Chicago's Students Show School Spirit at Annual Bud Billiken Parade

The parade was followed by several other activities, including picnics, entertainment and school supply giveaways

The annual Bud Billiken Parade stepped off in the Bronzeville neighborhood Saturday morning just one month before school begins for Chicago's many students.

Participants in the back-to-school parade marched down a crowded King Drive on the city's South Side, and the children in the parade and along the route demonstrated their school spirit the entire way.

The Bud Billiken Parade is one of the oldest and largest parades in the country, celebrating its 86th anniversary this year. Families say there is a reason they keep coming back. Just ask Grace Parham, who attended the parade for the 79th time this year.

"It just brings us all together. I've enjoyed every moment, and I wouldn't miss it for the world," Parham said.

This year, more than 200 people participated, from drill teams and show-stopping performers to politicians. Many marched with a message, holding signs with phrases such as "Black Lives Matter" to highlight the violence at home in Chicago.

Sponsored by the Chicago Defender Charities, the parade is also a fundraiser for school supplies. The parade itself is named after a fictional guardian of children, and on Bud Billiken Day, the children take center stage.

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