WGN-TV Chicago will carry the annual “Bud Billiken Parade,” presented by Chicago Defender Charities, live in HD on Saturday, August 13th from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. WGN’s 34th 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: Now More Than Ever.”
WGN’s Micah Materre, actors David & Tamela Mann will host the coverage. Scheduled to appear on the WGN-TV float: Tom Skilling; Steve Sanders; Dean Richards; Erin McElroy; Bob Jordan; Muriel Clair; CLTV’s Tonya Francisco; 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 recognized as the second largest parade in the U.S.
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.