The Crusader Newspaper Group

2x Grammy Award-Winning artist and Chicago native J. Ivy will serve as the Grand Marshal for the 94th Annual Bud Billiken® Parade

94th Annual Bud Billiken® Parade flyer

The iconic parade is back with local dignitaries and celebrity guests celebrating the start of the 2023-2024 school year

One of Chicago’s most iconic parades is back to help kick off and celebrate the start of the 2023-2024 school year! On Saturday, August 12, the 94th Annual Bud Billiken® Parade will take place on Chicago’s South Side, and it will be a star-studded event, celebrating Chicago’s youth and a very special hometown hero. Grammy-winning artist and Chicago native poet J. Ivy will serve as the Grand Marshal for this year’s parade and festival.

“The Bud Billiken® Parade has been around since I was a kid and has always been something special to not only me but to the city of Chicago,” says J. Ivy. “My goal as an artist has always been to honor, showcase, and highlight my city in the best ways possible, and I can’t think of a better way to continue that mission than by serving as this year’s Grand Marshal.”

“When I think of thought leaders who are continuing to push the conversation forward in progressive ways in relation to education and our city, I cannot think of anyone as impactful as J. Ivy,” says Myiti Sengstacke-Rice, President/CEO of the Chicago Defender Charities and Bud Billiken® Parade Chair. “While we are still continuing to adapt and recover from the various changes to our communities, the parade always is an exciting time where the city can celebrate together and look forward to the great things ahead in the upcoming year.”

In addition to J. Ivy, other esteemed Chicagoans will be recognized for their outstanding impact and leadership. Honorary marshals include: Mayor Brandon Johnson; Museum of Science and Industry President Chevy Humphrey; Pam Blackman of Building Brighter Futures; Jahmal Cole of My Block My Hood My City; LaShaun Jackson of the Circle Foundation; Entrepreneur Nikki Hayes of Pier 31; Monique Rodriguez, Founder of Mielle Hair Care Products and the Executive Director of The Black Star Project, Gloria Smith.

The Bud Billiken® Parade is produced by the Chicago Defender Charities. It will take place in the historic Bronzeville community on Dr. Martin Luther King Drive from 41st to 51st and Ellsworth Drive in Washington Park from 51st to 55th. The ’Back to School Festival’ will take place east of 52nd and Ellsworth Drive from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Attendees can enjoy an array of food and activities provided by local vendors.

For more information about the Bud Billiken® Parade, visit Also check out the Bud Billiken® Parade social handles to stay up-to date on all parade and festival news: Facebook: @BudBillikenParadeChicago; X: @BudParade; Instagram: budbillikenparade.

Elaine Hegwood Bowen Photo Plus

Recent News

Scroll to Top