CHICAGO (WLS) -- ABC 7 Chicago will feature all the summer fun and back-to-school celebration that's part of an annual Chicago tradition, the Bud Billiken Parade. The two-hour special broadcast of the 94th annual Bud Billiken parade will be available live on ABC 7 and abc7chicago.com Saturday, Aug. 12, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. It will also exclusively stream live on ABC 7's Connected TV Apps on Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV and Roku.
Cheryl Burton, Jim Rose, and Hosea Sanders of ABC 7 Eyewitness News will once again serve as the event's hosts, and Terrell Brown and Karen Jordan of ABC 7 will be on the ground to cover all the action and excitement from the parade. ABC 7's Tanja Babich, Samantha Chatman, Ryan Chiaverini, Leah Hope, Tre Ward and Val Warner as well as other ABC 7 staffers will be riding atop the ABC 7 Chicago float waving to the crowd.
This year's Bud Billiken parade theme is "Parading in Peace! Block by Block," demonstrating the city of Chicago's dedication to fostering peace despite the many challenges of unrest. The back-to-school parade will feature the heart-pumping performances from the local South Side Drill team, Hiplet dancers, Chi-Town cheerleaders, Praize Productions, Dance Force Empire, At B's Geek Squad, and a GRAMMY Award-winning celebrity.
Chicago's very own J. Ivy will be honored as the 2023 Bud Billiken Parade grand marshal. Ivy is an American performance poet, songwriter and author. He won his first GRAMMY Award this year with his sixth album. He is best known for his performance on Kanye West's 2004 GRAMMY Award-winning debut album, "The College Dropout."
With over 1 million spectators, the Bud Billiken Parade holds the distinction of being the oldest and biggest African American parade in the nation. Every August, it has been a day of celebration and family fun marking the beginning of the new school year for generations of Chicago families.
According to John Idler, president & general manager, ABC 7, "We take great pride in being the exclusive broadcast home to this special event. Our long-standing partnership with the Chicago Defender Charities is what makes it all possible. The combination of Chicago's No. 1 station with this great summer tradition will help shine a light on the importance of education."
"The Bud Billiken Parade is a cherished staple in our community, bringing joy to generations of families, and highlighting the importance of education and empowerment," said Myiti Sengstacke-Rice, president/CEO of the Chicago Defender Charities Inc. and Bud Billiken Parade Chair. "It is an honor to witness the tremendous impact that our 94-year-old tradition has on the community, fostering a sense of pride, inspiring our youth, and showcasing their talents. We appreciate our long-standing relationship with ABC 7 Chicago. For the past two decades, we have enjoyed working with the station and all of the talent who feel like family to us at the Chicago Defender Charities."
The parade will kick off at 10 a.m. on 39th and Martin Luther King Drive with the grand marshal, J-Ivy, leading the procession south onto King Drive, through Washington Park and concluding at Garfield Boulevard.
About ABC7/WLS-TV Chicago
ABC7/WLS-TV Chicago is the No. 1 local news source and most-watched television station in Chicago. With top-rated daily newscasts spanning decades and the largest social media presence in the market with more than 2.6 million Facebook followers, ABC7 Eyewitness News provides breaking news, investigative reporting, weather, politics, traffic and sports in the multiplatform space toChicago, the suburbs and northwest Indiana. Named Best News Operation by the Associated Press for four consecutive years, ABC 7 Eyewitness News produces "Chicago Proud," a series of features that spotlights everyday heroes in and around Chicago.The station also produces the highest-rated New Year's Eve special in Chicago, holiday kickoff special "The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival," syndicated to a national audience, as well as the award-winning program series "Our Chicago," which showcases the city's diversity and highlights contributions in the Black, Hispanic, Asian, LGBTQ+ communities, among others.Every Friday, Windy City Weekend, entertains while giving Chicagoans everything they need to know about what's happening in the city. ABC 7 is the only Chicago station producing and broadcasting parades representing Chicago's rich cultural history. In addition to producing town halls focused on current social issues, the station has a long and proud tradition of broadcasting political candidate debates keeping Chicago's electorate informed.ABC7's outreach efforts include annual partnerships with the Red Cross for life-saving blood drives, one of the biggest one-day drives in the country and, most recently, spearheading an effort to raise more than $1.5 million for area food pantries.