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Photos: Chance The Rapper Gave Out Thousands Of Backpacks At Bud Billiken & Threw A Surprise Show For Chicago

By Stephen Gossett in News on Aug 13, 2017 1:00PM

The annual Bud Billiken Parade always brings out big crowds, but there was an extra level of excitement this year with Chance the Rapper serving as grand marshal on Saturday—and delivering his promised grand surprise. In addition to handing out thousands of backpacks to kids ahead of the start of school, Chance also announced and handed out tickets for a free Bud Billiken Bash concert, at the Auditorium Theatre, which went down Saturday night. The surprise show featured heavy hitters like Future, Jeremih and more.

The historic Bud Billiken Parade—considered the largest and one of the oldest African-American parades in the country—kicked off in Bronzeville and extended two miles along the route south to Washington Park. As Chance waved to the crowed, he was followed by his charity organization, SocialWorks, which in partnership with STATE Bags handed out some 30,000 backpacks, filled with supplies, to some clearly thrilled parade-goers.

While the parade was in full swing, Chance announced his other big freebie for Chicagoans, the surprise aftershow, as it were. "I'm handing out free tickets all day long," he told ABC7. "I wanted to make sure I can identify all those teachers that support our youth and build our children up, all those fathers that are out here with their families, the cornerstones of their houses, bringing their families out—I wanted to make sure I can identify y'all so my people can get you some free tickets."

Check out the gallery above for some classic Bud Billiken sights, including those dazzling marching bands and drumlines. As usual, the parade also attracted several local politicians, with Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Democratic gubernatorial candidate JB Pritzker both taking part. And take a peek below into the Bud Billiken Bash, which included MadeinTYO and DJ Oreo, in addition to Future and Jeremih.