It’s Bud Billiken time in Chicago

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Central State University Marching and Concert Band will drop the beat first Aug. 14 as they lead the 81st Bud Billiken Parade down King Drive.

Central State University Marching and Concert Band will drop the beat first Aug. 14 as they lead the 81st Bud Billiken Parade down King Drive. The Bud Billiken Parade is a proud African American tradition originated by founder Robert S. Abbott in 1929 to prepare students for going back to school.  The spotlight has been put on youth and education on the second Saturday in August each year since.   Marching the parade route this year will be Disney’s first Black princess, Tiana, and Mickey and Minnie Mouse, there will also be a who’s who of political, civic, community and faith leaders and members with bands, dance troupes and other groups from near and far. And of course, the parade lineup would not be complete without participation from this year’s Royal Court. Bud Billiken, put on by the non-profit Defender Charities, is a year-round program that supports youth with scholarships, internships, college recruitment and job training.  The Charities also develops programs that address issues of violence and assists at-risk Chicago Public School students.  The annual parade is the nation’s oldest and largest African American parade, second only in size to the Tournament of Roses Parade. More than 1.5 million people attend, not including the television viewing audience. Copyright 2010 Chicago Defender

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