Crowds flock to 87th annual Bud Billiken Parade

- A summer tradition for many Chicagoans welcomed millions of people to the south side Saturday morning.  The annual Bud Billiken Day parade was held today in Bronzeville.

The parade route stretches from Bronzeville two miles south to Washington Park. This year organizers expected about 2 million people to line the route. 

The event is not without controversy, this past week we learned that one of the parade's biggest groups pulled out. The South Shore Drill Team made up of more than 200 kids didn't participate because of a rule that each group is limited to now 100 people - meaning they would have to cut more than half of their teammates.

Instead the South Shore Drill team held two events of their own Saturday including one at the Gary Comer Youth Center and at the Gladiolus Festival in Momence. 

“I was a little upset because they're a staple here at the parade,” said parade fan Ronald Howard. ”I feel like they should always be able to attend because ever since I was a small child they've always been part of the parade.”

Despite the large drill team's absence - the Bud Billiken was bursting with entertainment performed by the city's youth.

“I think the parade overall a chance for less privileged children to be able to be in the limelight,” said Traja Williams. “You see kids that can dance and sing and play instruments and stuff that you don't see on a everyday basis.”


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