We’re in the Sun Times!
(Excerpt from https://chicago.suntimes.com/news/chicago-pride-2018-guide-celebrations-events-things-to-do/)
Matthew Harvat A.K.A. “Circuit Mom” on celebrating Pride
As a long time Chicago D.J., events producer & drag queen performer who goes by the name “Circuit Mom, Matthew Harvat is a Pride party expert so we asked him to fill us in on the city’s best Pride celebrations. Here are his comments:
Harvat: Everyone has a different idea of what Pride means to them which means people celebrate in their own way. There are the mass appeal events such as Pride Fest, which draws people in from all over the Midwest to North Halsted Street the weekend prior to the parade. There is the annual rooftop party at The Center On Halsted every year on Friday night of Pride weekend with DJ’s, performers and an amazing view of Boystown. There are spectacular events at all the bars along Halsted street the entire month of June celebrating not only their own history, but the future of our community. Even the small house parties people host for their friends can be the best Pride event of the season. For me, the best parties are the ones that empower each person in their own way to feel accepted, loved and motivated to make a difference.
CST: What are your five favorite things about Pride overall?
1. There is nothing more exciting during Pride then having the opportunity to ride on a float in the parade and seeing the endless sea of happy faces and flags waving, little kids with their parents and people cheering as you roll by. It is very empowering.
2. All of the people that come to Chicago from all over the world to share in the excitement of seeing their friends, making new ones and experiencing togetherness.
3. The energy that builds for weeks leading up to Pride Sunday with events all over the city.
4. Seeing the Pride colors light up our beautiful skyline. The London House Hotel, the Prudential building and more show their colors at night and it’s amazing. Also, when places like Second City and The Hotel Inter-Continental proudly display the gay pride flag outside of their buildings, it means a lot to me, personally.
5. Reflecting back on the last 30 Pride Sundays I have celebrated thinking about where we were, how far we’ve come and how long we have to go. It is all good.
CST: Speaking of reflections, what does Pride mean to you in 2018?
Harvat: For me, it is somewhat introspective. I think about where I am in my life, how I can try to promote acceptance for my community and what comes next.
CST: The Pride Parade on June 24th is always the grand finale. What advice do you have for people who are going to be in the parade maybe for the first time?
- The clearance height for floats along the parade route is only 15 feet. Anything taller and you just might get caught up in power lines-especially near Broadway and Oakdale. DUCK!
- Call times to line up for the parade staging area can be as early as 6:30am.
- The more elaborate floats are built the week prior to parade day and then disassembled before being driven up from the far south side. Once they show up in the staging area, it is a mad dash to “rebuild” the float and test it for safety before they roll out into the route. It can be very stressful!
- No matter how many times you test things, your power generator, music sound system, bubble machine, confetti launcher or other special effect element will fail at some point during the parade. Guaranteed.
- The staging/waiting area is one huge party with all eleventy hundred parade participants packed into a 6 block space playing their music and checking out everyone else’s entries. It’s a blast.