Party Planning Guide for Obama Rally

Plan on lines, crowds and tight security.

You're probably pretty excited if you have a ticket to the Obama rally. We don't want to be Debbie Downer, we just want you to be prepared.

If you're planning to come to Barack Obama's election night event in Grant Park, expect long lines, tight security and the possibility of being turned away if the park gets too crowded.

The Chicago Sun-Times has tips for your party planning.

Obama supporters without tickets to his Election Night event in Chicago can still be part of it in Grant Park.

City officials announced Monday that a jumbo TV screen will be put up in Butler Field for the overflow crowd that's expected there.

Obama's ticketed event is being held farther south in the lakefront park on Hutchinson Field. An event permit application says 65,000 spectators will attend.

City officials wouldn't estimate the size of the overflow crowd.

But Chicago Mayor Richard Daley has said as many as a million people could show up.

The city's Office of Emergency Management and Communications said everyone will be required to enter Grant Park through Congress Parkway and all other entrances will be closed.

City officials said people who do come downtown should not bring strollers, alcohol, coolers or chairs. There will, however, be water for purchase, as well as 200 portable toilets.

CTA President Ron Huberman said the CTA would be starting early and ending late for trains and buses running through downtown.  The CTA is also warned riders that bicycles will not be allowed on the rail system after 4 p.m. Tuesday until 4 a.m. Wednesday.

To accomodate the expected late night rush, Metra plans to add some trains later in the evening while also cutting back on the number of extra rush hour trains.  For inbound trains arriving after 6 p.m. Tuesday, all fares will be $5 roundtrip. The tickets will be sold on the trains.  Alcohol is prohibited on board.

With as many as 1 million people expected in Grant Park Tuesday for Sen. Barack Obama's election night rally, a couple of the colleges with campuses within a couple blocks of Grant Park have shortened their schedules or canceled classes and all are restricting access to their Loop buildings Tuesday night.

Taking your car in the area will not be a good idea, according to fire officials.  Parking bans and road closures will be in effect after the evening rush. 

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