Taking place in the midst of a pandemic ( as Illinois slowly reopens ), the Buffalo Grove Pride Drive took place June 7.
In the first week of April, not wanting to put anyone in danger from the Covid-19 pandemic, Buffalo Grove and Aurora agreed in solidarity to cancel their Pride parades. Still, Carolyn Pinta's family wanted to celebrate Buffalo Grove Pride.
"I knew that no matter what, our family would decorate our home and celebrate on our lawn on June 7," she told Windy City Times. "We decided to ask others to join us and, amazingly, we have ended up with 94 homes and many, many businesses and organizations contributing in many ways."
So was born the Buffalo Grove Pride Drivein which participants decorated their front lawns as attendees drove by them.
One participant, Alexander Dungan, marched in his first Pride Parade last year with his church, Kingswood United Methodist of Buffalo Grove. This year he wanted to participate again and decorated his home with an animal-and-water theme.
"I had a bit of experience with the water settings so that came together easily and then I pretty much designed the rest around what animals were available and what puns I could associate with different Pride Flags," he said. "For example, there [are] a "Bisexu-owl" as well as a "transgendeer." I design puppets for Northwestern [University] sometimes so it wasn't difficult to make things out of materials around the house or employ some of the puppets I've built for past shows."
Cook County Commissioner Kevin Morrison also marched in the inaugural Buffalo Grove Pride Parade last year. This year he joined a family at their home to bring a DJ and information about the census to the Pride Drive.
Before the event, he said, "My office is out here dropping bags with information about the 2020 Census which is vitally important to LGBTQ people. Historically, LGBTQ people have been considered hard-to-count and are underrepresented in the census. Because of that, we haven't gotten a true sense of the size and needs of the LGBTQ community. We will be out on [June 7] encouraging ALL residents, but especially LGBTQ people, to complete their census."
Music, flags, balloons, beads, buttons, bubbles and drag queens were all present.
The weather was beautiful as hundreds of families drove through Buffalo Grove, stopping, waving and honking their horns at decorated home after decorated home.