Blackhawks parade scheduled for Friday with rally in Grant Park - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

Blackhawks Stanley Cup celebration set for Friday

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Blackhawks fans are ready to party with their Stanley Cup champions, but unlike the last celebration in 2010 – which consisted of a long parade that ended at Wacker and Michigan --  the city is planning to move the big event away from the heart of downtown this year.

City officials say the parade will start at 10:30 a.m. on Friday. Blackhawks players will be atop double-decker buses. The parade will make its way to a rally at Hutchinson Field in Grant Park along Lake Michigan. There will be fenced-off entrances to the Hutchinson Field rally at Congress Parkway and Jackson Boulevard.

Officials say the field can hold up to 100,000 people, but large TV screens will be put up for overflow crowds.

Final details on the parade route will be released Thursday.

"Everybody can have Friday to feel like a Ferris Buehler's day off," Emanuel said. "We're gonna do it in a respectful way that respects the Blackhawks and their championship. We'll be providing the security and capacity to do that and people will have a proper celebration."

On Tuesday night, there were just a handful of softball players and joggers on Hutchinson Field, but by Friday morning, a large stage will be erected, and fencing will wall off the perimeter of the park.

"I think it's a great idea," one man says. "This is the most beautiful part of the city and everyone's gonna come out."

"I was here last time and it was madness," says another fan. "It felt like the whole city was shut down. So it feels like it would be better to have it in a park."

Chicago police say security will be tight Friday. They will deploy uniformed and undercover officers and use bomb-sniffing dogs at the event scheduled to celebrate the Blackhawks' Stanley Cup win. Police also say they'll be searching backpacks and large bags, so they're asking fans not to bring them. Officials also say there will be zero-tolerance for alcohol along the parade route or in Grant Park at the rally.
 
Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy says the same police team that planned for last year's NATO summit has been planning the Blackhawks rally for weeks. McCarthy says his department has been talking with law enforcement in Boston to see what they learned after a bombing at the Boston Marathon earlier this year.

Officials are also encouraging fans to take public transportation.

An estimated 2 million fans turned out to celebrate in downtown Chicago when the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup in 2010.

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