CHICAGO (AP) — 1:15 p.m. CDT
Chicago Blackhawks players Joakim Nordstrom and Kris Versteeg ended the team’s Stanley Cup championship rally with song.
Nordstrom and Versteeg took the microphone and started singing the lyrics to Macklemore’s “And We Danced” and asked the crowd to sing and dance along with the team as red and white confetti fell from the sky.
“We laughed and had a really, really good time,” they sang. “And remember this moment for the rest of our lives.”
12:55 p.m. CDT
Chicago Blackhawks players took turns lifting the Stanley Cup and addressing fans at their championship rally in Soldier Field.
Goalie Corey Crawford told the fans “you guys made this unbelievable.” Duncan Keith hinted at another win saying, “four sounds better than three.”
Team captain Jonathan Toews (tayvz) said the Blackhawks “play for the best fans in the world.” He said “maybe the only way it does get better is if we win four.”
Earlier, before the team boarded the parade buses, Patrick Kane said the response from fans since the win has been “nothing you really don’t expect from a city like this.” He said players are “enjoying every second of it.”
The Blackhawks defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday to win the Stanley Cup for the third time in six years.
12:30 p.m. CDT
Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville took the stage at the Chicago championship rally to fans yelling “Q” at Soldier Field.
Quenneville told fans he’s “never been more proud of a team” then he has been of this year’s Stanley Cup-winning squad.
Before Quenneville spoke, the crowd cheered for past members of the Blackhawks, including Bobby Hull, Denis Savard and Tony Esposito. And former Blackhawks star Stan Mikita, who suffers from a progressive brain disorder, wasn’t left out.
“Stan … we’re thinking of you,” the announcer said.
11:55 a.m. CDT
Chicago Blackhawks star Patrick Kane introduced team captain Jonathan Toews (tayvz) to kick off the team’s championship rally at Soldier Field.
Toews walked onto the stage holding the Stanley Cup high. He kissed the trophy as fireworks went off in the background. Toews then handed it off to Kane as tens of thousands of fans cheered in the audience.
The players took the stage after team mainstay Jim Cornelison sang the national anthem.
11:35 a.m. CDT
Crowds are cheering at Soldier Field as the Chicago Blackhawks arrive at the stadium for the Stanley Cup championship rally.
Blackhawks players rode on double-decker buses from the United Center along a parade route lined with tens of thousands of fans.
Fans waiting at Soldier Field cheered when pictures of the players were shown on large screens.
10:55 a.m. CDT
Chicago Blackhawks players are waving to cheering fans as their double-decker red buses travel along a crowd-lined downtown parade route to a Stanley Cup championship rally.
Defenseman Brent Seabrook leaned against the back rail atop of one of the buses as he hoisted the Stanley Cup Thursday morning. Left wing Patrick Sharp and Blackhawks owner and chairman Rocky Wirtz were nearby.
Fans wearing Blackhawks jerseys took cellphone pictures of the parade along the crowded streets. Trolleys and buses in the parade had “One Goal” written on the side along with pictures of the Stanley Cup.
Next stop? Soldier Field, where thousands of fans await.
10:15 a.m. CDT
Where’s the Stanley Cup?
Chicago Blackhawks left wing Patrick Sharp has it.
Sharp carried the Stanley Cup out of the United Center on Thursday morning and toward two rows of double-decker buses in the stadium parking lot. Players climbed onto the buses for a parade leading to a championship rally at Soldier Field.
Sharp was wearing his jersey and backward cap as fans chanted “Lift the Cup! Lift the Cup!”
Chicagoans have become obsessed with the whereabouts of the Stanley Cup since the Blackhawks won it for the third time in six years on Monday night. Fans are tracking it via Twitter posts and photographing it as players take it to restaurants and bars in an effort to get in on the championship fun.
10:05 a.m. CDT
Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner is at the United Center wearing a Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews (tayvz) black replica jersey.
Rauner told reporters it’s a “great day for the city of Chicago and the state of Illinois.” The governor said Thursday that the parade and rally at Soldier Field are “fantastic (ways) to celebrate one of the greatest franchises in all of sports.”
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel also plans on participating in the festivities.
When the Blackhawks won their third Stanley Cup in six years on Monday night he promised the city would host a celebration worthy of a dynasty.
10:00 a.m. CDT
Chants of “We want the Cup! We want the Cup!” rang out from fans outside the United Center as Chicago Blackhawks players prepared to board red double-decker buses for their Stanley Cup championship parade.
Two rows of buses are in the stadium’s south parking lot awaiting Blackhawks players, coaches and staff. Nearby, fans waited behind metal fences by the statue of another athlete who brought a championship dynasty to Chicago: Michael Jordan.
The Blackhawks will ride atop the buses on a parade route through downtown Chicago to a rally planned at Soldier Field, where more fans are waiting.
9:15 a.m. CDT
Downtown Chicago is filled with soggy Blackhawks fans after a thunderstorm moved over the area just hours before the team’s Stanley Cup championship festivities were scheduled to start.
Organizers at Soldier Field, where the team’s rally will take place Thursday, asked attendees to take shelter under covered areas of the stadium until the storm passed. When the rain stopped, thousands of fans ran out from the concourse to grab the closest spots to the stage.
Meanwhile fans lined up along the parade route wore ponchos and used umbrellas to shield themselves from the rain.
8:25 a.m. CDT
The National Weather Service says a line of thunderstorms with winds of between 30 and 40 mph and occasional lightning is headed toward downtown Chicago where thousands of Blackhawks fans are gathered for the team’s Stanley Cup celebration.
The weather service put out a special weather statement just before 8 a.m. Thursday saying the impacted locations include Soldier Field, where the Blackhawks championship rally is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. A parade is planned for 10 a.m.
Torrential rainfall is forecast and the weather service says people should “seek a safe shelter inside a building or vehicle.”
Thousands of fans were downtown as early as 4:30 a.m. Thursday for the festivities.
7:50 a.m. CDT
The rally doesn’t start for hours, but hundreds of Chicago Blackhawks fans are already lined up outside Soldier Field in preparation for the team’s Stanley Cup celebration.
Some fans arrived as early as 4:30 a.m. — six and a half hours before the scheduled 11 a.m. start. A parade to the stadium through the city’s Loop and to Michigan Avenue starts at 10 a.m.
Fans snoozed and played card games to pass the time. Others talked about how excited they are to see their favorite players, including Duncan Keith and Jonathan Toews (tayvz).
The city planned to have screens outside the stadium in the south parking lot for fans who can’t get inside Soldier Field. Tickets to the event are free.
7:15 a.m. CDT
The thousands of Blackhawks fans already out in the streets to get good spots for Thursday’s parade are probably going to get wet.
National Weather Service meteorologist Amy Seeley says a line of thunderstorms will more than likely sweep across downtown Chicago between 8 a.m. and 8:30 a.m.
And there could be more where that came from. There’s a 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly before 2 p.m.
The tops of the city’s skyscrapers are shrouded in dense fog but that should lift in time for any TV news helicopters to follow the parade.
Hey, at least it’s warm. The high is forecast to reach 83 degrees.
6:30 a.m. CDT
The Chicago Police Department is taking security measures to ensure the safety of the thousands of Blackhawks fans expected to attend a parade and rally celebrating the team’s Stanley Cup win.
Police say anyone carrying a backpack or large bag to Thursday’s events will be screened. Coolers will not be allowed at the Soldier Field rally and drinking alcohol or tailgating are not allowed.
The city warns that crowd size may mean additional street closures throughout the day to ensure public safety.
Fans attending the rally will be allowed to bring unopened water bottles and water will be available from fountains and vendors.
12:30 a.m. CDT
The streets of downtown Chicago will be lined with hockey fans as the city celebrates the Blackhawks’ third Stanley Cup win in six years.
Team members such as Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane will ride on double-decker buses during a parade stretching through the city’s Loop neighborhood to Michigan Avenue starting at 10 a.m. Thursday. Tens of thousands of fans are expected to greet the team when the buses arrive at Soldier Field for a rally starting at 11 a.m. Fans needed to get free tickets online for the event.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel promises a celebration “worthy of a hockey dynasty.”
The Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup on Monday night with a 2-0 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning.
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