Cubs parade begins at 10 a.m. today; rally at noon
The Chicago Cubs and their fans will celebrate their World Series victory with a parade from Wrigley Field down Michigan Avenue to a noon rally in Grant Park Friday.
Crowds are expected to be huge as fans celebrate the team ending a 108-year drought with a historic win late Wednesday night against the Cleveland Indians.
The team will board buses and trolleys from Wrigley Field at 10 a.m., and the rally begins at noon in Lower Hutchinson Field, between Balbo Avenue and Roosevelt Road.
Although officials are telling people to use public transit, Metra planners are predicting packed and off-schedule trains as hordes of baseball enthusiasts pour into the city. CEO Don Orseno asked regular riders to work from home Friday if they can.
The city has not provided exact details of how the team will get from Wrigley Field to North Michigan Avenue but has advised fans to watch at spots along Addison Street, Sheffield Avenue and Pine Grove Avenue, where the entourage will be traveling at reduced speeds.
The downtown portion of the parade begins around 11 a.m. along Michigan Avenue between Oak Street and Ohio Street and then along Columbus Drive between Monroe Street and Balbo Avenue.
"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.
Metra is offering an unlimited $5 ride ticket for Friday and is suggesting riders purchase it in advance.
At Blackhawks' parades in 2010, 2013 and 2015, thousands of homeward-bound riders converged on Union Station right after the festivities and caused logjams. Riders are being urged to avoid rush hour by leaving early or staying late.
What else should you expect? Here are some tips for a great day from fans and Daily Herald reporters who've attended parades before.
• Go early and wear comfortable shoes. Sidewalks will be jammed and people will be showing up hours in advance, so if you arrive 30 minutes prior, expect slow going.
• You can't be everywhere. Pick one place to see the team and stay there.
• Nature calls. So take a bathroom break at a downtown train station before walking to the event. Porta-potties will be busy and downtown restaurants might let only patrons use restrooms.
• Be prepared for phone service getting bogged down with all the users. Have a designated meeting place in case you can't reach friends by phone or texting. You might also want to bring a portable battery pack in case your phone runs out of power.
• Got a buddy who works in the Loop? It's worth checking to see if you can watch the parade from your friend's office.
• Do something in the Loop after the festivities and catch the train later to avoid the crowds. Check out Millennium Park or the Chicago Cultural Center, both free.
• The forecast is for sunny and 56 degrees, so apply sunscreen and wear layers.