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Bud Billiken Parade
August 11, 2018 @ 10:00 am - 1:30 pm
As the largest African American parade in the United States, the Bud Billiken Parade has grown into an institution with generational participation across the country. It has hosted numerous high-profile celebrities and dignitaries like Oprah Winfrey, President Truman, Duke Ellington, and President Obama (then Senator).
Having education-first roots, the parade takes place every 2nd Saturday in August and is cited as a mark of “back-to-school” – kicking off the school year with high energy and enthusiasm. The parade includes contests and participants are judged in categories like Best Float and Best Dance Team. At the end, all attendees are welcomed to join additional fun in post-parade festivities in the park.
With the live broadcast on ABC7 Chicago, the parade is viewed and attended by over a million people. It is routed south on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, through the historic Bronzeville neighborhood, into Washington Park. It is led by a Grand Marshal and Royal Court (youth recipients to a Week of Fun as essay winners).
The parade is produced in cooperation with Chicago’s Mayor’s Office, the Chicago Police Department, Chicago Fire Department, Chicago Park District and other city organizations.