Women's March Chicago Shifts Location to ‘Protect Grant Park,' Thousands Expected to Gather Day After Trump's Inauguration

With thousands of people expected to gather for the Women’s March in Chicago this weekend, the location has shifted to avoid damaging the city’ s Grant Park, organizers announced.

Originally slated to be held at the Petrillo Bandshell Saturday, the march will now begin at 10 a.m. at Jackson Boulevard and Lake Shore Drive.

The stage will be located on South Jackson Boulevard, “facing west in order to protect Grant Park from damage,” organizers said.

Jackson Boulevard will be closed for traffic from Lake Shore Drive to Columbus.

The event, stepping off the day after Donald Trump’s inauguration, 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 begin at 11:30 a.m. and continue west on Jackson Boulevard, north onto Michigan, west on Adams, north on Dearborn, west on Randolph, south on Clark and return to Jackson before ending at Federal Plaza.

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.

It's unclear how many will attend the event, but organizers said they expect more than 10,000 people will march. A Facebook group dedicated to the Chicago march, however, has more than 30,000 members. 

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.

America Ferrera is leading the celebrity contingent for the march in Washington. Other notables who plan to participate include Katy Perry, Amy Schumer, Scarlett Johansson, Cher, Julianne Moore, Debra Messing, Olivia Wilde, Zendaya and Frances McDormand.

Chelsea Handler will also lead a sister march in Park City, Utah.

Chicago police could not immediately comment on plans for security or potential traffic disruptions during the event.

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