The Bastardization of the Bud Billiken Parade

The Bastardization of the Bud Billiken Parade

The Bud Billiken Day Parade is on August 9, 2014 and this will be the 85th year of the parade. The parade has grown to be the largest parade in the country who''s focus is to promote education.

Over the next couple of weeks practically every major intersection will have a "dance troupe" with individuals from 8-80 years old, hanging on the corner soliciting funds for "uniforms". One of the groups of solicitors we have on 87th are the Bud Billiken parade participants. So I decided to contact the parade organizers about the solicitation.

The parade organizers explained to me that there is an entry fee for dance troupes of $500. The money is for the cost of a car to carry sound equipment that they need to play the music these groups perform to. It was also stated that they encourage these groups to have fundraisers such as block parties, car washes, etc to raise funds to pay for the cost of parade fees and uniforms.

So with that said, I asked were they aware of the street corner solicitations by groups who alleged are parade participants. The answer was Yes we are aware and there is nothing we can do about it. Yes they are aware of individuals and groups misrepresenting their participation in the parade. Yes, they are aware of the street corner solicitation. Also, No we do not endorse it but we tell them if they are doing it to do it safely and not run out in the street and between cars in traffic.

So I went back and forth with the representative based on her answer and she stood firm on her position and when I stated that solicitation on 87th street is illegal, she basically brushed off my comment.

So the bottom line here is as long as the parade gets their entry fee they don't care how the participants of the parade conduct themselves. I wonder could these groups do what they do and get into the Macy;s or Tournament of Roses parade?

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