Cubs World Series banner ceremony highlights home opener festivities

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CHICAGO -- The World Champion Chicago Cubs are finally coming home.

First pitch between the Dodgers and Cubs is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. but fans are advised to arrive early for a championship themed celebration.

The pregame festivities, which are expected to begin at 6:15 p.m., include ceremonial first pitches from the Ricketts family, a rendition of "God Bless America" sung by Julianna Zobrist and most notably the World Series banner raising ceremony.

A handful of Cubs alumni like Ryne Sandberg and Fergie Jenkins will be on hand for the historic occasion along with the widow of former Cubs skipper Don Zimmer, Soot and her grandson Beau.

As for the game itself, the Cubs will wear white uniforms and caps with gold lettering and trim.

If you’re headed to the ballpark or Wrigleyville in general, keep in there are some new security precautions.

Starting Monday, no trucks or cargo vans will be allowed near the ballpark on game day.

Police will be enforcing the rule inside this security perimeter, bordered by Irving Park, Southport, Belmont and Halsted.

The security measures will start two hours before games and end an hour after the game.

The effort will be reviewed after this week's home stand, but it's likely the rules will remain all season.

Fans and players will also notice some renovations.

For one, the playing surface will be brand new. The field itself will be replaced with fresh sod each of the next two seasons.

Also, the days of watching pitchers warm up on the first and third baselines are over. Fans can still get a good look at the bullpens. They’ll just have to head under the bleachers to see them.

And getting to your seat should be a faster process now.

A new Western gate gives fans another entry point to the park, which should reduce congestion and foot traffic.

The forecast calls for a win of course and a chance for some storms and stronger winds.

WGN Morning News will be broadcasting live from Murphy’s Bleachers starting at 6 a.m.

The celebration continues Wednesday with the championship ring ceremony. Former Cubs catcher David Ross will throw the ceremonial first pitch and lead the seventh-inning stretch, the Tribune reports.

20 selected fans will serve as honorary ring bearers during the ceremony.

The Cubs will give a replica championship banner to the first 30,000 fans before the game.

In preparation for tomorrow's game, WGN staffers helped decorate Wrigleyville with championship signs.