The 2021 Bud Billiken Parade and Festival Returns This Weekend

The Bud Billiken Parade will require guests to be vaccinated or show a negative COVID-19 test

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The 2021 Bud Billiken Parade and Festival will be held Saturday, with Candance Parker of the WNBA’s Chicago Sky serving as the parade's Grand Marshal, organizers announced.

With education as its foundation, the parade returns in celebration of students coming back to school.

This year marks the 92nd annual celebration of the largest African American parade in the U.S. It will begin at 10 a.m. and continue until 4 p.m.

Joining Parker as honorary Grand Marshals will be rapper and actress Nia Kay, author and media personality Bevy Smith and creator of "Black People Eats" Jeremy Joyce. 

Additional dignitaries include honorary hometown heroes, such as award-winning gospel artist Jonathan McReynolds, Netflix "Beats" actor, Khalil Everage and activist Englewood Barbie.

Other parade guests include McKinley Nelson, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Illinois Rep. Bobby Rush and Rep. Danny Davis. Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot will also participate in parade festivities.

The parade will require adults to be vaccinated or show proof of a negative COVID-19 test. Guests will also be required to wear a mask and social distance when possible, the parade said. 

Attendees will be able to get vaccinated, tested and will be provided with information on vaccines during the festival on the west side of 47th Street and King Drive.

“We have a responsibility to use the platform of the Bud Billiken Parade to educate families on the importance of vaccinations,” says Myiti Sengstacke-Rice, CEO of the Chicago Defender Charities and Bud Billiken Parade Chair. “Safety is always our priority for the parade, and we believe that we can have a great parade for our community while following local and state protocols “

The Bud Billiken Parade is a commemoration of the past and future of the Black community. Since 1929, “The Bud” has united the Black community throughout the city of Chicago in music, dance and food.

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