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Chicago Pride Fest beefs up security after arrests in Idaho

CHICAGO — It’s a busy weekend in Chicago with many police officers working extra shifts as several big events, including Pride Fest, draw huge crowds to the city.

Despite heightened security due to various targeted LGBTQ events in other parts of the country, many Pride Fest Chicago attendees said they did not feel their safety was at risk.

This is good news for Logan Herman-Lindow, who is experiencing Pride Fest for the first time.

“I’ve never been to Pride before, so I just wanted to come see what it was like,” Herman-Lindow said.

Others, like Olivia House, said the festival has become an annual attraction.

This weekend, Halsted Street between Addison and Grace is brimming with LGBTQ pride and unity. In recent days, LGBTQ events across the country have come under attack. But Chicago festival-goers say they aren’t letting recent threats stop them from celebrating Pride in a carefree and fun atmosphere.

“Everyone has talked about it, but I feel like being surrounded by your community makes you feel safer,” House said.

In addition to Pride Fest, several other large outdoor festivals like Taste of Randolph Street in the West Loop and Lyrical Lemonade Summer Smash fill neighborhoods across the city.

With so many people absent, safety is a top priority for those celebrating across Chicago. As a result, security guards and CPD officers were visible.

“I saw them walking through all the crowds and stuff,” Herman-Lindow said.

Many in the crowd like Kardamin Politzer are focused on having a good time and hope that events like Pride Fest will continue to light up the community.

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“We’re getting there,” Politzer said. “Fortunately, a lot of people are becoming more aware and accepting, and events like this are helping people understand.”

Day 2 of Pride Fest kicks off at 11 a.m. The Pride Parade hits the streets next Sunday.