THE LOOP — The Cubs World Series victory parade and rally is all set for Friday, with a 10 a.m. start at Wrigley Field and a roughly noon party at Lower Hutchinson Field in Grant Park.
The route includes Addison Street east from the ballpark, then Lake Shore Drive to Michigan Avenue, then Columbus Drive between Monroe Street and Balbo Avenue. The city didn't release some of the cross streets to make the connections to the larger arterials.
The official "Downtown" portion of the parade will start at 11 a.m., with the Cubs leaving Wrigley at 10 a.m.
The rally will take place at Lower Hutchinson Field in Grant Park, starting at approximately noon.
"The City of Chicago could not be more proud of the Cubs, and we are going to throw them — and their fans — a celebration worthy of the history the team made last night,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a statement. “2016 is the year for the Cubs and the generations of fans who have been waiting to the fly the World Series W. Go Cubs go!”
The timing works out well for Chicago Public Schools students, who have the day off for a teacher development day.
The free rally will include security screenings at entrances at Michigan Avenue and Jackson Boulevard, and a Michigan Avenue and Congress Parkway.
While Wednesday night in Wrigleyville was quite boozy, the city is implementing a zero-tolerance drinking policy along the route.
The city offered suggested sites to view the parade. They are:
♦ Addison Street from Sheffield to Pine Grove.
♦ North Michigan Avenue from Oak Street to Ohio Street.
♦ Columbus Drive from Monroe Street to Balbo Avenue.
Here's the approximate route the Cubs will take from Wrigley Field to Hutchinson Field.
There will be street closures along the route, with some starting as early as 4 a.m. Friday. The city did not detail the closures or the times. The CTA will be adding buses and trains to help people reach the parade routes, but the transit authority warned fans "to allow plenty of travel time due to street closures, traffic congestion and reroutes." Attendees should also fill up their Ventra cards before heading to their nearby "L" station, where the lines could be long.
Metra is also adding service Friday, and offering a $5 unlimited ride ticket for the parade day.
“Tomorrow is expected to be the busiest day in Metra’s history,” said Metra Executive Director Don Orseno in a statement. “We ask all of our regular customers and the new customers we expect to see tomorrow to be patient and, most importantly, be safe.”
Closed water bottles will be allowed into the rally. There will be food vendors on site, the city said.
There's talk, first reported by Sun-Times columnist Michael Sneed, that the city could dye the Chicago River blue, but Emanuel said a decision on that could come later Thursday.
The Cubs pushed for a Friday rally, in part because Major League Baseball's General Manager meetings begin on Monday in Scottsdale, Arizona, tying up top management, sources said.
The City of Chicago preferred a Monday party for logistical reasons, sources said, but Friday won out.
The city is now putting out a call for suburban police departments to lend officers for the rally, which is sure to draw hundreds of thousands of people along the route and in Grant Park.
Rahm Emanuel on Thursday, sporting a new World Series cap. (DNAinfo/Heather Cherone)
When the White Sox won the World Series in 2005 — under then-mayor Richard M. Daley, a huge White Sox fan — the city staged an enormous parade, complete with raining ticker tape on La Salle Street as White Sox players rode atop double-decker buses.
The parade started at Sox Park, winding through neighborhoods like Bridgeport, Pilsen, Chinatown, Little Italy, Greektown and Bronzeville before ending up Downtown.
It was capped with a victory rally at LaSalle Street and Wacker Drive. Former Journey frontman Steve Perry led a rendition of "Don't Stop Believin,' " which served as an anthem for the Sox that year.
Don't expect Perry to show for the Cubs parade. But it would be a stunner if Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder didn't play some role. Perhaps a rendition of his "All The Way" ballad, pleading for a Cubs World Series title.
The Blackhawks have had three parades through the neighborhoods and Downtown.
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