FOX 32 NEWS - Cubs-a-palooza will descend on Lower Hutchinson Field Friday, the same field in Grant Park that plays host to Lollapalooza, but this time for a bigger festival and celebration that is free and gets underway at noon.
On Thursday night, crews were continuing to assemble the stage and get the speakers set up for the rally to celebrate the Cubs World Series Championship. For fans, there's no other place to be to celebrate something they have waited a lifetime to see.
Some came by to scope things out in advance.
“I just wanted to make sure, see if I had to sleep out here tonight or or if I can come early in the morning and try to get the feel of how the crowd is going to be and just for the layout is,” said Richard Gracia, who was wearing a replica Cubs jersey with the number 16 on it and the name “Believe” on the back.
Twenty thousand feet of fencing is being put up around Grant Park and there will be security checkpoints that everyone will have to pass through in order to get in to the rally. Two entrances will be available on Michigan Avenue: one at Jackson and the other at Congress Parkway. The gates will open at 8:00 AM. No bags or purses will be allowed in unless they are clear. Fans will be allowed to bring in an unopened bottle of water and food trucks will also be available.
Cubs fans are still on a high from the Game 7 thriller and they are anticipating another amazing day.
“I’m speechless, words can’t explain it, I honestly haven’t slept since last night, I’ve been up, been excited, got jitters, ready for the parade, it’s been a long time coming, “ said Juan Caudillo.
“Hell yeah I'll be here, course I'll be here, it's my team,” said Stephanie Kalpedis.
Fans know they will have to get downtown early in order to get a good viewing spot.
“A decent spot? By 8:00 AM. People were getting into Wrigley like when, in the morning, and in the game wasn't until 7:00 or 8:00 o'clock man, it's going to be the same thing,” said Kalpedis.
“It's going to be crazy but it's going to be amazing, it's going to be great,” Garcia said. He was actually considering sleeping out to get a good spot.
The official parade route will travel along Michigan Avenue between Oak St. and Ohio St. and then along Columbus Dr. between Monroe St. and Balbo Ave.
Fans are encouraged to view the parade at the following locations:
Addison from Sheffield to Pine Grove;
North Michigan Avenue from Oak St. to Ohio St.;
Columbus Dr. from Monroe St. to Balbo Ave.
There will be zero tolerance for drinking on the public way.
The rally is free and open to the public.
The public should expect street closures surrounding the parade route starting as early as Friday at 4 a.m.
Officials are encouraging fans to use public transportation.
The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) will offer additional service to customers traveling into the Loop on Friday Monday. Riders are advised to allow plenty of travel time due to street closures, traffic congestion and reroutes. CTA’s Red and Blue subway lines and Brown, Green, Pink and Orange elevated lines are the best option for Cubs fans heading downtown for the parade and rally.
Additional service will be provided on all eight rail lines following the morning rush period through midday. CTA buses will be detoured in the downtown area during the parade and as a result of street closures for the rally. Detailed service information is available at www.transitchicago.com.
To speed travel and reduce lines, customers are encouraged to buy fare cards in advance with sufficient value or to add enough value to their existing Ventra cards for their return trips later in the day.
Metra will use all available resources to add extra train service and capacity. Trains are expected to reach capacity on all lines and delays are expected. Metra is offering a one-day $5 unlimited ride ticket for tomorrow’s celebration and encouraging all passengers to purchase it in advance. Beginning this afternoon, the ticket will be for sale from ticket agents at all ticket windows, including all downtown and outlying stations, and through the Ventra App, available for download in the App Store and Google Play.