CHICAGO (AP) – The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the cancellation of Chicago’s Bud Billiken Parade, a traditional African American back-to-school event for 91 years. This year’s parade was set for Aug. 8. Tens of thousands of spectators yearly attend the parade, in which similar numbers march through Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood to a park, where picnicking and a music festival takes place. Bud Billiken is a fictional character that is considered a guardian of children was created in 1923. The parade was originally organized in 1929 by the Chicago Defender newspaper. It is currently sponsored by Chicago Defender Charities.