CHICAGO, June 26 (UPI) -- Chicago's gay pride parade drew an enthusiastic crowd of 750,000 Sunday in spite of an apparent attempt to sabotage the event.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel marched at the parade's head, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. Attendance was about 50 percent larger than last year, which organizers attributed to the good weather, the passage of New York State's gay marriage law and the recent approval in Illinois of civil unions.
Earlier in the day, workers at Associated Attractions Enterprises Inc., a float-building company, discovered tires on 51 floats destined for the parade had been slashed overnight, the owner, Chuck Huser, said. By around noon, most had been repaired, he said.
Organizers said 73 floats were registered, so more than half were attacked.
Democratic state Rep. Kelly Cassidy's float was one of those vandalized. She pointed out the first gay pride parades did not have such elaborate trappings.
"It doesn't have to be fancy," she said. "We're going to pick up our banner and we're going to show our pride."