CHICAGO — Cubs fans packed trains, filled Grant Park and flooded Wrigleyville for the World Series parade and rally Friday in Chicago's biggest sports rally ever.
The city said 5 million people jammed the streets and Grant Park to honor the World Champion Cubs.
Bars near Wrigley Field are still charging covers, but the prices have dropped from the nights of World Series games.
Some covers include: Sluggers, $20; Barleycorn, $20; HVAC, $10; Moe's Cantina, $10; Merkle's, $10; Old Crow, $20; Deuce's and Diamond, $10.
Fans party at Deuce's and Diamond.
Metra is still jammed packed. Riders are having trouble getting information.
Everywhere you look at Ogilvie. I don't see employees trying to sort/help people, I don't hear announcements. pic.twitter.com/qlZi82ycus— Kelly Bauer (@BauerJournalism) November 4, 2016
While throngs of people came Downtown for the rally and parade, Wrigleyville is packed with fans right now.
More scenes from the rally:
Divvy riders had difficulty getting through the crowds.
Good luck get through. pic.twitter.com/KNYWJ9IgjU— Evan F. Moore (@evanFmoore) November 4, 2016
The best mohawk of all time?
The city is a mess.
Union Station is also mobbed.
S---, maybe 2 million people did come from the suburbs. pic.twitter.com/TfDD8vdxVL— jon greenberg (@jon_greenberg) November 4, 2016
You knew there would be a goat, but this one appears to be a Cubs fan.
Loop GOAT pic.twitter.com/QeRPlwD1uq— Josh McGhee (@TheVoiceofJosh) November 4, 2016
The Cubs Tweeted an amazing photo (SEE ABOVE) of the team taking it all in — and taking selfies — during the rally.
More scenes from the rally.
The Ogilvie Metra station is jam packed as fans head home.
The Cubs tweeted the incredible selfie David Ross took from the stage during the rally.
A bus shelter Downtown got shattered as fans left the parade and rally.
State and Van Buren right now pic.twitter.com/RN4DvJt5DZ— Josh McGhee (@TheVoiceofJosh) November 4, 2016
Country music star Brett Elredge, from Downstate Paris, lead the crowd and the team in a rendition of, "Go Cubs Go!"
"Sweet Home Chicago" and "We are the Champions" later played over the loudspeakers as the rally wrapped up.
"It happened, baby! It happened," declared first basemen Anthony Rizzo.
Rizzo later choked up when talking about how important teammate David Ross, who he called "grandpa," was to the team.
"He's taught me on the field, off the field, how to be a better person. He's going out a champion," he said.
He then took the ball he had secured as the last out of the World Series Wednesday night — and gave it to Cubs owner Tom Ricketts. The two hugged on stage.
It was similar to when White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko gave the ball from the last out in 2005 to team owner Jerry Reinsdorf.
World Series MVP Ben Zobrist recounted how Rizzo made the team watch "Rocky" movies to pump itself up during the series.
"Our own Italian Stalion Anthony Rizzo, the heart and soul of this cub played 'Rocky" movies all day long in the clubhouse, 'Rocky' quotes. Now, I'm a small town Illinois kid grew up Downstate, but I used to watch 'Rocky' movies to be inspired before games as a kid, so you better believe when he started that I'm as all pumped up, and was all about it."
He said he eagerly wanted to come play for the Cubs in the off-season. His decision paid off, even after he left the Kansas City Royals, that had just won the series.
"I've been blessed far more than I ever deserved or expected in this game. God has given a lot to me and I'm so thankful for that. He gave me the opportunity to hold a trophy just like this last year and hoist it up, and I thought, 'How can I top this?' And then I started thinking about Chicago. I started thinking about Wrigley Field, 108 years, and I said, I want to be a part of that. So I — literally, I promise you — I prayed during free agency last year to be a Chicago Cub. And thankfully, God, and the Cubs — thank you Theo — made it happen, and I embarked on a journey with these guys to bring this elusive championship to the North Side."
After Maddon spoke, the players took the stage.
Dexter Fowler, who hit a homerun to open Game 7, thanked the fans.
"Y'all the best in the world," Fowler told the screaming crowd. "You are all like family to me. You are all like extended family and I love you forever."
Kyle Schwarber also thanked fans and the team for helping him through a tough year.
"I want to thank everyone out here, it was a crazy year for me," he said. "You guys kept me going through the rehab but all the credit goes to my teammates, they pushed me through it. They got to the World Series and for me to be able to contribute it was awesome. I love you guys. World champs! Let's do it again next year."
Manager Joe Maddon took it all in.
"This is an incredible moment for all of us, thank you," Maddon said.
"Never, never have I experienced something like Wrigley Field on a nightly basis," he said.
He noted how the rain delay during Game 7 helped the Cubs win.
"All of a sudden it is the worst weather, but it was absolutely necessary in the moment, but our guys got together, we composed ourselves, we came back out, we were able to do what we did to get us here today," he said.
He also said what every Cubs fan was thinking: Let's not wait another century years for another title.
"I want to congratulate you, the fans, also, and thank you for being so patient. Let's hope that it's not another 108 years, let's see if we can repeat this again next year," he said.
Theo Epstein, president of baseball operations for the Cubs, got laughs when he said, "for awhile, we forgot the 'not' in 'try not to suck,'" but got more emotional when discussing the loyalty of fans.
"Human beings can accomplish more for others and for the group than they can for themselves," Epstein told the crowd, stressing how much fans helped the team. "And you guys are really what carried us all through October and through those big moments."
Pat Hughes from "The Score" took the stage, asking the massive crowds, "did anybody go to work today?" The raucous crowd replied in unison: "NO!"
Cubs team owner Tom Ricketts beamed as he talked to the crowd about encountering diehard Cubs fans over the years.
"You know I said for seven years, I have the most unique job in the world because almost every single day a complete stranger comes up to me and they always say the same thing. They say, "Mr. Ricketts, I'm 71- years-old. Please win the World Series before I die.' And I normally say something like, 'Ok, do you eat right? Do you take care of yourself? Do you exercise? How much time do I have?' Well, for the thousands of people who have said that to me and who are still with us, there you go."
The Cubs are giving media interviews in Grant Park, where hundreds of thousands of people — likely more — were gathered. Players can be seen drinking beers and posing for photos.
Fans at Grant Park are fired up and waiting patiently for the team to arrive.
Some waited in trees.
Buses headed south on Michigan Avenue as crowds erupted with cheers around 11:30 a.m. The team bus made its way down Lake Shore Drive. The roar of the crowd could be heard from blocks away.
Where's Waldo? pic.twitter.com/CKeIfQ5BeA— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) November 4, 2016
Jim Belline has been waiting a long time to watch the Cubs bus down Michigan Avenue as World Series champions.
Born in 1945, a year the Cubs went to the World Series and lost, the 71-year-old Chicagoan showed up the the parade Friday morning with his grand kids.
"This is great for Chicago," Belline said.
As a Cubs fan, Belline suffered a lot of lean years.
"'69, '84, 2003," Belline said. "I remember all of them."
But Belline's most memorable moment was watching David Ross crack a home run in Game 7 during just last at-bat as a professional baseball player.
"It was wild," he said.
Standing next to her grandfather near Michigan and Huron, 16-year-old Olivia Suspenzi waited to see her favorite player.
"Kris Bryant," she said. Her 13-year-old brother, Nick, sported an Anthony Rizzo jersey.
As the Cubs headed toward Downtown, fans got rowdy at Grant Park. One fan did a "trust fall" from the base of a more than 17-feet-tall statue into the crowd:
The buses left Wrigley field at 10:49 a.m.
Cubs players began boarding buses at Wrigley Field after 10:30 Friday, meaning they're running a bit behind schedule.
One fan at Grant Park arrived to the area at 9 a.m. Friday, thinking he was giving himself plenty of time. It took him 45 minutes by the time he got through bag check points and into the park.
At 10:30 a.m., police were only letting people enter Grant Park at Jackson Drive and Congress Parkway.
People climbed trees hoping to get a view of the stage, where the Cubs were expected to arrive around noon.
Sidewalks along the parade route Downtown were nearing capacity as of 10 a.m.
Grant Park, Chicago Cubs World Series celebration (2.5 hours before it begins). pic.twitter.com/rpEiCDN6OI— Rob Elgas (@RobElgasABC7) November 4, 2016
As Chicagoans obsess over all things Cubs, some people want to point out that there's a presidential election on Tuesday. Cubs fans noticed a banner flying through the sky near Wrigley as they waited to the parade to kick off.
The banner reads, "Chinese Americans For Trump. Go Cubs!"
Leo Bonilla, 33, of Aurora hopes to see the real trophy later. He got downtown at 9 am and waited in line for 45 min to get into the park. pic.twitter.com/AAPtdt21KQ
— David Lee Matthews (@DavidLMatthews) November 4, 2016
A broken leg wasn't going to keep Jaxson, 7, of Roscoe from seeing the rally. Took him 3 hours to get into the park with Mom. pic.twitter.com/5NQE0XI4j6— David Lee Matthews (@DavidLMatthews) November 4, 2016
More than 30 buses lined up outside of Wrigley Field, and people began boarding. The players themselves were on the field, posing for photos with family members.
In Wrigleyville, garbage trucks blocked streets to traffic as fans crowded around Wrigley Field. Players were seen entering the ballpark around 9 a.m., and were expected to head toward Downtown for a parade and rally at 10.
That said, here's the view of Wrigley Field from the Addison stop. The crowd is crazy packed on the sidewalks... pic.twitter.com/R3IhMyDx4e— Jen Tetzloff (@deviousjen) November 4, 2016
If you're heading to Grant Park, wear boots. The grass is very muddy and massive crowds will likely made it muddier.
However park conditions are squishy pic.twitter.com/BWIobzTXAN— David Lee Matthews (@DavidLMatthews) November 4, 2016
The Cubs and Wrigley Field are 95 percent owned by an entity controlled by a trust established for the benefit of the family of Joe Ricketts, owner and CEO of DNAinfo.com. Joe Ricketts has no direct involvement in the management of the iconic team.
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