Bud Billiken Parade Steps Off in Chicago

Named after a fictional character known as a caretaker of children the parade signals the near end of summer and the start of a new school year

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Hundreds turned out for the country’s oldest and largest African-American Parade. Nesita Kwan was there and has more on all the day’s festivities. (Published Saturday, Aug 9, 2014)

    Thousands of Chicagoans lined streets on the South Side of Chicago Saturday for the 85th Annual Bud Billiken Parade.

    The celebratory event filled with family fun and entertainment stepped off at 10 a.m. and traveled south on King Drive from Oakwood Boulevard to 51st Street then down Ellsworth Drive from 51st Street to Garfield Boulevard.

    Named after a fictional character known as a caretaker of children the parade signals the near end of summer and the start of a new school year.

    "It's so much fun," said one paradegoer.

    Dramatic Footage: Shooting During Bud Billiken Parade

    [CHI] Dramatic Footage: Shooting During Bud Billiken Parade
    8/9/2014: Police officers rush to the scene where two people were shot during the Bud Billiken Parade. (Published Sunday, Aug 10, 2014)

    Fans lined the streets hours before the event began.

    The event is also a highlight for politicians and potential candidates, many of which marched and shook hands with parade-watchers.

    Bud Billiken Parade Prepares to Step Off

    [CHI] Bud Billiken Parade Prepares to Step Off
    8/8/2014: Organizers, performers and parade-goers are getting ready for Saturday’s 85th annual Bud Billiken Parade and Picnic. NBC 5's LeeAnn Trotter has the all the details on this beloved back-to-school tradition. (Published Saturday, Aug 9, 2014)

    "This is such a tradition in the community," said Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis, who has said she is "seriously considering" running for mayor. "I went to this parade when I was a little girl and it's something we always looked forward to."

    Gov. Pat Quinn, Lt. Gov. Paul Vallas, Sen. Dick Durbin, Ald. Bob Fioretti and Republican gubernatorial candidate Brue Rauner were also spotted during the event.

    The parade's popular Jesse White Tumblers wowed the crowd with their acrobatics and roller skaters named after James Brown showed off their skills.

    Despite a shooting during the festivities that prompted concerns from parade-goers, the celebration continued well into the afternoon.

    Loud and proud, thousands of celebrators marched down the South Side streets.