One of the most popular performing groups in the annual Bud Billiken Parade will not be on King Drive this year, because of new rules limiting the number of marchers.
Last year, the South Shore Drill Team celebrated its 35th anniversary with 169 drill team members, plus a few dozen parent volunteers and drill team staffers marching alongside.
Drill team administrative director Sara Vlacic said parade organizers told the team they were limiting performance groups to 100 people this year, and that’s not acceptable for them, so the drill team has decided not to participate.
“That’s for the children, and for getting them excited to go back to school, so we’re not going to tell half of them they can’t march,” she said.
Vlacic said drill team officials did not want to disappoint any of the young people who have worked hard preparing for performances like the Bud Billiken Parade.
So, instead of being in the Bud Billiken Parade, the South Shore Drill Team will perform at the Gary Comer Youth Center in the Greater Grand Crossing neighborhood – about two miles south of the parade route – from 10 a.m. to 12 noon. Afterward, they will travel to far south suburban Momence to march in the Gladiolas Fest Parade in the afternoon.
Vlacic said the drill team will leave Sunday night for Florida to visit and march at Disney World.