The Bud Billiken Parade and Picnic (also known as The Bud Billiken Day Parade) is an annual parade held since 1929 in the Bronzeville neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois, United States; it is the largest African-American parade in the nation. It is held annually on the second Saturday in August.
Robert S. Abbott, the founder and publisher of the Chicago Defender, created the fictional character of Bud Billiken, which he featured in a column in his paper. David Kellum suggested the parade as a celebration of African-American life. It is now the second largest annual parade in the United States. The focus of the parade is on educating Chicago’s youth.
In the 21st century, the parade features celebrities, politicians, businessmen, civic organizations and youth. It begins in the Bronzeville neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side and ends in Washington Park. The parade has been televised on WGN-TV (1978–2012), WLS-TV (1984–present) and WCIU-TV (2012–2014). National and international celebrities have attended and some have served as the parade’s Grand Marshal. The 86th Annual Parade took place on August 8, 2015, and was televised on WLS-TV. In 2016, the second Saturday in August falls on August 13.