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CHICAGO — The Women’s March in Chicago attracted over 250,000 participants in 2017, and following a year where the #MeToo movement dominated headlines, organizers expect a large turnout again this year.

Organized as a “sister march” to the Women’s March in Washington in 2017, organizers expected around 75,000 people to take part. Instead, over 250,000 gathered on the unseasonably warm day, making it one of the largest protests in the city’s history. Crowds were so much greater than organizers expected that they had to scratch a planned march — although many did so anyways.

Chicago’s “March to the Polls” is one of 350 events worldwide planned for this weekend. Here’s what you need to know about the march and rally in Chicago on Saturday, Jan. 20:

Street Closures

The following streets will be closed from 10 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 19 until 2 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 20 (or until crowds disperse):

  • Columbus Drive, from Monroe Street to Balbo Drive
  • Jackson Blvd. from Lake Shore Drive to Michigan Avenue
  • Westbound lane of Congress Pkwy. between Columbus Drive and Michigan Ave.


Metra is offering extra service on the BNSF, UP North, UP Northwest and UP West lines on Saturday. All other lines will run on regular schedules, but will have expanded seating capacity. There may not be room for bikes on many trains.

Event Schedule

9 a.m.: Grant Park site opens with music and video programming

11 a.m.: Rally begins with speakers and entertainers

12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.: March to Federal Plaza from Grant Park:

  • Marchers will gather at Jackson and Monroe
  • Head west on Jackson to Clark
  • Head north on Clark to Federal Plaza
  • Marchers will be asked to “disband” from Federal Plaza, per the OEMC


While not as warm as last year, the January thaw is expected to continue Saturday, on a cloudy but mild day with high temperatures in the mid-40s.

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