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The top 10 active and FUN events to check out this summer

After months of being cooped up indoors, wrapping yourself in flannel and longing for the sweet sun, the snuggies come off, the bikinis go on and everyone leaves hibernation for the best thing about Chicago- Summer! Festivals fill the city streets, people flock to the beaches and there is more Two White Crew and Sixteen Candles than you can handle. However, there are DOZENS of events around the city that are not only a great time, but an awesome way to support the community. So ladies I present to you the top 10 active and FUN events to check out this summer!

1. From Rags to Riches, an Art Showcase & Fundraiser, June 10
Affinity Community Services presents a night of performance, art and music this Friday June 10th. The event will be held at the Community Lounge (5710 W Woodlawn) and will cost $15 (or $10 for students). Head to this event to observe or perform and support yet another organization that has been essential to our community. Not only do the ticket sales benefit Affinity, but a portion of all art sold will also be given to these amazing women that have worked to shape the community in which we live today. For more details, check out the event on facebook, http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=221708761192447

2. Pride Month for Equality at Minibar June 15
Come out and support Equality Illinois by eating and drinking at Minibar on June 15th! Equality Illinois has been fighting relentlessly for the rights of the Queer community in Illinois and has made some amazing progress in recent years and even more groundbreaking progress in the past few months! Working to pass the Civil Unions Bill and defeat the discriminatory proposals in its aftermath, this organization deserves your support! All you have to do is eat at Minibar and 20% of all sales will be donated back to Equality Illinois! Reservations are strongly recommended, take a look at www.eqil.org for more information.

3. OUT in the Park at Six Flags, June 19!
OK you got me, this may not be as politically relevant as the other 9 events that I am writing about (and the DOZENS more I haven’t mentioned) but who is going to complain about gay day at an amusement park? That’s right, no one! Wrangle your friends and head out to Gurnee to rock the rollercoasters, impress your lady on the Midway or eat way too much cotton candy. If you can manage to get 10 or more people on board, you are even eligible for group rates! Who’s in? Because apparently most of MY friends get motion sick…

4. The Center on Halsted’s Pride Celebration, June 24
Join the Center on Halsted as they kick off Pride Weekend 2011 from the rooftop garden! Enjoy the view, music, a full bar and food while socializing with friends and supporting the Center. A mere $20 will get you access to the excitement and four drink tickets! Think about it ladies, a great deal for a great cause- and can you honestly think of a better way to kick off your weekend? Just sayin. To get tickets, go to www.centeronhalsted.org

5. The Chicago Dykemarch, June 25
A grassroots movement that aims to celebrate dyke, queer and transgender resilience, this annual march takes place in South Shore Chicago and unites women from all around the city. If you have never been to this event, I recommend you get down there for an afternoon of goosebump-inducing solidarity, inspiration and empowerment. If my description sounds intimidating, get over it, in the end its just a stone-cold blast. Take a look at their facebook page to follow the action!

6. The Chicago Outfit Roller Derby , July 9
Need I really say more? Women racing around a track trying to obliterate the other skaters. Plus $3 beers. Add a crowd of rowdy Chicagoans and some good friends and this is an event you don’t want to miss! BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!!!! This season, the Chicago Outfit is donating 5% of all ticket proceeds to the Howard Brown Health Center! Did I mention that the regularly priced tickets ($15 presale and $20 at the door) can be bought for just $5?! That’s right, not only can you have a CHEAP, FUN, and UNIQUE night of debauchery, you can give back to an organization that has been a staple in our community for years. Check out www.howardbrown.org for more details.

7. Dykes Pedaling Bikes, July 9
Check it out, a bike ride dedicated to us! This chill ride is free and sponsored by the Windy City Cycling Club and is sure to introduce you to some people you never thought you would meet. If you would like more information (start location and route TBD) or to RSVP for the brunch afterwards, email Susan at Susanl.wccc@sjlevin.com. Get out and get active ladies!

8. Orgullo en Accion Presents: The Latin@ Pride Picnic! July 30
For its 6th year celebrating LGBTQA pride in the Latin@ community, Orgullo en Accion is hosting yet another picnic in Humboldt Park. Not only will there be performances by drag queens and kings, dancers and a DJ but this event represents the true family that I’ve been preaching about for the last couple posts. Bring friends, food and a grill to celebrate the pride that shines through in a part of Chicago that the Queer community often forgets. For more information, go to www.orgulloenaccion.org.

9. Amigas Latinas Siempre Latina Masquerade Gala, August 6
I’m not going to lie to all of you, I have never attended this event. HOWEVER, I love and respect Amigas Latinas like crazy and every event I have attended has been a blast. Though not much information has been posted, put the date in your calendar! This is what I imagine: music, food, drinks, masks of mystery and the Mexican Museum of Art. Lets be honest here, all components of a major bash. Follow the progress on facebook or check out the website, www.amigaslatinas.org.

10. Pride Day at Wrigley, September 4
So even though I am pretty sure I don’t have to explain much here, lets just say this: baseball, queers, beer and a guaranteed good time. This year the Cubs are taking on the Pirates on a Sunday afternoon, at a game that is sure to raise massive funds to be distributed among six local LGBT and AIDS charities. Though bleacher tickets are $50, you will get the chance to listen to the newly crowned Windy City Gay Idol sing the National Anthem, and if you are lucky you may run into some of the participants of the National Gay Softball World Series which is taking place in Chicago though September 3rd. How YOU doin’??

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About Lauren

Lauren was born and raised in South Minneapolis and like many other innocent midwesterners got sucked into the black hole of Chicago politics 4 years ago. As the LGBT Coordinator for the Gery Chico for Mayor Campaign she attempted to take on the entire city and hasn’t looked back since. Now working for a communications firm, she spends her extra time running around with cases of PBR playing in different sports leagues, hosting couchsurfers from all over the place, and deciding how she is going to change the world. A simple lady at her core, she has decided that the first person to send her an edible arrangement must be the one.

Discussion

2 Responses to “The top 10 active and FUN events to check out this summer”

  1. you got one thing right for sure, the Masquerade Gala will be all about the music, food, drinks, masks of mystery, but you forgot one very important thing…some seriously beautiful people!!! ; )

    and true story, this will be night to remember!

    Posted by christina | June 7, 2011, 12:13 pm
  2. I’m adding to my calendar! Thanks for the heads-up. I don’t have a car, but I have a week to find some gals for Six Flags next weekend. 🙂

    Posted by Jenn | June 12, 2011, 5:07 pm

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