WGN-TV Chicago will carry the 82nd annual “Bud Billiken Parade,” presented by Chicago Defender Charities, live in HD on Saturday, August 14th from 10am to 12:30pm. WGN’s 33rd annual telecast of the five-mile parade kicks off at Martin Luther King Drive and 39th Street, and concludes in Washington Park on Chicago’s South Side. The theme of this year’s parade is “Education: It’s the American Way”.
Comedian Steve Harvey and radio personality Shirley Strawberry host coverage. Scheduled to appear on the WGN-TV float: WGN News’ Micah Materre, Valerie Warner, Bob Jordan, Muriel Clair, Gaynor Hall and Allison Payne; CLTV’s Tonya Francisco and Garrard McClendon; and Chicago’s favorite clown, Bozo!
Started in 1929, Chicago Defender founder Robert Sengstacke Abbott originally envisioned the parade as a means to include youth in his work to combat racism. The parade is named after the Billiken, a Chinese mythical character believed to be a guardian angel of children. “Bud Billiken” grew from this character and inspired, what has become, a celebratory parade of youths, featuring high school drill teams, marching bands and the Bud Billiken Parade King and Queen. It is the largest African-American parade in the country and the largest parade in Chicago.
Central City Productions, producer of the annual “Bud Billiken Parade” telecast, also produces the “Stellar Gospel Music Awards.” Founded in 1970 by Don Jackson, Central City Productions is Chicago’s oldest African-American owned-and-operated television production company.