Reporting Mike Krauser
Updated 06/27/12 – 5:46 p.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) — Contrary to previous reports, President Barack Obama will not be the grand marshal at this year’s Bud Billiken Parade, due to scheduling conflicts.
The president was invited to be the grand marshal, but a campaign official said Wednesday that Obama would not attend, due to his busy schedule this August.
“But the President will continue to be a strong supporter of the parade, and of its broader mission: placing a priority on education, supporting our children, and making sure they have the skills they need to achieve their goals,” a campaign source said. “As part of his continued commitment to this historically significant event on Chicago’s south side, the Obama campaign will have a strong presence at this year’s Bud Billiken parade.”
The Bud Billiken Parade is known as the second largest parade in the nation. It draws crowds of more than a million people each year to King Drive between Bronzeville and Washington Park.
The Bud Billiken Parade and Picnic dates back to 1929, as a means for Defender founder Robert Sengstacke Abbott to honor the youth who delivered the newspaper.
This year’s Bud Billiken Parade is set for Aug. 11. Had Obama accepted the invitation, it would have been the second time he served as grand marshal, the first since he became president.