In 2010, an estimated 2 million Chicago Blackhawks fans from all over the Chicagoland area came to celebrate a Stanley Cup victory with the players and fellow fans. The 2012 parade was even bigger. Chicago police estimated more than two million people attended the 2013 parade on Friday.
I went to the 2010 parade and had an amazing time, so I was excited to gather up a few friends and take the train back up to Chicago to celebrate another Stanley Cup victory.
We woke up at 4 a.m. to catch the 4:57 a.m. South Shore train, and I may have only gotten about two hours of good sleep, but I was too excited to feel tired. We arrived at around 5:30 a.m., and the city was already packed with Blackhawks fans. We decided we were going to line up by the entrance of Grant Park, where the rally after the parade was to be held, and hopefully get a good viewpoint of the players as they gave speeches.
Police let everyone in at a little after 8 a.m., after a sizable crowd had gathered near the entrance, which lead to a huge rush towards Grant Park.
The rally was crazy. The stream of people entering seemed endless, making it increasingly hard to see the stage. When the players did arrive at Grant Park, if you weren’t within a few hundred feet of the stage you couldn’t hear anything said, which was disappointing.
The planners did not equip Grant Park with an adequate number of speakers. I only saw two semi-huge sets of speakers placed at opposite ends of the stage, which is not even close to being enough for a place as big as Grant Park.
Waiting for over six hours and not being able to hear the players’ speak was disappointing but, overall, the experience was still worth it, and it was nice to see the city filled with so many Blackhawks fans.
For some, though, the experience was a bit too much: