Weekend Events: All you need to know - FOX 32 News Chicago

Weekend Events: All you need to know

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FOX Photo | Joanie Lum FOX Photo | Joanie Lum
CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

The CTA is increasing service for the 2014 Chicago Pride Parade, and officials are urging spectators to take public transit this weekend to the many other events and festivities happening across the city.

"It is mental trying to get around," said Chicagoan Katherine Beyer.

Roughly 1 million people attended last year’s parade celebrating Chicago’s LGBT community. This year’s parade route begins at the intersection of Montrose Avenue and Broadway in the Uptown neighborhood, and winds through Lake View to Diversey Avenue and Sheridan Road.

The CTA recommends spectators take the “L” to any of the six CTA stations nearby: Wilson, Sheridan and Addison on the Red Line; Wellington and Diversey on the Brown Line and Belmont, which services both the Red and Brown lines.

These two “L” lines will have more frequent train service, while most other lines will operate longer trains. To accommodate the crowds, passengers will not be allowed to bring bicycles onto trains, and all strollers and carts must be folded prior to boarding trains and buses.

"Plan a lot more time than you'll think you'll need," added Beyer.

The transit agency also recommends viewing the parade from less crowded areas along Broadway, south of Montrose Avenue.

Nine bus routes in the area will also be rerouted around the parade from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., the CTA said.

Divvy is offering its valet service at the following five stations near the parade, meaning users will find guaranteed docking space at the following racks between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m.:

• Sheridan Road & Montrose Avenue

• Halsted Street & Addison Street

• Halsted Street & Roscoe Street

• Broadway & Barry Avenue

• Hampden Court & Diversey Parkway

However, Divvy will have to temporarily remove its dock at Broadway & Belmont Ave because of the parade route. It will be removed Saturday and will return Monday.

Parking restrictions will be strictly enforced, and drivers are urged to read all signs before parking, according to the Office of Emergency Management and Communications.

The Pride Parade isn’t the only big event happening in Chicago this weekend.

More than 4,000 athletes will participate in the ITU World Triathlon Chicago Saturday and Sunday. During elite races, traffic on Lake Shore Drive will be briefly halted to allow athletes to cross from the swim portion to a transition area nearby.

The brief holds should happen between approximately 12:55 p.m. and 1:05 p.m. on Saturday, and from 4:20 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, the OEMC said. Columbus Drive will also be closed from Monroe to Roosevelt during the day on both days for the triathlon.

Elsewhere in the city, the 29th Chicago Gospel Music Festival will take place at the Chicago Cultural Center on Friday and in Ellis Park on Saturday and Sunday, OEMC said. Motorists also could see increased Lake Shore Drive traffic Friday night before a Ray LaMontagne concert at Northerly Island at 7:30 p.m.

The Old St. Pat’s World’s Largest Block Party will close Des Plaines from Madison to Adams in the West Loop, and Chicago Summerdance is expected to will draw large crowds to Grant Park, OEMC said.

"We've been blessed with some great weather and hopefully this will hold out tomorrow. It's great music, great people, it's always a fun time," said Father Tom Hurley of Old St. Patrick's Church.

Other events including the Randolph Street Market, the Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival and the Chinatown Dragon Boat Race for Literacy will also require street closures, OEMC said.

Officials highly recommend taking public transportation to any of this weekend’s festivities.

FOX 32's Lisa Chavarria contributed to this report.

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