The 2014 Bud Billiken Royal Court crowned, readies for 85th annual parade

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The 2014 Bud Billiken Court has taken their royal seats and is ready for the 85th annual Bud Billiken Parade.

Parents, friends and Chicago Defender representatives proudly looked on as the royal court was crowned and honored during the King and Queen Coronation held Saturday, Aug.2, at the DuSable Museum of African American History.

The annual event also celebrated the winners of this year’s Bud Billiken King and Queen Contest. The royal court – King Tayshaun Bell, Queen Arianna Orr, Prince Robert Peden and Princess Kishara Franklin – can be seen this Saturday in the historic Bud Billiken Parade, which begins at 10 a.m. Aug. 9, proceeding down Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. before thousands of people from all over the Chicagoland area.  This marks the 85th year of the highly anticipated back-to-school event, which is billed as the second largest parade in the country behind the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City.

Bud Billiken royal court-2 (inside) copy

This year’s royal court include:

King Tayshaun Bell, 9, who attends Hunter Perkins Charter School. Tayshaun has excelled in his academics, and is a very charismatic child. He loves to play basketball, dance, sing, wrestle and he’s very helpful. Tayshaun aspires to be a professional basketball player, husband and father.

Queen Arianna Orr, 9, is an honor roll student at Donoghue University of Chicago Charter School. Arianna is an inspired model, actress and dancer. She attends Mayfair Academy of Fine Arts of Chicago, and John Casablancas Modeling & Career Center of Oakbrook. Arianna has been dancing with Mayfair Academy of Fine Arts since she was 4 years old and she continues to learn the technique of ballet, tap, hip hop and jazz with the assistant of her dance instructors.

Prince Robert Laurence Peden, 10, is a rising 5th grade student at Calvary Academy in South Holland. He is a hard-working student and a blue ribbon speech competitor as he represents his school in speech competitions. He is involved in many community service projects at school and at church. Robert reads to the elderly and tutors other students in shelters. He has participated in many activities at church, including Easter and Christmas plays along with the annual Tom Thumb Wedding production. He took his first drama class this summer playing Kristoph in the production of “Frozen.”

Princess Kishara Franklin, 11, is in the 6th grade at Carol Moseley Braun School in Calumet City. In school, she strives continually to be on the honor roll, and enjoys family math night, and having lunch with the principal.

Kishara has been a Girl Scout for seven years. During this time she has participated in the annual Making Strides for Cancer Walk, the Lego Robotic team, and is currently working with others in her troop to implement a recycling program in the Dolton community to earn the coveted Girl Scout Bronze Award, which is the highest honor for a Girl Scout Junior.

Kishara loves swimming, computer games, and telling knock-knock jokes. She is always smiling, confident, and willing to take on the next challenge. Her goal is to start a school for children with special needs.

This week’s schedule of fun activities for the very deserving royal court included Great America on Monday, laser tag on Tuesday, a Chicago White Sox game on Wednesday, Navy Pier on Thursday, a Chicago Cubs game on Friday and an appearance on Windy City Live — all ending with resting up for the celebrated parade on Saturday.

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