CHICAGO
10/05/2011 05:56 pm ET Updated Dec 05, 2011

Major Changes Announced For Chicago Gay Pride Parade

By Kate Sosin, courtesy of the Windy City Times

Responding to a steep jump in attendance and chaos at last year's Pride Parade, parade officials announced several changes intended to curtail public drinking and disburse crowds over a larger section of the neighborhood.

The changes add five blocks to the route, incorporate the use of two additional el stations, decrease the number of entries by 50 and move the step off time to 10:00 a.m., two hours earlier than past years.

The changes are the most significant to the parade in many years, said Rich Pfeiffer, chief organizer of the event.

"You weigh the pros and cons… and the bottom line was safety," said Pfeiffer. "We just did not want a repeat of last year."

A near doubling of attendance at the parade in June presented greater challenges for parade officials. At the 2011 Parade, crowds were so large and out of control that many parade-goers said they feared for their safety. Last year's parade saw a turnout of approximately 800,000 people, compared with an estimated 450,000 in 2010.

Read the whole story here.