Bud Billiken Parade

Every year, on the second Saturday in August, South Shore Drill Team’s performances are the highlight of the Bud Billiken Back-to-School Parade and Picnic. The team’s 220 members take up an entire city block as they dazzle crowds along the parade’s two-mile route. Parents, volunteers, instructors and “the world’s largest boom box” pushed by the sound crew follow closely behind.

The third-largest parade in the United States, the “Bud” is special because it travels 20 blocks down King Drive on Chicago’s South Side, adjacent to many of the neighborhoods where team members reside. Approximately 750,000 people line King Drive, cheering the team on with chants of “South Shore! South Shore!” and an estimated 25 million view the parade on television.

Watch South Shore Drill Team perform at the 2011 Bud
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"I wait on these guys every year. This is the show."

—Comedian Steve Harvey, co-announcer of the Bud Billiken Parade

"When you ask people at the Bud Billiken Parade who they like the best, they say South Shore Drill Team."

—Cheryl Burton, WLS ABC-TV, Channel 7 Anchor