Congratulations Chicago Blackhawks fans, your team has won the Stanley Cup. For the first time in 49 years, Lord Stanley's Cup is coming to Chicago and the fans and the team alike are getting ready to party. The longest championship drought in the NHL is finally over and everyone on the North and South Shores will reap the benefits.
The party is on for the Chicago Blackhawks who will parade the Stanley Cup through downtown Chicago to give their fans a glimpse of hardware that has not been seen on Michigan Avenue in five decades.
Will it be the biggest party in the history of Chicago? It is the ninth major sports title in the city in the last 25 years, even more rare is that a team from each major sport has won a title (sorry Cubs fans), and there could a lot to live up to.
The Blackhawks parade will kick off at 10:30 a.m. CST on Friday, June 11. The parade route begins at Wacker Drive and Washington Street. The parade will travel to Michigan Avenue before heading north on Michigan Avenue back to Wacker Drive.
The parade will last about an hour before a rally starts at 11:30 a.m. at Wacker and Michigan.
Chicagoans have never really needed a reason to extend their weekends, well now they have one. At least a few hundred thousand fans are expected to line the parade route as the Blackhawks and Lord Stanley's Cup head down the streets. But there is a conflict....
Less than two hours after the start of the Blackhawks' rally, the Cubs and White Sox will kick off their interleague series at Wrigley Field. Sure, Cubs and White Sox fans like to get their drinking on early and gear up for the crosstown series. Will it be enough to draw bodies away from the rally or vice versa? Either way, it's going to be a busy Friday in Chi-town.
The Blackhawks ended another one of Chicago's painfully long droughts five years after the White Sox ended their 88-year run without a World Series title. The difference in the celebrations? The White Sox share the town with the front page-grabbing Cubs and a fanbase that did not care much for the White Sox victory.
That changes with the Blackhawks who own the city to themselves and now own the Stanley Cup. Early projections are that the Blackhawks fans will celebrate their newly crowned team and title with a bigger crowd and more vigor than the White Sox.
The Bulls won their first title in 1991 and from there won another five titles in seven years. Each year the parade grew more boisterous as fans celebrate the city's greatest dynasty. By 1998, the whispers grew of Michael Jordan's impending (second) retirement.
That forced even more Bulls fans into the street to celebrate one last title with the city's biggest legend. If there is any recent parade to stack the Blackhawks up against, it is the 1998 Bulls.
The Bears brought the first title to Chicago in 24 years when they won Super Bowl XX, which was the city's first championship since the Blackhawks last Stanley Cup win.
The Bears dominated the city's sports landscape in the mid-1980s so it was no surprise that their victory parade attracted 500,000 fans. Half a million people braved single-digit temperatures to share in the Bears' glory. Now Blackhawks fans will fill the streets on a warm spring day to celebrate a winter sport.
Now...if only the Cubs could get one of their own, we'd REALLY see a party.