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Blackhawks Stanley Cup celebration: No booze, coolers or cars

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

No coolers. Anyone bringing them will be turned away.

Think twice about bringing backpacks or large bags. They will be searched.

Don't even think about bringing alcohol. Anyone caught with it will be arrested.

Lastly, take public transportation; be prepared for street closures, and gridlock.

PREVIOUS STORY: Blackhawks Stanley Cup celebration set for Friday

Such are the city's dictates to the public regarding Friday's victory parade and rally celebrating the Blackhawks' second Stanley Cup championship in four years, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

"The city of Chicago is so proud of our Blackhawks, and we are looking forward to celebrating their championship with the best fans in the world," Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a statement Wednesday, as every city department and sister agency prepared.

"We also ask fans to enjoy the celebration responsibly by respecting the city and each other," the mayor said.

The rally rules were issued at a news conference at the city's Office of Emergency Management, where city officials said they are determined it will be a safe event.

"We are a lucky city, and have learned from experience. We know how to throw celebrations," crowed Dave Kennedy of the city's Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. "We want everyone to have a safe and wonderful time."

To that end, the Chicago Police Department will maintain a heavy presence, aided by other law enforcement agencies, a cadre of bomb-sniffing dogs, and lessons learned from the Boston Marathon bombing — searching backpacks and banning coolers.

"We strongly advise people not to bring backpacks or large bags to the rally. If you bring a cooler, you will be turned away. And we will have zero tolerance for alcohol consumption on the public way," said a stern Police Supt. Garry McCarthy.

On Thursday, city crews unloaded the last of the barrier gates and re-adjusted fencing to make accomodations for the players' families and Blackhawks front office people—around 800 or so-- who will get VIP treatment at the front of the rally. Behind that are viewing sections for fans cordoned off into "pens" to help with crowd control, which will be filled in on a first come basis.

"These kinda stop the pushing effect, so there's several pens throughout all of lower Hutchinson Field where it stops the crushing effect, we also have a chute running down the middle that will be accessed by the EMS teams, fire department, paramedics, Chicago Police, if there's any issues," says Dept. Director of Special Events David Kennedy.

Police aren't expecting any issues and neither is Jennifer Hattan, a Blackhawks fan who was in Boston for the marathon when the backpack bombs exploded less than a mile from her viewing stand.

She understands why police will be searching backpacks and patrolling the area with bomb sniffing dogs.  But those issues won't keep her from being at the rally.

"Boston's kinda already in the past for me, I mean there's nothing you can do when things like that happen, I mean you just have to be smart and always watch your surroundings," Hattan says.

The parade starts at the United Center and is set to arrive at Des Plaines and Washington at 10:30 a.m.

The rally will be held at 11 a.m. at Hutchinson Field in Grant Park,.

Parade-goers can catch the double-decker buses carrying the team and their families, starting at Des Plaines Avenue, on Washington Street, and ending at Wabash Avenue. From there, the motorcade will go east to Michigan, north to Randolph, and east to Columbus Drive.

Onlookers can also watch along Columbus right up to Balboa.

Rally-goers can begin entering the checkpoints into Hutchinson Field by 8 a.m.

The rally will only have two entrypoints — both on Michigan Avenue, at Jackson and Congress.

In 2010, the parade and rally drew an estimated 2 million fans to downtown Chicago.

Hutchinson Field and its environs can safely hold up to 100,000, officials said.

Several Jumbotrons will be set up around Grant Park for the downtown crowd, including at either side of the stage, and on Columbus Drive, at Balbo and Congress.

All east-west streets between Roosevelt Avenue and Randolph Street, and between Michigan Avenue and Lake Shore Drive, will be closed, except Congress Boulevard.

Streets are not expected to re-open until the evening rush hour, officials said.

The CTA will provide additional service on all eight rail lines following the morning rush period and continuing through mid-day; and due to street closures, 30 CTA bus routes will be detoured in the downtown area at various times. Details on CTA bus and rail service for the celebration are available on

Metra will be adding service on most of its lines, and offering a special one-day, $5 unlimited-ride ticket valid on all trains Friday to ease lines at ticket counters. Bikes and alcohol will be banned from Metra trains that day.

The Chicago Fire Department urged rally-goers to come prepared with hydration. The rally is expected to last no more than 45 minutes. The crowd will then be dispersed.

"The weather will be warm and muggy," Deputy Fire Commissioner Charles Stewart warned.

McCarthy said his department has been in touch with federal law enforcement, which have assured there are no known terrorist threats at this time to the event.

"We have been preparing for a Blackhawks championship for some time. The Boston Marathon factors into our plan, as we've been discussing best practices in law enforcement and the briefings coming out of there," McCarthy said, adding, "In 2010, there were some folks who jumped the barricades to get closer to the Cup and the Hawks. If you do this, you will be arrested."

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.

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