Thousands lined residential streets in this suburb just north of the Lake County line to celebrate Pride Month with a parade and festival. There were more than 40 entries in the parade. Most came from Buffalo Grove and surrounding towns, but others came from as far as Skokie, Chicago, Elgin and Aurora.
Jennifer Maltas, Buffalo Grove deputy village manager, said the village estimated about 5,000 people in the parade and watching.
“It’s just insane,” said Carolyn Pinta, who with her husband Jonathan and daughter Molly was one of the organizers. “It’s surreal, know what I mean? My husband and I just kept saying to each other ‘Oh, my God, the parade’s tomorrow.’ It’s been 11 months, basically, of thinking about it.”
There were no incidents at during the parade. In fact, it was noted by some people that there were no protestors at all, who usually show up with anti-LGBTQ signs at Pride events in other cities.
Now that the first parade is done, it’s time to start planning for next year. “Next plan now is to hit the reset button, right?” Pinta said. “We’re hoping to jump on our Facebook page later today and say ‘If you felt the love and want it happen next year, for every person that was here, consider donating $5.”
The Pintas had fundraised over the past year to raise the $40,000 needed for this years parade. They have $10,000 saved for next year and have launched a GoFundMe page for next year. As of Monday afternoon, it had already raised $2,425.