CHICAGO (WLS) --ABC 7 Chicago will broadcast the 85th Annual Bud Billiken Parade, live, Saturday, August 9th, from 10:00 am- 12:30pm. The Bud Billiken Parade is both the largest African-American parade in the country and one of the city of Chicago's premier back-to-school events. ABC 7 Eyewitness News anchors Cheryl Burton, Jim Rose, and Hosea Sanders will co-host from the broadcast booth capturing all the fun for viewers watching at home. ABC 7 Anchor Karen Jordan and reporter Terrell Brown will also be a part of the festivities, checking out the action along the parade route. The theme for this year's parade is "Education: The One Tool You Can't Lose."
PHOTOS: Chicago notables attend Bud Biliken Day Parade
The Bud Billiken Parade has the distinction of being the second largest parade in the country with more than 1.5 million people in attendance. Recognized as a day of family fun and celebration that kicks off Chicago children's return to school, the parade has become an anticipated event in Chicago each August. Families and friends have participated, enjoyed and attended the Bud Billiken for generations.
Also participating in the annual tradition will be members of the ABC 7 Eyewitness News team including Ravi Baichwal, Ryan Chiaverini, Leah Hope, Karen Jordan, Rafer Weigel and Linda Yu, who will ride atop the station's colorful float.
The Chicago Defender Charities produces the Bud Billiken Parade; ABC 7 is a sponsor and produces the parade broadcast.
"We are proud to be the only television station in Chicago to broadcast the Bud Billiken Parade. The longstanding partnership we've enjoyed with the Chicago Defender Charities to bring the parade to all Chicagoans is something we hope to continue for many years to come," said John Idler, President and General Manager, ABC 7 Chicago.
According to Marc Sengstack, Vice President, Chicago Defender Charities, "The Bud Billiken Parade is a time for children, family and friends to come together and celebrate what's good in the community. It also provides underprivileged youth a chance to shine in the spotlight. Although the Bud Billiken parade takes place in, and is a product of, the Chicago African-American community, the spirit of the parade in universal."
ABC 7 Eyewitness News Anchor Cheryl Burton said, ""Being a Chicago native, the Bud Biliken parade has been a tradition in my family for decades. It is a wonderful opportunity to bring families, friends and communities together, to have a spirit-filled, uplifting fun good time!. Also, the parade marks the very important start to the new school year - with the promise of hope and new beginnings! From jumping double dutch to serving as co-host, I am grateful to be able to participate in the Bud Billiken parade each and every year!"
"It's all about family! It's just a celebration of family, love and unity. Our coverage of the Bud Billiken Parade is a chance for ABC 7 to give back to the people of Chicago, who show us so much support throughout the year," said ABC 7 Eyewitness Anchor Hosea Sanders.
"The Bud Billiken Parade is a 2-and-a-half hour party on ABC 7," said co-host Jim Rose. "It's a wonderful day to celebrate summer while reminding kids of the importance of returning to school."
The Bud Billiken Parade makes its way down by starting at King Drive at Oakwood Blvd 51st Street through Elsworth Drive (in Washington Park) from 51st Street to ending at Garfield Boulevard (55th St.).
There will be activities following the parade which will be located in Washington Park southeast of 51st and King Dr. with free giveaways and other treats.
ABC 7's broadcast of the Bud Billiken Parade will be available on-demand later Saturday evening at abc7chicago.com.