Demonstrators are expected to hit Chicago streets this weekend by the thousands for the Women's March on Chicago.
The event will likely mean street closures in downtown Chicago Saturday as the group marches on a route beginning near the city's Grant Park and ending at Federal Plaza.
Originally slated to be held at the Petrillo Bandshell Saturday, the event will now begin at 10 a.m. on Columbus Drive near Jackson Drive. The stage was first moved "to protect Grant Park from damage” and was moved again after more than 50,000 people said they planned to attend, organizers said.
From 9 p.m. Friday to 6 p.m. Saturday, Columbus Drive will be closed from East Monroe Street to East Balbo Avenue and East Jackson Drive will be closed from Michigan Avenue to Lake Shore Drive. Congress Parkway from Columbus to Machigan and Congress Circl will also be closed.
Michigan Avenue will be closed from Randolph to Harrison once the march steps off, officials said.
Organizer noted that East Congress and Balbo Avenue will also be closed from Michigan Avenue to Lake Shore Drive and Monroe will be closed from Michigan Avenue to Columbus, but those closures were not reported by Chicago's Office of Emergency Management and Communication.
The event will begin with the rally near Grant Park, featuring speeches and performances from several people including Ari Afsar, Karen Olivo and Samantha Marie Ware from the cast of “Hamilton.”
The march is expected to step off at 11:30 a.m. and continue west on Jackson before ending at Federal Plaza.
Chicago police and the Office of Emergency Management and Communications did not immediately respond to a request for comment on plans for security or potential traffic disruptions during the event.
The Chicago gathering is among more than 150 sister marches planned around the country and the world in conjunction with the Women’s March on Washington.
As of Monday, nearly $40,000 had been raised to fund equipment needed for the downtown event.
“We will mobilize as women and supporters of women to protect our rights and civil liberties,” organizers wrote on the fundraising page. “We stand in solidarity with other women’s marches planned across the country and the world on January 21 and WE WILL BE SEEN AND HEARD by the new administration. We are of varied races, ethnicities, ages, religions, sexual and gender identities, economic situations, politics, and countless other diversities. We share space on January 21 to express our diverse and similar concerns and protect our rights and our humanity.”
The marches nationwide are expected to draw hundreds of thousands of people on Saturday.