The annual Bud Billiken Parade returns for its 88th year on Saturday, and ABC7 Chicago is once again will bring live coverage of the city's premier back-to-school events.
The annual event is a family tradition that aims to get children excited about education and going back to school. It is the largest African American parade in the country.
The parade runs along Martin Luther King Drive, between Oakwood Boulevard and 51st Street, in the city's Bronzeville neighborhood. This year, the parade will honor hometown heroes, including Chance the Rapper, who is the parade's grand marshal, and is apparently bringing surprises.
"We'll just tell you he's doing it for people at the parade, only people at the parade will be able to benefit from it," said Kristal Davis, Senior Vice President of Communications for Chicago Defender Charities.
Chance's media team tweeted that he'll be handing out 30,000 stuffed backpacks this weekend, could there be more?
In March he shocked a South Side elementary school with a personalized check, and handed over $1 million of his own money to Chicago Public Schools.
This weekend's surprise is top secret.
"His big announcement has to do with a lot of the youth in the city," Davis said.
"I'm not sure what it is but I'm looking forward to finding out," said Kira Rutledge, South Shore Drill Team.
The South Shore Drill team will also return to the parade this year after parade organizers lifted the restrictions on the number of youth who can march with the unit.
"New uniforms, new routines, clean slate, fresh new performance," said Rodney Nelson, co-captain.
Bud Billiken Parade to be held on Saturday
On Wednesday, Myiti Sengstacke-Rice, president of the Chicago Defender Charities and Bud Billiken Parade chairwoman, visited the ABC7 studio to talk about the history of the parade including parade founders John Sengstacke and Robert Sengstacke Abbott.
ABC7's Cheryl Burton will have an exclusive interview with Chance during Saturday's parade.
Watch the parade live 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday on ABC 7, 7.2, abc7chicago.com and the ABC7 News App. After the parade the entire broadcast will be available on demand at abc7chicago.com.