World famous Bud Billiken Parade and Festival is Back!

Chicago’s youth will march alongside Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White, and a number of other local and national stars in the 92nd Annual Bud Billiken Parade on Saturday, August 14, 2021 at 10 a.m.

The theme for this year’s parade is “Back to School, Back to Life, Back to Bud Billiken.” Produced by the Chicago Defender Charities, it is the largest Black parade in the world, and the second largest parade in the country. The 92nd anniversary will pay homage to tradition while embracing contemporary culture and talent. 

Due to COVID-19, the 2021 parade will be abbreviated taking place in Washington Park on Elsworth Drive from 51st to 55th streets and produced in a “closed tv-set” format. Safety for everyone is a top priority with robust health measures in place including COVID-19 testing, wellness checks, masks (if required) and social distancing practices. The Bud Billiken team is in constant communication with all City of Chicagoagencies and health experts. Several contingency plans have been developed that will allow the producers the ability to adjust based on evolving restrictions. Nevertheless, a full parade is planned for 2022. 

The Bud Billiken parade will run in conjunction with the traditional family festival in Washington Park, located next to Dyett High School. The family friendly back-to-school event will have food, activities for all ages, entertainment plus tons of giveaways for student participants. Festival activities will begin at 10 a.m.and conclude at 5 p.m.

“There have been nine decades of youth empowerment and nearly a century of traditions that instill the values of education, heritage and community. After coming together for over 90 years at the Bud Billiken Parade, I am immensely grateful to have another parade,” says Myiti Sengstacke-Rice, President/CEO of the parade and the Chicago Defender Charities.

ABC7 Chicago will broadcast the parade to be aired at a later date. The Chicago Defender Charities publication Bronzeville Life founded by Bud Billiken Parade Chair, Myiti Sengstacke-Rice is the official media sponsor.


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