The hard part is over. Now it’s time for the Cubs to take a victory lap.
After the team won its first World Series in 108 years on Wednesday night, fans are going to party like it’s 1908. But in 2016 style.
Chicago is promising to celebrate the world champion Cubs on Friday with a parade and rally to end all parades and rallies, a day of jubilation and commemoration that Mayor Rahm Emanuel promises will “stand the test of time.”
“It will be a parade and a celebration that all of Chicago for 108 years in their mind’s eye have been envisioning and we’re gonna make it a reality here in the city of Chicago,” he said.
The parade and rally are expected to outdraw the Bulls’ championship celebrations of the ’90s, as well as more recent rallies for the White Sox and Blackhawks, though officials had no ballpark predictions for fan turnout Thursday night.
CPS students are off on Friday, and fans of all stripes are invited to pack up their family — but not the strollers — leave the booze at home and grab a bus or train to Grant Park.
The Parade: The Cubs’ team buses will leave Wrigley Field at 10 a.m., heading east on Addison to Lake Shore Drive, then south on Michigan Avenue, according to the mayor’s office. The team buses will continue south on Michigan, where the parade officially kicks off at 11 a.m. The parade will go east into Grant Park, but the precise downtown portion of route was not known Thursday evening.
Additional traffic is expected in Wrigleyville from Irving Park to Belmont, and Southport to Lake Shore Drive.
Fans are encouraged to view the parade at three other locations:
• Addison, from Sheffield to Pine Grove
• North Michigan from Oak to Ohio
• Columbus from Monroe to Balbo
The Rally: A rally featuring players and team officials will be held at Grant Park’s Lower Hutchinson Field at noon, according to the mayor’s office. Gates open at 8 a.m.
How To Get There: Use public transit. The CTA will beef up service after the morning rush on eight rail lines to accommodate fans.
Metra is offering a one-day $5 unlimited ride ticket to come downtown for the events. Metra’s executive director, Don Orseno, said Friday may be the busiest day in the rail service’s history. Riders are encouraged to check Metra’s website for any service changes.
Street Closures: Street closures will be in effect in the areas surrounding the parade route as early as 4 a.m., and the CTA will detour bus routes downtown.
On Thursday evening, the Office of Emergency Management and Communications said it expects to close Addison from Racine to Lake Shore Drive, as well as Clark Street from Grace to Newport. The closures are expected to be lifted by noon.
Downtown residents should anticipate parking restrictions and street closures on Michigan Avenue between Lake Shore and Wacker drives. Closures downtown may go into effect as early as 10 a.m. and are expected to be lifted by 1 p.m., according to OEMC.
SAFE AT HOME: Team returns to Wrigley with World Series trophy CELEBRATION: Finally, there is joy in Wrigleyville STEINBERG: Fans get the Cubs miracle they waited for MORRISSEY: Charlie Brown finally kicks the football
Who Can Go: The parade and rally are free and open to the public, though people who come to the rally must pass through a security checkpoint at Jackson and Michigan or another checkpoint at Congress and Michigan.
What Is and Is Not Allowed: If you’re coming to the rally, you’re not allowed to bring any bag, case or purse other than clear bags, according to OEMC. Coolers, strollers, noise-making devices, umbrellas, video recording equipment and unsealed food and beverages are also prohibited at the rally.
Fans can bring in sealed bottles of water, according to the mayor’s office, which added there will be “zero tolerance for drinking on the public way.”