What You Can Expect at Pinkfest ...

This page shows you what you can expect at Pinkfest, a recurring annual social event for the members of the TG community, including friends and guests, which occurs each October in Chicago, Illinois, USA.

Welcome To Chicago!

Chicago is the third largest metropolitan area in the United States and is the cultural and entertainment capital of the midwest. The overall attitude in Chicago is very "live and let live", making Chicago welcoming to those whose identity and presentation is somewhat out of the mainstream.

A bit about Pinkfest:

Pinkfest began back in the autumn of 2001, when a group of friends were disappointed that another event which they planned to attend was cancelled due to 9/11. They decided to get together anyway and Chicago was chosen as the venue. After the first Pinkfest had concluded, it was unanimous that they had more fun than they would have at the cancelled convention, and "same time next year" was agreed upon.

Pinkfest is considered by some to be a spin-off of Diva Las Vegas, an annual TG event held in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, each spring. Although the two events are planned and organized independently, many of the same individuals have been involved with both events from the very early years.

Pinkfest, like Diva Las Vegas, is a vacation and not a convention as Pinkfest, like DLV, is not based on the model used for most of the other recurring TG events. Pinkfest is not centered around a hotel, and there are no speakers, no seminars, and no feeling of being trapped in a big communal closet! Pinkfest is very much "on the town!" Our activities are mostly social, cultural, participatory, or recreational in nature.

Chicago is a cultural Mecca, a shopper's paradise, and is regarded by Maxim Magazine as the "Tastiest City" in the USA!

We do the sights, the shopping, the attractions, the museums, and we always have plenty of that "Quality Social Time" that we love! Read on for more of what you can expect.

If you're a fan of Diva Las Vegas ...

About the only thing that Las Vegas has that Chicago does not is casino gaming, and if that's your priority, it is indeed available in Chicagoland if you look for it. Seek and you shall find!

Many of the fans of Diva Las Vegas, when they hear of Pinkfest, wonder if Chicago can indeed be as open and as accepting and as "fun" and easy-going as Las Vegas.

Over our years with Pinkfest, we've found three particular areas within Chicago which indeed have these qualities, and many of the Pinkfest activities are centered around these regions:

  • 1. Lakeview

    Lakeview, often colloquially known as "Boystown", is an enclave of the LGBT community located a few miles north of the main downtown business district just south of Wrigley Field.

    The Belmont Street and Halsted Street corridors are lined with shops (mostly independent); restaurants (again, mostly independent); clubs of all types, from quiet bars and piano bars to loud and zooey dance clubs; and such things as smaller art galleries and other cultural outlets.

    Such activities as street fairs and Pride celebrations occur regularly in the Lakeview district.

    The Center On Halsted, at the corner of Halsted and Waveland, serves as the LGBT community center and now boasts a nice new three-story facility.

  • 2. River North

    The River North Entertainment District lies just north of the Chicago River and the main downtown "Loop" area.

    River North has a large concentration of restaurants, from the "usual suspect" chain places to exclusive gourmet rooms. Many of the hotels that are popular with Pinkfest people are in River North.

    River North hosts many bars and clubs, both "mainstream" and "alternative" in nature and Pinkfest has been well received in both types in the River North district.

    River North adjoins the Magnificent Mile shopping district and has its own variety of shops from the smaller boutiques to the larger well-known department stores.

  • 3. Oak Park

    Oak Park is a separate municipality bordering Chicago's west side. Oak Park is known as a literary, artistic, and cultural center of greater Chicagoland.

    Oak Park is the birthplace of Ernest Hemingway; the home of Frank Lloyd Wright and Edgar Rice Burroughs; entertainers Dan "Homer Simpson" Castellaneta, John Galecki, Kathy Griffin, Bob Newhart and Betty White; as well as photographer Bruce Davidson and journalist Peter Sagal.

    Oak Park is very laid-back and accepting in attitude.

    Several bars, clubs, and restaurants in Oak Park, as well as in the adjoining Forest Park, have become favorites of Pinkfest attendees over the years.

    The group has attended various presentations at the Oak Park Public Library as well.

Time For Shopping!

The downtown Chicago "Loop" district and the Michigan Avenue "Magnificent Mile" comprise what is considered to be the best shopping area in the Midwest!

This area includes not only the higher-end department stores ...

... but an excellent selection of reasonably-priced shops as well!

And that's only the beginning!

Throughout Chicagoland you'll find countless shops of all kinds, covering every desire, every taste, every size, every style, and every pocketbook.

This, of course, includes many which will be of particular interest to members of the TG community.

Whatever it is you need, you'll find it while you're at Pinkfest, from merchants who are eager to serve and value your patronage!

You won't go hungry at Pinkfest!

We have our daily "Lunch With Ginger" (sound familiar, anyone?), usually at casual, inexpensive, and known-friendly eateries.

Chicago is famous for cuisine, and yes, we take advantage of it! We'll do some of our favorite places and we're always trying new and different dining venues.

As an option for those who want it, we'll always have one nicer higher-end dining option on the schedule.

Throughout our 12 year history we've seldom had a bad meal. We've learned where to go, and in a few cases where not to go.

Whenever you dine with the Pinkfest group, you'll be in the company of some of the finest people in the known universe!

Chicago is the entertainment capital of the Midwest!

We've taken in Broadway and Off-Broadway style performances over our years ...

... as well as lounge shows, FI shows, comedians, musical performances, and variety entertainment.


One thing that's universally enjoyed at Pinkfest is "Quality Social Time" where we can relax, celebrate life, and enjoy each other's company.

We feature a Happy Hour prior to most evening meals.

We patronize a good mix of bars and clubs, both those "mainstream" (patronized mainly by the general public) and "alternative" (patronized mainly by members of the LGBT community).

Over the years we've been just about everywhere, from trendy skyscraper clubs to local favorites out in the 'burbs, even to a known "serial killer friendly" dive bar! :)

We have yet to encounter a bar in the Chicago area, mainstream or alternative, which did not welcome us!


         There's so much to do in Chicago!

Boredom is impossible at Pinkfest!         

         Yep, we do the touristy stuff ...

... and take some time out to pamper ourselves ...

... and shopping of course!         

We've only scratched the surface! There will be new and fresh daytime activities for years to come!

Pinkfest has always attracted a congenial, outgoing, and fun-loving group!

If you've previously attended Diva Las Vegas, you're certain to see some familiar faces. If not, we assure you that you will be among friends.

Our people are friendly, inclusive, and very welcoming to those who wish to join in on the event!

We invite you to join us this coming October for this very fun event!


Please read our Pinkfest Frequently-Asked Questions list, take a look at our Hotel Information page for information on accommodations for Pinkfest, and join in on the conversation in the Pinkfest Discussion Forum.

Pinkfest is very informal. There's no formal registration procedure. If you're interested in attending, you "register" by sending a brief note to pinkfest@geekbabe.com stating that you will be joining us. There is no charge to register or attend, other than what you spend for such things as meals, lodging, entertainment, and incidentals.

If you have any questions or concerns, or if you simply want to discuss something, please post a note in the Pinkfest Discussion Forum or send a note to: pinkfest@geekbabe.com

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