CHICAGO — As the Stanley Cup makes it way around Chicago to the delight of fans, city officials are making plans for an even bigger bash: a victory parade and rally now scheduled for Friday.
The time and place of the rally hasn't been released. When the Hawks won the Cup in 2010, the parade kicked off at the United Center before winding its way Downtown for a massive rally at Michigan Avenue and Wacker Drive.
But Friday is days away — and there will be plenty of partying before then.
Already Tuesday morning, fans lined up at spots around the city, hoping that would be the Cup's next stop.
Those who came out to Harry Caray's in Rosemont and Scout bar in the South Loop have been the lucky ones so far. The Hawks paraded the cup into both establishments as fans snapped pictures and cheered.
The Hawks rallied to pull off an improbable 3-2 victory by scoring a pair of goals 17 seconds apart late in the third period to stun Boston in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final.
The dramatic win set off celebrations around the city, with fireworks being shot off in neighborhoods, and ecstatic bar patrons spilling out in the streets. Police tried to tame crowds as things got rowdy. A total of 23 people were arrested in the celebrations, police said.
"Keep the bars open. We're coming home," said Hawks captain Jonathan Toews, who scored in the second period. "We're going to fill the Cup up tonight, and we're going to share it with the city of Chicago. ... It's going to be a heckuva party."
In Wrigleyville, fans overtook Clark Street, creating a sea of red. They celebrated wildly — screaming, hoisting people up on shoulders, waving black-and-red flags and lifting up mock Stanley Cups. One man even took a large tree branch, a remnant from the storm earlier in the night, and paraded it toward the epicenter of Wrigleyville at Addison and Clark.
Bridget Verrueulen and Nick Herron live in the neighborhood and hadn't planned to dive into the craziness of Clark, but after the Hawks nabbed the win, they couldn't resist.
"At first, we said 'hell no,'" Verrueulen said. "But when they won, we said we needed to be a part of this. [It's] excitement, craziness and a little bit of stupidity."
Many fans admitted they weren't expecting tonight to be the night. Once the Bruins broke the first tie, it seemed like the Hawks would be coming home for a game on Wednesday for sure, said Tony Gallo, a lifelong hockey player and Hawks fan.
"It's unbelievable," Gallo said. "I'm still in shock."
But Gallo was thrilled nevertheless — and a bit glad that he didn't end up paying for tickets for Game 7, which he surely would have done, he said.
The barricades police set up to keep fans out of Clark Street just south of Addison proved no match. Fans poured over the metal barricades to party in the streets. Some fans lifted the barricades up and carried them around.
A wall of mounted police officers — 10 horses in the front row, eight in the second row — slowly worked to restore order on Clark as fans found their way back to the sidewalks. Some barricades were restored, and police managed to keep some traffic flowing along Sheffield where it crossed Clark.
But as Hawks fans reached Clark and Addison streets, police simply watched as beers were lifted, champagne bottles were popped, and fireworks blasted from the rooftops.
"It's beautiful," Gallo said. "It's just amazing. Everyone's amazing. The cops are cool."
The Hawks pulled off a miraculous comeback to claim the Cup.
With less than a minute to play, Dave Bolland had the winner, just moments after Bryan Bickell tied things at 2-2 when the Hawks pulled goalie Corey Crawford.
"Awesome. I still can't believe that finish," Crawford told NBC. "We never quit. This feels unbelievable.
"We're all behind each other," he said.
It's Chicago's second Stanley Cup title in four seasons.
It was an incredible season for the Hawks, who began the shortened 2013 campaign an NHL-record 21-0-3.
"This is an unbelievable group. We've been through a lot together this year," Toews said. "We knew we needed just one bounce. ... You don't stop playing until the end. It's nice not to have to go back to Chicago [for Game 7]."
Patrick Kane, who had two goals in the Hawks' Game 5 win over Boston, won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoffs' most valuable player.
"I think there's a lot of guys who deserved it. ... I think it speaks more for my team than me personally," Kane said. "It's unbelievable."
Blackhawks fans stuck close to the bars along Division Street despite the rain earlier Monday night.
Neighboring restaurants Innjoy, Smallbar and 50/50, were packed as sports fans along the street waited for the clincher.
"It's gonna happen tonight," said Carmine Ricelli, 31, manager of a River North bar that's seen a spike in popularity since hockey's ultimate series began.
The Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup in 2010 by beating Philadelphia in six games. Monday, they led Boston three games to two, with the potential of clinching another title with a win.
"Last time when they won it was chaos," he said. "Now it's raining, but I don't think that's going to stop it."
Matthew Bruce sat with a few friends who had shown up hours before the game to reserve a seat for the group.
"I'm thinking 4-3, Hawks in overtime," he said prophetically, just as the puck dropped.
Blackhawks winger Andrew Shaw went down with a puck to the face in the first period, to the sound of outraged boos from the Division Street crowd. A Bruins goal was scored in the same period, adding insult to injury. Toews scored the tying tally in the second period.
At Innjoy, Emmanuel Camacho, 23, said he's seen every game of the playoffs.
"It's championship night, bro," he said.
And when they won?
"Celebration," he said. "I'm just gonna bask in it for the year."