Sea of red cheers for Stanley Cup champs at rally, parade

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Blackhawk fans made a sea of red in downtown Chicago Friday morning to celebrate the team’s Stanley Cup Championship.

Thousands filled the streets and Grant Park for the parade and rally.

Players and coaches spoke at the podium during the morning rally.

Still sporting a mullet but without a playoff beard, Patrick Kane thanked fans for the homecoming party.

“The only reason this day is fun is because of you guys,” Kane said.”It makes hockey fun.”

Team captain Jonathan Toews capped the proceedings, starting with, “Wow. It’s tough to follow that speech by Corey Crawford.”

“This is unbelievable,” he said. “For the guys that that were here in 2010, we didn’t think there was a chance we could outmatch that performance by the fans, but you guys did somehow. This shows how unbelievable this city is. Unbelievable. Thank you.

Gov. Pat Quinn declared the day Chicago Blackhawks Day.

As of 11:30 a.m., 11 people had been taken to hospitals by ambulances, primarily for heat exhaustion, according to Larry Langford, a Chicago Fire Department spokesman.

Paramedics were in the process of responding to about a dozen other calls in different locations along the parage route, Langford said.

Twenty people, he said, have been checked on the scene by paramedics before continuing to celebrate.

“Sometimes they just need to cool off in the ambulance and go back in the crowd,” said Langford.

A south suburban man was arrested at a rally checkpoint in the Loop around noon after police found two guns on him, one in his pocket and one in his backpack.

The 37-year-old man, from Matteson, was walking in the 100 block of North LaSalle Street when he was stopped by police officers because he had a “large backpack,’’ police said. A search turned up two guns, one small and the other a .9mm handgun.

The man was in a crowd of people headed toward the Hawks rally. Charges were pending.

Hundreds of fans opted to watch the victory rally on a two-story screen near the intersection of Dearborn and Washington streets.

-Chicago Tribune contributed to this report

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  • Jay Krane

    WGN had the worst commentating ever. If no one could think if anything to say that wasn't stupid, couldn't you have just let people watch the parade?

  • JimK

    What else do logical, mature folks expect from "partyville USA," Chicago, but adolescent behavior? This is the future of America? Unfortunately it is. Spoiled-rotten brats living off of mommy/daddy. Never worked a days pay in their lives.

  • Nicole

    I've been lucky enough to have been at both parades/rallies for the Blackhawks and I preferred 2010, this was just mass chaos, lots of pushing and shoving, it was a lot calmer in 2010 and I could see more. I got down to the gates at 5:45am, they didn't open until a little after 8am and then you had to sprint a mile down the field to get to the stage, so even if you were in the front and waiting for hours someone who was a faster runner than you just got your front row. It was not planned well at all and while I was happy to be there because I was there to cheer on my team the organization was not all there and that was disappointing.