Oprah to Close Michigan Ave. for Season Premier

By BJ Lutz
|  Saturday, Sep 5, 2009  |  Updated 9:35 AM CDT
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Oprah to Close Michigan Ave. for Season Premier

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The premiere episode of Oprah's 24th season will be taped downtown, smack-dab in the heart of the Magnificent Mile.

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Well, if there's any one person who could close down Michigan Avenue for nearly three days, it would be Oprah Winfrey.

The talk-show diva announced Monday that the premiere episode of her 24th season will be taped downtown, smack-dab in the heart of the Magnificent Mile.

Thousands are expected to flock to the free event on Sept. 8, which will include an appearance by three-time Grammy Award-winning Black Eyed Peas.

So, here's what we know:

- Michigan Ave between Wacker and Ohio will close to vehicular traffic just after midnight on Monday, Sept. 7. Use Clark, Dearborn and Lake Shore Drive as alternatives.  Lower Illinois, Ohio and Grand will also remain open.

- No overnight camping is allowed.

- Minors should be with an adult.

- Space is available on a first-come, first-served, standing-room only basis.

- There will be no seats or food.  Bring your own snacks and water.  Leave the lawnchair at home.

- Pedestrian access along Michigan Ave. will remain open at all times, including access to all buildings.

- CTA buses will be re-routed.

- Public parking will be an absolute nightmare.

- Michigan Ave. will completely reopen by 5 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 9.

Taxpayers won't be on the hook for the expense of the big party, the city says. They're billing Oprah and her studio.  (We hope Oprah pays her bills faster than, say, President Obama.)

The show will air locally on Sept. 10 on WLS-TV, ABC 7

www.oprah.com/party

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