CHICAGO — Mayor Brandon Johnson was alongside U.S. Congressman Danny Davis, who helped put together the 43rd iteration of a back-to-school parade and picnic in the Austin neighborhood Saturday afternoon.

Starting off from Central and Bloomingdale, thousands of people marched the streets on the City’s West Side for an event that helps kids get ready to put a close on summer break, and open up the books as classes begin again.

Davis started hosting this specific event 43 years ago when he was alderman of Chicago’s 29th Ward.

“We’ve never been rained out,” Davis said. “We’ve been rained on, but never rained out.”

The parade is also an annual ritual for Johnson, an Austin resident and former teacher in the area, but this was the first time he walked the event as the City’s mayor.

“My favorite part about this parade is everyone coming together,” said West Side resident Tawatha Potts. “Everyone is showing a lot of love and everyone is just happy.”