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17-Apr-14

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UnRated Magazine Review: Chicago, IL
Band Review

77th Annual Bud Billiken Parade

Chicago, IL

By Stefanie Newell

The 77th Annual Bud Biliken Parade rolled down Martin Luther King Drive in Chicago on Saturday, August 12th, making it official that it is almost time for the kids to go back to school. The theme for the largest African American parade in the nation was, "Education: It's Hard Out There Without It." Senator Barack Obama acted as the 2006 Grand Marshall for the parade this year. "I'm quite familiar with the Bud Billiken Parade & Picnic and am pleased to play a part in this year's celebration," commented the Senator. "This annual parade and picnic are so rich in history that they've become legendary and the Chicago Defender Charities are to be commended for taking on such a huge task each year to produce an event that is marveled at and enjoyed by millions of people across the United States."

The Bud Billiken Parade dates back to 1929. It began as the wish of the Chicago Defender's founder Robert S. Abbott to organize the many youth who sold the Chicago Defender newspaper. The parade was a huge success and has continued to attract over a million parents and children alike. Reuben Studdard (American Idol), Chicago's own Mel Jackson (Soul Food) and RonReaco Lee (Sister, Sister) rode along on the Soul 106.3 float. They brightened the faces of all their adoring fans. Causing a mass ruckus was Bad Boy South rapper Young Joc, who was on the Power 92 float. Young Joc had to be whisked away because his young fans just couldn't contain themselves. I guess you could say, "It was going down." Local rappers Pheave and Chi-Blizz were spotted at the parade, while Ish Enterprises artist Shorty K contributed the song/ringtone Cannot Stop Me to help raise money for the Chicago Defender Charities' Scholarship program. For more information about the "Cannot Stop Me" ringtone, log onto www.theshortyshop.com. For more information on the Bud Billiken Parade and Picnic log onto the charity's website at http://budbillikenparade.com.