The Cubs interrupted their regularly scheduled partying Friday to throw an even bigger blowout in celebration of their championship season.
It was standing-room only on the streets of Chicago, or sitting-room only if you climbed a tree.
Everyone was invited, and it looked as though everyone came — an estimated 5 million or so, give or take a few tourists who happened to be in town on the craziest day in 108 years.
The Cubs love to party, and have done it 114 times this season after victories. So it made sense they would want to have the biggest one ever, especially knowing they didn't have to clean up afterward.
So they piled into double-decker busses outside Wrigley Field on Friday morning, put the World Series trophy in David Ross' hands and went on one last ride. The first turn, from Clark Street east on Addison Street, was easy enough. Just the usual throng everyone got used to outside the Cubby Bear during the postseason, when the streets were blocked off from traffic.
It wasn't until the busses passed the Billy Williams and Ron Santo statues at Sheffield Avenue and Addison that it became clear this was not just a parade, but a new rite of passage for Cubs fans of every age.
From Sheffield to the inner Drive, the sidewalks were gridlocked and fans watched from windows and rooftops, waving and shouting like Game 7 still was being played.
Everywhere the players looked, a sign, another sign, everywhere a sign.
"This is Fun."
"Lost Goat. Last Seen Nov. 2. If Found, Do Not Return."
"Why U Mad, LeBron?"
The caravan jumped onto the Drive, giving the Cubs players a chance to rest their waving arms, except of course, for Aroldis Chapman, who never gets to rest.
Once they exited onto Michigan Avenue, and saw the next wave of fans packed from the curb to the wall of the Drake Hotel, things got real again.
They passed the Fourth Presbyterian Church on Chestnut, where Anthony Rizzo and others paid their last respects to Ernie Banks on a cold January day in 2015, and drove by the old Water Tower that withstood both the Chicago Fire and the 107-year drought.
More shouting, waving "W" flags and people just saying "Go Cubs." edifice
They passed Tribune Tower and the Wrigley Building, namesake edifices of longtime former Cubs owners that failed to do what the Ricketts family has done. And if they tried hard enough, the players could smell the grilled onions emanating from Billy Goat Tavern, the lower Michigan Avenue bar and grill that was bustling with fans celebrating the end of the alleged curse.
By the time the Cubs caravan got to Grant Park, they couldn't be blamed for being partied out. But the Cubs regrouped, even without the patented Jason Heyward speech, and gathered backstage for the rally.
Things mostly went on script, as they usually do at these Chicago championship rallies. Pat Hughes was Pat Foley, the beloved narrator introducing the cast of characters, and mentioning the Mount Rushmore of Cubs legends — Ernie Banks, Ron Santo, Harry Caray and Jack Brickhouse.
Jon Lester did the Corey Crawford thing, uttering an obscenity to make everyone feel at ease.
Chairman Tom Ricketts said these Cubs would be "Chicago baseball legends," and Business Operations President Crane Kenney spoke at length and tried not to cry.
Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein thanked Banks and Santo for the blessed rain delay that saved Game 7, as well as the fans for being patient during the early stages of "the Plan."
"Let's be honest, for a while there we forgot the not in 'Try not to suck,'" he said, referring to Joe Maddon's famous T-shirt slogan.
Epstein gave a blow-by-blow of the Cubs' postseason comebacks, and the scene in Cleveland when the players met during the rain delay and decided "We're going to win it for each other, we're going to win it for the fans."
"We've all dreamed of this so many times over the years," he said. "And this has exceeded our wildest dreams."
Maddon, wearing a "We Did Not Suck" T-shirt for the occasion, channeled his inner Wavy Gravy and dubbed the event "Cubstock."
"I've been around baseball for a bit," he said. "Never, never have I experienced anything like Wrigley Field on a nightly basis, never have I experienced anything like the conversation like I have with all of you when I run into you on the street. It's different. It's spectacular. It's comfortable. It's warm, and it's the way it should be."
Any player who wished to speak could, a Cubs' executive said afterward, but only a few — Lester, Dexter Fowler, Miguel Montero, Kyle Schwarber, Rizzo and Ross — took this once in a lifetime opportunity.
Rizzo got fans crying when he broke down talking about his "brother," Ross, and Ross doubled down by breaking down while thanking his family. But after walking away, Grandpa returned. He forgot one thing, as Grandpas do.
"Wait, wait, how about a quick selfie?" Ross said, turning his back to the crowd and holding his phone high. "All right, everybody's hands up."
After Rizzo gave Ricketts the game ball from the final out, a confetti machine provided the cliche ending the Cubs deserved. Several of the players' kids, playing in the photo pit below the stage and wearing their dad's jerseys, picked up the tiny pieces of red and blue paper and tossed them back up into the air.
The long-awaited party of the century was ending, or more likely, just taking a little break.