out of a commercial and residential building near Montrose and Broadway said that the warning from police is unwarranted.
"I think if you have 50 people for ten hours it could be a safety issue but a few people for a few minutes. I don't think it's a safety issue at all. At the most you'll have 10-12 people," said Dhanji.
But Meghan Grum who lives in the same building where Dhanji works said that the balcony holds a handful, not a dozen.
"It gets so crowded on the streets it's difficult to see so it's nice to be up there and be able to see," said Grum.
Grum just moved to the building and lives on the 9th floor.
"We've got one of those triangle ones so it's safe. It's inside of the building kind of," said Grum.
Grum said the balcony holds, "maybe five or six comfortably," said Grum.
"If you're going to be piling too many people on, you're going to have issues and there's going to be another problem that we've had before," said John Kotlesk, an Uptown resident.
"About 13 years ago in Chicago we had a major accident where people were killed on the balcony because there were too many people on the balcony so they're concerned with too many people on balconies and roofs that are technically not legal places for people to be," said Richard Pfeiffer, the organizer of Pride Parade.
Pfeiffer said that organizers have been in touch with police and he told FOX 32's Tisha Lewis police are also targeting public intoxication and public drinking.
"A lot of municipalities in Chicago and across the country are seeing the increase in alcohol at public events and the real issue here both with the balconies, the rooftop and alcohol is safety. You want people to be safe, come to the event and have a good time but you want them to be safe," said Pfeiffer.
For more information on the Pride Parade, and to see a map of the parade route, visit Chicago Pride.