Every year on a Saturday afternoon in August, King Drive is transformed from a major thoroughfare to a raucous parade route. The Bud Billiken Parade has been a South Side tradition since 1929. Floats anchored by DJs, enthusiastic marching bands, and colorfully costumed drill teams entertain thousands of neighbors as they celebrate the return to school each academic year.
This year’s parade is happening Saturday, August, 13th and is scheduled to step-off at 10 am.
Be sure to bring your appetite. All along the parade route, smoke billows from grills where jerk chicken wings, ribs, and other mouthwatering treats tempt spectators and draw shouts from float passengers. Family picnics line the street as the community cheers on performers and spends an afternoon celebrating. The parade, organized by Chicago Defender Charities, Inc., is intended to promote education; it ends in Washington Park, where the party continues throughout the day.
Looking for another way to celebrate Chicago this week? Stop by Hip Cat Chicago on Friday, August 12th at 7 pm for a free cocktail event. Learn more and RSVP on Facebook.
Molly Page is a freelance writer and digital strategist. She considers herself lucky because her work often feels more like play. After falling madly in love with her adopted hometown, Chicago, she wrote a book about it, 100 Things to Do in Chicago Before You Die. When she's not hard at play, she can be found snapping pictures and adding to the list of foods she’s tried that would make you gag. Shrimp heads, anyone? Follow her adventures via Twitter or Instagram @mollypg.