GRANT PARK — Draft day finally came, and so did thousands of fans from across the country pregaming the NFL's premier offseason event.
Long lines could be seen at all entrances to Grant Park nearly an hour before "Draft Town" opened its doors at 4 p.m. The wait provided plenty of time for fans of rival teams to joke around and snap photos with each other.
The unprecedented fan event, which is inhabiting nearly all of Grant Park this weekend, was being monitored by hordes of police and "guest services" employees zipping around in go-carts before gates opened.
The calm before the storm [DNAinfo/David Matthews]
Draft Town is home to many pop-up attractions including a wind tunnel, a history museum, copious food stands and a bar. Here are the drink prices this weekend (which, Bears fans will note, are cheaper than beers at Soldier Field):
Football fans flooded the park as soon as gates opened. Black Dog Gelato raised the price of its cones to $5, from $4, within 45 minutes. Of all the team huts, the Dallas Cowboys', featuring the team's famous cheerleaders, was by far the most popular, with a line stretching far into the street.
Scroll down for more photos from Draft Town. The actual NFL Draft, being held in nearby Auditorium Theatre, was to begin at 7 p.m.
Draft Town at approximately 5 p.m. [DNAinfo/David Matthews]