Kaner and Toews jerseys? Smartphone to send photos of you and Patrick Sharp to jealous friends? Foam finger? Check, check, check.
Blackhawks Nation is congregating in downtown Chicago Friday morning to honor our beloved Stanley Cup champions with a parade, which starts at 10:30 followed by a rally in Grant Park.
To get there, Metra is adding trains both in and out of the city on all of its lines. For information about extra service, go to http://metrarail.com/metra/en/home.html. The agency also has a one-day $5 unlimited ride ticket valid on Friday only.
Here are other tips for navigating the rally:
• The official parade route starts at Washington and Des Plaines streets and heads east along Washington to Wabash Street. Double-decker buses with the team will continue to Michigan Avenue, and head north on Michigan to Randolph Street, east on Randolph to Columbus Drive and south from there to Hutchinson Field in Grant Park.
• You can enter Grant Park off Michigan Avenue at Jackson Street and Congress Parkway. The stage is at the south end of Hutchinson Field between Columbus and Lake Shore Drive.
• During the event coolers and alcohol are prohibited. Backpacks are allowed but will be searched by police, so it's best to leave them home. Alcohol and bikes are banned from trains.
• The forecast calls for 77 degrees with a chance of rain. Dress accordingly, officials say and stay hydrated. You can carry in an unopened water bottle, plus water fountains and vendors will be on-site.
• To get home -- if the Stanley Cup celebration of 2010 was any indication -- there will be a rush of people right after the parade packing Metra trains like defensemen around the net in a power play. A better plan is to linger in the city to let the early crowds dissipate.
• If you intend to drive into downtown Friday -- reconsider. All east/west streets between Roosevelt and Randolph and from Michigan to Lake Shore Drive will be closed.