On Sunday you might notice some bare legs on the Red Line—that’s because it’s the 18th annual No Pants Subway Ride.
The event, dedicated to pure silliness, was started in 2002 by a group of performers, Improv Everywhere. On that first ride, seven pants-less people got on a train and pretended not to notice each other for a few stops, and eventually someone hopped on board the train selling pants for $1.
In following years the event took off after word of mouth spread and a few stories from news outlets including This American Life covered Improv Everywhere. Last year, 60 cities participated including places outside the U.S. like Amsterdam, Lisbon, Prague, Munich, and Brisbane. The absence of a subway didn’t stop people either, the ride took place on trolleys, buses, and light rails too.
If you’d like to participate in the Chicago event, you can RSVP on Facebook. The rules are simple: wear everything you would normally, except forget the pants. No political messages or costumes and make sure to bring your pants in a backpack or bag for after the ride.
Part of the fun is keeping in character, so those without pants will be acting as if nothing is out of place until the ride is over.
The group is planning to meet near the Loyola Red Line Station at 1209 W. Arthur Avenue at noon and board the 12:30 p.m. train. Make sure you have your fare card loaded up. The temperature for Sunday looks like it’ll be partly cloudy and mid-30s. Not bad if you happen to be missing pants.
- No Pants Subway Ride 2019 Edition Chicago [Facebook]