For the 93rd year, the Bud Billiken Parade took place on Saturday in Chicago’s South End, signaling that the new school year is just around the corner.
Thousands of spectators happily lined Martin Luther King Jr. Drive for the beloved tradition, which organizers say is the nation’s second-largest parade.
“Just an awesome parade, we love it,” one onlooker said.
Along the two and a half mile route there was no shortage of floats, music, dancing and fun.
Called “the bud”, the parade is more than fun. Each year it attracts tens of thousands of people, uniting and inspiring the community while kicking off a new school year.
“We got a lot of back to school supplies, toys, food,” one viewer said. “Every year it’s great to be here.”
Particular emphasis was placed on safety during this year’s parade, as it was the Chicago area’s first major parade since the tragedy in Highland Park. Large trucks blocked access to the parade route and an increased police presence was visible.
Those attending the parade told NBC 5 that they felt comfortable with the extra precautions in place.
“I feel safe,” said a visitor. “I’m like, wow, that’s awesome.”
As usual, the Bud Billiken will return in August next year.