A parade kicked off at 11 a.m. and included bands, school and local organizations, and floats.
The parade was followed by a picnic at Marshall High School's Campus Park.
More than 1,400 backpacks were given to parents and students to give them a head start on some school supplies they'll need during the year.
"It can get expensive, and it might not be able to take them all the way through school, but it will definitely give them a great start," said volunteer Lavonda Scott.
"It's to make it easier and to make sure everybody has a fresh start going back to school. We want to send the kids off to school with a great thing, as well as celebrate our seniors this year," said Ald. Jason Ervin, 28th Ward.
The Ford City Mall also held in inaugural back to school event.
There was live entertainment by the Jesse White Tumblers, music and prize giveaways.