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Love Wins for Sidetrack with its colorful, memorable Pride Parade float

Chicago, IL — The 2017 Chicago Pride Parade will be remembered as one of the most lively and exciting in years, said Brad Balof, general manager of Sidetrack – which shined under the Sunday afternoon sun June 25 with its LOVE WINS-themed float.

The Sidetrack float was built by David Andora and Sean Hunt, along with a small crew of Sidetrack staff.  It took about a week to build, with some of the painting done on the north side of the city and most of it built on the south side.

"We wanted to create a statement piece that celebrated the love in our community and send the message that, 'Love will always win in the end,'" Balof said of the bright, vibrant float.  "People seemed to like both the design and the message."

Balof said the 2017 Chicago Pride Parade was "gorgeous," with a big assist from Mother Nature as the temperature never got much more than the mid-70s.  Balof said it was, "the best weather I can remember for (the parade) in years."

Balof said some of his favorite floats this year were from Balloons By Tommy and the Chicago Metropolitan Sports Association (CMSA).  "I also liked the line dancers and having the Chicago Spirit Brigade march with us," he added.

Sidetrack had about 10 employees in the parade.

"It would be cool if more bars had floats/trucks/representation (in the parade), but so many of them are jam-packed with business that weekend," said Balof.  Roscoe's and Smart Bar also were represented in the parade.

"It was a really successful month (of June) with a bunch of great events – from Professionals Do Pride, to (the) Field Museum Science Fair, (the bar's) 35-year Anniversary Party, the Pride Bowl Kick-Off Party, Beyoncé Night, and more.

"I think the Field Museum Science Fair night is a really unique and fun event."

So when does Sidetrack start planning for the 2018 Pride Parade?

"Yesterday," Balof answered with a smile.

As the summer continues, so too does the bar's Camp Sidetrack theme.  There will be more camp-themed/inspired events, plus Market Days, and a special benefit cabaret performance by the cast of Aladdin, among other memorable nights.

"This year, more than many we've seen over the last nine years, I think Pride was a great time for our community and our allies to celebrate together:  to celebrate each other's company ...the love party remember that we are a strong community ...and (to) recharge our batteries for all of the fighting we have to do in the current political situation (in this) country.

"It was a day for us to be together, stand together and remember that we can win—and we will, if we work together."

Photos from 2017 Chicago Pride Parade


Sidetrack's 2017 Pride Parade Float from David Andora on Vimeo.

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