As hundreds of thousands of people descended on the city's streets Saturday, organizers said the Women's March on Chicago was among the largest in the country outside of the march on Washington.
At least 75,000 were expected to be part of the march, organizers said early Saturday, an estimate that had nearly doubled since Tuesday. But the number of participants grew to approximately 250,000 as groups descended on the rally site at Columbus and Jackson, organizers revealed. [[411405935, C]]
Early in the event, organizers initially said that Chicago's march was the largest in the country outside DC, though numbers in New York and Los Angeles continued to grow and outpace Chicago throughout the day.
Chicago's Office of Emergency Management and Communications and Chicago police said organizers transitioned the march into a rally as the park reached capacity. The event is scheduled to continue until 12:30 p.m.
Michigan Avenue was closed from Congress Parkway to Randolph Street for several hours, officials said. Columbus Drive, Jackson and Van Buren were also remain closed for demonstrators to exit. [[411409145, C]]
Speakers took to the stage for a rally around 10 a.m., sharing their rallying cries as crowds took over Michigan Street, State Street and even Wabash.
Members from the cast of "Hamilton" serenaded the massive, yet seemingly peaceful, group with their rendition of "Let It Be."
The event began with musical performances at 9:15 a.m., followed by dozens of speakers including aldermen, activists and more.