Plainfield Pride is hosting its first official event, "Pride at PARC," on Sunday, Oct. 16, despite opposition from some, Patch reported.
The organization will gather from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Plainfield Park District's Prairie Activity and Recreation Center (PARC), 24550 W. Renwick Rd. The event will feature musicians, a family-friendly drag story hour, touch-a-trucks and words from politicians such as U.S. Reps. Lauren Underwood and Bill Foster.
During the planning process, which included getting approval from the park district's Board of Commissioners to use PARC, Plainfield Pride was faced with hostility from some in the community. Organizers were called "groomers, pedophiles and mentally unfit," Plainfield Pride Executive Director Jes McIlvain told Patch.
Recent board meetings that included Plainfield Pride's event on the agenda became contentious, McIlvain added. Invited to speak Sunday, Plainfield Mayor John Argoudelis said he won't be able to attend due to conflicting schedules but will be submitting a letter of support to be read at the event.
Following the most recent meeting, park district officials said they would honor the contractual agreement to license "Pride at PARC" after event organizers threatened to sue over the inclusion of the family-friendly Drag Queen Story Hour, according to a statement.
Equality Illinois sent a press release about the event to Windy City Times. It read, "We want to congratulate our partners at Plainfield Pride for all they have done to lift up and celebrate the LGBTQ+ community in the face of adversity.
"While we are disappointed it took the threat of litigation to remind Plainfield Park District of anti-discrimination protections that exist in the law to get them to do the right thing and uphold their commitment to the LGBTQ+ community, we are excited that queer people in and around Plainfield will continue to have the opportunity to gather and celebrate what makes LGBTQ+ so special: love and resilience."
The village of Plainfield, in Will and Kendall counties, is approximately 40 miles from Chicago.