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Once again, the team of ABC 7 Eyewitness News Anchors -- Cheryl Burton, Hosea Sanders and Jim Rose captured all the fun for viewers watching at home. ABC 7 Anchors Terrell Brown and Karen Jordan were also a part of the festivities, checking out the action along the parade route. Actor and comedian, Lil Rel Howery, who hails from Chicago's West Side, served as the 2019 Grand Marshal. Lil Rel also made an appearance in the ABC 7 broadcast booth to talk about his Chicago roots and Bud Billiken Parade memories.
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The theme for this year's parade is "90 Years of Excellence." Grammy-Award nominee BJ The Chicago Kid and Academy-Award winner Che "Rhymefest" Smith were honorary Marshals.
Celebrating in the annual tradition were members of the ABC 7 Eyewitness News team including, Ravi Baichwal, Liz Nagy along with ABC 7 Windy City LIVE's Val Warner and Ryan Chiaverini, who rode atop the station's colorful float.
WATCH: ABC 7 Chicago Float
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.
The Bud Billiken Parade has the distinction of being the second largest parade in the country with more than 1 million people in attendance. It is the oldest and largest African American parade in the U.S. Recognized as a day of family fun and celebration that kicks off the return to class for Chicago school children, the parade has become an anticipated event in Chicago each August. Families and friends have participated, enjoyed and attended the Bud Billiken for generations.
The Robert Sengstacke Abbott Foundation produces the Bud Billiken Parade; ABC 7 is a sponsor and produces the parade broadcast.
According to John Idler, President & General Manager, ABC 7 "The Bud Billiken Parade is steeped in Chicago tradition and has been celebrated by families every summer for generations. I'm proud of our partnership with the Robert Sengstacke Abbott Foundation and the fact that we are the only TV station in Chicago to broadcast the parade for the entire community."
"This year we are celebrating 90 years of Legacy and Academic Excellence. We are so grateful for ABC 7's coverage of the Bud Billiken Parade and the amazing team of anchors who continue to participate and support our legacy and tradition," said Myiti Sengstacke-Rice, Bud Billiken Parade Chair and President/CEO of the Robert Sengstacke Abbott Foundation (formerly Chicago Defender Charities, Inc.).
The Bud Billiken Parade takes place in Chicago's historic Bronzeville neighborhood beginning at Oakwood Boulevard and King Drive. From there, it continues south on King Drive to 51st Street. It continues on Ellsworth Drive (in Washington Park) from 51st Street to Garfield Boulevard (55th Street) where it disbands.
There will be picnics and fun 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 is available on-demand at abc7chicago.com.
Cathy Karp is the producer of ABC 7's Bud Billiken parade broadcast.