Bud Billiken Parade makes triumphant return Saturday

Chicago’s Bud Billiken Parade is back, stepping off on the South Side for the 92nd year.

The parade was canceled in 2020 for the first time since it began 1929.

Some call it the city’s biggest family reunion—a parade and festival they never miss.

The festival is back, too, in Washington Park

City work crews were out early Friday morning putting up fencing and cleaning Washington Park.


But this year the parade route is only 10 blocks long—running along Martin Luther King Dr. to Ellsworth between 45th and 55th streets.

The Bud Billiken website says to expect great music, dance and food.

Candace Parker with the WNBA’s Chicago Sky is this years grand marshal.

The guest list includes Activist Englewood Barbie, TV and radio personality Bevy Smith, Gospel artist Jonathan McReynolds and Reverend Jesse Jackson.

COVID concerns mean there are changes this year. The Bud Billiken website says festival-goers must be vaccinated or show a negative test result from the last 72 hours. They are also required by the city to wear a mask whether they’re vaccinated or not, According to the site.

Masks will be handed out if needed. People are also asked to try to maintain social distance wherever possible.

Another addition to the festival: The City Department of Public Health and Walgreens will be offering COVID-19 vaccinations in Washington Park.

The parade and festival runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.