Chance the Rapper led the way as grand marshal of the annual Bud Billiken Parade in the South Side.
Former President Barack ObamaBarack ObamaBiden endorses Dem in Alabama Senate primary Rice: US has failed in denuclearization of North Korea Trump threatens McConnell MORE stressed education and the empowerment of the nation's youth during an inspirational message at a Chance the Rapper concert in Chicago on Saturday.
"I wanted to just have the chance to say to all of you that the Bud Billiken parade stands for so much of what our community is about", Obama said in the prerecorded speech, which was shown on the Auditorium Theatre's screens.
He told WLS-TV he wants to "make sure everything is a little easier" for students, teachers and parents. "I did it once and I ended up being President, so you never know what might happen".
Two US soldiers killed, five wounded in internal incident
Two coalition service members died in non-combat related incidents in Iraq, one in January and another in February near Ramadi. USA troops have been helping support Iraqi forces battling the Islamic State group - "a truly evil enemy" in the words of Lt.
Chance, a native of the city's Chatham neighborhood, donated 30,000 stuffed backpacks for children along the parade route.
"We want to make sure that they are ready for going back to school".
He added: "Chance, I am grateful for everything you have done for our young people back home".