I’ve experienced a first. Well, two firsts. I was able to attend the Bud Billiken Parade here in Chicago, which is, for those of you who are just hearing about it, the oldest black parade in the entire country. It’s usually held right before the back to school season here in the city. It’s away for the residents of the city to rally around the youth of the area, and be encouraging right before the start of the school year.
This year, I had the honor of riding VIP style in the Bud Billiken parade, on the BMOA (Black McDonald’s Operators Association) float with the trifecta, and we had a blast! It was an early start in the morning, and we all met in the Bronzeville area of the city to get lined up and acquainted with the other family that was riding on the float with us. I was able to meet Chanel of Mommy Makin Moves, and her husband and son, and we had a great time getting our parade wave on! We were also on the float with Ronald McDonald himself, and the crowd LOVED him. He smiled and responded to calls out of his name the entire duration!
I will say that my first time participating in the parade was great. The weather was perfect, the music was wonderful, and the parade goers were warm and welcoming. It was nice to see all ages and races present on a Saturday morning SMILING. There were so many grills going that my stomach was growling while waving away.
The parade starts in the Bronzeville area of the city, and ends in Washington Park. It goes by a lot faster than anticipated too. Given that this is the first time I’ve been in formation since my Navy days, I was pleasantly surprised. After the parade ended, we had a chance to hang outside of the Ronald McDonald house, which was created to provide a place for parents of ill children to stay while their child received medical attention at the local hospital.
Mr. Houseful has always participated in feeding families at the Ronald McDonald house on the north side of Chicago with his job, and has always had a positive experience from it. I would like to volunteer more to help make the stays in these houses a little easier for the families that do need to use the services.
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