Bud Billiken: A Back-to-School Tradition 

Join CPS at the annual Bud Billiken Parade

August 04, 2015

On Saturday, August 8, hundreds of CPS students, parents, staff and supporters will participate in the 86th-annual Bud Billiken Parade – the largest Back-to-School parade in the country.

The parade winds through several Chicago neighborhoods and is an eagerly anticipated celebration of community and African-American heritage. It is named for a cartoon that ran in the Chicago Defender for years, teaching young people to obey their parents, respect one another, and grow up to be honest, trustworthy citizens. The first parade was meant to provide these children, many of them underprivileged, with a fun, festive experience, and has since become a summertime tradition for nearly 50 million families. 

“Historically, the Bud Billiken Parade has been a very important day in Chicago’s African-American community,” said Phil Hampton, Chief of the District’s Family and Community Engagement (FACE) department. “We are honored to be a part of this great day and will use the opportunity to spread the word about Back-to-School.”
As attendees consider this to be the culminating event of the summer, CPS uses the parade to springboard its Back-to-School campaign, handing out thousands of t-shirts, fans, and other memorabilia adorned with the date for the first day of school – Tuesday, September 8, 2015.
This year’s CPS contingent will include two floats – one for its JROTC programs and one boasting valedictorians from the Class of 2015. Ten CPS marching bands and two ROTC marching units will also walk in the parade, as will hundreds of parents, staff and other District supporters. CPS staff will also be available at Presence in the Park - the post-parade picnic held in Washington Park - to provide information that will help families prepare for the start of school.  
Anyone interested in marching with CPS should call (773) 553-3223 for more information. 

Page Last Modified on Monday, August 10, 2015