Chicago Blackhawks center Michal Handzus (left) celebrates in the locker room with the Stanley Cup after game six of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final against the Boston Bruins at TD Garden. The Blackhawks won 3-2 to win the series four games to two. Mandatory Credit: David Sandford/Pool Photo via USA TODAY Sports
CHICAGO- Thousands of Blackhawks fans are pouring into downtown Chicago for a parade and rally to fete the Stanley Cup champions.
Hours before Friday's parade is set to begin, crowds are jamming entrances to the rally site in Grant Park along Lake Michigan.
Some of them camped out there overnight.
Fans came with faces painted in the red and black team colors. Others were hauling around knock-off versions of the silver Stanley Cup, including one fashioned out of an empty beer keg.
Twenty-two-year-old Sarah Schmidt made the pilgrimage from Milwaukee, telling her boss she was taking the day off no matter what. She hopes she still has her bar tending job when the party is over.
With hours to go before the festivities, trains into the city were packed.
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