The Bud Billiken Parade and Picnic
is an annual parade
held since 1929 in Chicago, Illinois
. The Bud Billiken Day Parade is the largest African-American
parade in the United States of America. Held annually on the second Saturday in August,
The parade route travels on Dr. Martin Luther King Drive through the Bronzeville
and Washington Park
neighborhoods on the city's south side. At the end of the parade, in the historic Washington public park
is a picnic and festival. Robert S. Abbott
, the founder and publisher of the Chicago Defender,
created the fictional character of Bud Billiken, which he featured in as youth advice column in his paper. David Kellum, co-founder of the Bud Billiken Club
and longtime parade coordinator
suggested the parade as a celebration of African-American life.
Since its beginning, the parade has featured celebrities, politicians, businessmen, civic organizations and youth. It is considered the second largest parade in the United States,
whose focus is on celebrating youth, education and African-American life. The parade is also cited as the "back-to-school" celebration, marking the end of summer vacation and resuming of school for Chicago's youth.
© Diane Alexander White PHOTOGRAPHY