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Bronzeville, Near South Side

‘The Bud,’ The Country’s Largest Black Parade, Celebrates Its Full-Length Return

"A lot of Black people show up to [the Bud Billiken Parade], considering it's on King Drive and we're on the Low End," one attendee said from his front porch. "But this is for everybody. This is a love parade."

A dancer with the Golden Elites Dance Troop poses at the start of the parade route before she and her teammates begin performing.
Maxwell Evans/Block Club Chicago
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GRAND BOULEVARD — Tens of thousands of Chicagoans watched dozens of dance troupes, musicians, dignitaries and more march through Bronzeville during Saturday’s Bud Billiken Parade.

With a theme of “The Power Of Bud Billiken 365,” a nod to the around-the-clock work of parade organizers and sponsors, the inclusive but uniquely Black back-to-school celebration took place on a cloudy, sometimes-sprinkling Saturday.

Parade participants marched the entire traditional 2-mile route down King Drive, from Pershing Road to Garfield Boulevard, for the first time since the pandemic started.

Notable attendees included parade grand marshal and Morgan Park High School graduate Jeremih, Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, U.S. Rep. Danny Davis, actress Regina Taylor and comedian Korporate.

Photos from the 93rd annual Bud Billiken Parade are below:

Credit: Maxwell Evans/Block Club Chicago
A young member of the Geek Skquad Dance Company smiles at attendees as the group’s float passes down King Drive.
Credit: Maxwell Evans/Block Club Chicago
Tasia Mason and her son Daniel, 8, pose in front of a table for Mason’s TylashDollz beauty and accessories company. This is the first time Mason has sold TylashDollz products at the parade. “It’s great to be around Black people and to see all the positivity,” Mason said. “Even if we’re only entrepreneurs for the day, it’s great to see us making money in a positive light.”
Credit: Maxwell Evans/Block Club Chicago
Balloon vendor Iyma Cuevas waves as she’s surrounded by her wares, including Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Dora the Explorer and unicorn balloons.
Credit: Maxwell Evans/Block Club Chicago
The Made By Money, or MBM, dance company’s float. The dancers found a new home in Chatham last year after a fire destroyed their studio in 2020.
Credit: Maxwell Evans/Block Club Chicago
A parade participant weaves a miniature Chevy truck down the street.
Credit: Maxwell Evans/Block Club Chicago
A young dancer readies herself as her teammates perform all around her.
Credit: Maxwell Evans/Block Club Chicago
Brass players with the King College Prep Jaguar marching band perform Saturday. The band, whose school is about a half-mile east of the parade route, led the march down King Drive.
Credit: Maxwell Evans/Block Club Chicago
21st Ward aldermanic candidate Daliah Goree’s team turns a gold, mid-1960s Pontiac Bonneville off Oakwood Boulevard into the parade.
Credit: Maxwell Evans/Block Club Chicago
Mayor Lori Lightfoot shakes hands and chats with parade attendees near 43rd Street.
Credit: Maxwell Evans/Block Club Chicago
John Smith tends a grill with ribs, chicken and links shortly after the parade kicked off at 10 a.m. Saturday. Smith lives across the street from his grilling station and has attended “the Bud” for more than 20 years.
Credit: Maxwell Evans/Block Club Chicago
Attendees try to catch a glimpse of the Bringing Out Talent dance company. People down the block from where the team stopped marching to perform joked the team should have stopped walking “just a little bit sooner.”
Credit: Maxwell Evans/Block Club Chicago
A group of Jesse White Tumblers, a perennial participant and fan favorite at the parade, march as their fellow tumblers bounce off trampolines behind them. The team efficiently set up mats and trampolines to perform at each stop along the route, before quickly packing them up to continue marching.
Credit: Maxwell Evans/Block Club Chicago
Anthony Pierce, who lives at a King Drive apartment building, poses in a “Cat in the Hat” cap as he watches the Bud Billiken Parade from his front porch. He’s lived along the parade route for four years, and enjoys “The Bud” because “this brings us together,” he said. “A lot of Black people show up to this parade, considering it’s on King Drive and we’re on the Low End. But this is for everybody. This is a love parade.”

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