Blackhawks’ Friday parade starts at 10:30 a.m. from United Center
BY FRAN SPIELMAN City Hall Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org June 25, 2013 7:18AM
Updated: June 26, 2013 10:00PM
Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office says announced Friday’s victory parade celebrating the Blackhawks’ second Stanley Cup championship in four years will step off about 10:30 a.m. from the United Center.
The event will wind up at 11:00 a.m. with a rally in Hutchinson Field in Grant Park, according to a release issued Wednesday by the mayor’s office.
Double-decker buses carrying team and front-office personnel will ride to the rally, according the mayor. The “official parade route,” where fans can glimpse players and the cup, starts at Des Plaines and Washington and will stretch east to Wabash.
On Tuesday, Emanuel said Friday’s victory parade will give everyone a chance to “feel like ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.’ ”
Friday was chosen once again in hopes that out-of-town fans might spend the weekend in Chicago while suburban fans make a day of it, generating business for downtown restaurants and bars.
“Everybody can have Friday to feel like a ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’ for the entire city,” the mayor said.
Emanuel was asked whether the cost of policing and logistics for a downtown party that draws millions would guide the city’s planning. He sloughed off the question, saying simply, think of the alternative if the Hawks had not re-captured the Cup.
“They went 24 games without a loss … to start the season. And then to the [playoffs.] Go back when they were playing Detroit and they were down 3-1. ... It’s an incredible story of what happened — not just in the season but in the playoffs. And in that last game, everybody was high-fiving because we tied the game. Did anybody think we’d end up as champions within a breath?” the mayor said.
“And so, it was an incredible game and we’re gonna celebrate it. And we’re gonna celebrate respectfully as a city that has brought home the Stanley Cup twice now in four years.”
After a weeklong trip to Israel to celebrate his daughter’s bat mitzvah, Emanuel returned to Chicago just in time to watch the two-goals-in-17-seconds “miracle on ice” that sealed Game 6 and the series over the Boston Bruins.
The mayor didn’t miss a trick. He slipped into a South Loop bar at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday to hobnob with the champions and personally welcome the bar-hopping Stanley Cup back home to Chicago.
“I did not know that beer was the breakfast of champions,” Emanuel said, noting that head coach Joel Quenneville was “vertical” — even after arriving at O’Hare at 4 a.m.
“There I was at 7:30 [a.m.] when I told Coach Q that that was literally an amazing game, an amazing last 17 seconds. And it had a storybook beginning and a fairytale ending. And if somebody had submitted that as a script to Hollywood, I don’t think anybody would have believed it. You had to watch it happen to see the greatness.”
Emanuel said the beauty of the Hawks’ victory was that every member of the team contributed to the magical playoff run. There’s “a lesson there for all of us in life and in politics,” the mayor said.
“It’s been a great season — from a record-breaking start to the final 17 seconds that will now, always go down in history as the miracle on ice. It was an incredible game. I didn’t know I could hold my breath for an entire three periods,” Emanuel joked.
“Every individual got a chance to contribute to building a great team. That’s what was exciting for the whole city.”
After the pulsating finish, Chicagoans took to the streets and let loose — not only outside Rush Street bars but outside the bars in Wrigleyville and near the United Center. Dozens of windows were broken on Clark Street.
Asked whether he was satisfied with how Chicago Police officers handled the crowds, Emanuel said, There are individual stories. ... You have some incidents. The police responded to those individual incidents. But overall, when you go throughout the city and you look at it from the big picture, the police did a good job. The fans clearly enjoyed the game. And they had a chance to celebrate. That said, some individuals crossed the line from celebration into something else and the police responded immediately and quickly to that.”
In Miami, police banned backpacks at the parade that celebrated the Heat’s second straight NBA championship. Asked if he planned to do the same on Friday, Emanuel said no decision has yet been made.
But late Tuesday, the city issued an advisory urging fans to use public transportation Friday and “refrain from bringing restricted items such as alcohol and backpacks and take precautions regarding warm weather conditions.”