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Bronzeville, Near South Side

Bud Billiken Parade Returns To Bronzeville After A Year Off Because Of Pandemic

PHOTOS: The 92nd Annual Bud Billiken Parade returned to Bronzeville as school's return peers around the corner. Neighbors celebrated with dance and song all day.

Dancers perform along Martin Luther King Jr. Drive during the 92nd Bud Billiken Parade in Chicago on Aug. 14, 2021.
Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
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BRONZEVILLE — Chicagoans flocked to King Drive on Saturday for the much-anticipated return of the Bud Billiken Parade, which was canceled last year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Smiles and cheers filled the parade route as elected officials, dance troupes, local unions and more marched through the South Side neighborhood on the perfect summer day.

The annual back-to-school event typically attracts close to 500,000 people every summer. With the availability of vaccines and students preparing to return to the classroom this fall, parade organizers brought it back, but with safety precautions.

Organizers shrunk the footprint of the parade staging area and cut the number of entrants from 250 to 125, said Myiti Sengstacke-Rice, president of the Sengstacke Foundation, which organizes the parade.

But the shorter parade didn’t dampen the enthusiasm. Check out the photos:

Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
The South Shore Drill Team performs along Martin Luther King Jr. Drive during the 92nd Bud Billiken Parade in Chicago on Aug. 14, 2021.
Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
The Rich High School marching band performs along Martin Luther King Jr. Drive during the 92nd Bud Billiken Parade in Chicago on Aug. 14, 2021.
Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
A bearded dragon takes a ride on a person’s hat along Martin Luther King Jr. Drive during the 92nd Bud Billiken Parade in Chicago on Aug. 14, 2021.
Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
Lillian Wilkins excitedly greets Mayor Lori Lightfoot along Martin Luther King Jr. Drive during the 92nd Bud Billiken Parade in Chicago on Aug. 14, 2021.
Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
The Jackson family poses for a photo along Martin Luther King Jr. Drive during the 92nd Bud Billiken Parade in Chicago on Aug. 14, 2021.
Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
Aaliyah Spates and her family smile for a photo along Martin Luther King Jr. Drive during the 92nd Bud Billiken Parade in Chicago on Aug. 14, 2021.
Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
Ursula Cline from Englewood dances along Martin Luther King Jr. Drive during the 92nd Bud Billiken Parade in Chicago on Aug. 14, 2021.
Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
Chicago Fire Department Commissioner Annette Nance-Holt waves along Martin Luther King Jr. Drive during the 92nd Bud Billiken Parade in Chicago on Aug. 14, 2021.
Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
Aaliyah Spates blows bubbles along Martin Luther King Jr. Drive during the 92nd Bud Billiken Parade in Chicago on Aug. 14, 2021.
Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
The South Shore Drill Team performs along Martin Luther King Jr. Drive during the 92nd Bud Billiken Parade in Chicago on Aug. 14, 2021.
Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush (D-1st) waves his hands in the air along Martin Luther King Jr. Drive during the 92nd Bud Billiken Parade in Chicago on Aug. 14, 2021.
Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
Spectators excitedly watch as the South Shore Drill Team performs along Martin Luther King Jr. Drive during the 92nd Bud Billiken Parade in Chicago on Aug. 14, 2021.
Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
Geek Squad performs along Martin Luther King Jr. Drive during the 92nd Bud Billiken Parade in Chicago on Aug. 14, 2021.
Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
Trina Cothron (right) takes Ayden Cobb (left) to his first Bud Billiken Parade on Aug. 14, 2021.
Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
Brad and Lynn Tucker smile for a photo along Martin Luther King Jr. Drive during the 92nd Bud Billiken Parade in Chicago on Aug. 14, 2021.
Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
Lola the parrot makes an appearance along Martin Luther King Jr. Drive during the 92nd Bud Billiken Parade in Chicago on Aug. 14, 2021.
Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton march and wave to spectators along Martin Luther King Jr. Drive during the 92nd Bud Billiken Parade in Chicago on Aug. 14, 2021.
Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
Waves and kisses are shared with spectators along Martin Luther King Jr. Drive during the 92nd Bud Billiken Parade in Chicago on Aug. 14, 2021.
Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
Spectators excitedly greet Mayor Lori Lightfoot as she throws a t-shirt for them along Martin Luther King Jr. Drive during the 92nd Bud Billiken Parade in Chicago on Aug. 14, 2021.
Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
Dancers of Silent Threat performed in honor of their late dance coach, Verndell Smith who was fatally shot in May 2021, perform along Martin Luther King Jr. Drive during the 92nd Bud Billiken Parade in Chicago on Aug. 14, 2021.
Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
A person holds a puppy along Martin Luther King Jr. Drive during the 92nd Bud Billiken Parade in Chicago on Aug. 14, 2021.

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