The city of Chicago threw a party 108 years in the making Friday.

Long-suffering fans of the Chicago Cubs packed the streets of the Windy City to watch the World Series parade celebrating the team’s first championship since 1908. According to Chicago Bulls announcer Chuck Swirsky, television reports estimated that six million people attended the parade.

President of baseball operations Theo Epstein said of the party, "It exceeded my expectations by about tenfold. It was way bigger than Boston," per Daniel Kramer of MLB.com.

The celebration started in Wrigley Field on the city’s north side and winded its way to Michigan Avenue downtown before culminating in Grant Park for a rally, as the Chicago Tribune highlighted:

Updated: Cubs World Series parade route: https://t.co/x64Hofapv8 pic.twitter.com/zgu1Q5bBKg

— Chicago Tribune (@chicagotribune) November 4, 2016

You can not play this media on the current browser / platform.

Parade passes Wrigleyville

ShareFacebookTwitterGoogle+Embed

More info

The fans wasted little time filing into Grant Park, per NBC Chicago:

When you finally get to go to something you’ve been waiting 108 years for #FlyTheW pic.twitter.com/wjOlykuWJu

— NBC Chicago (@nbcchicago) November 4, 2016

SportsCenter shared a look at the massive crowds hours before the team arrived for the rally:

— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) November 4, 2016

Chicago prepared before the parade started by dying the river Cubs blue, as the Chicago Tribune and Justin Breen of DNAinfo Chicago shared:

Watch the Chicago River turn Cubbie blue as the city braces for a World Series parade 108 years in the making pic.twitter.com/bccrPC2EyM

— Chicago Tribune (@chicagotribune) November 4, 2016

As the players started boarding the bus, Wrigley Field was still flying the "W" flag that will likely remain above the scoreboard for the offseason:

THE [ w ] is still flying over Wrigley Field pic.twitter.com/aYJfMQAX1k

— Wrigley Field (@WrigleyBlog) November 4, 2016

Catcher David Ross provided a glimpse of his bus, while battery-mate Jon Lester had to look out for his head as the caravan made its way toward downtown:

These buses are too high up! We almost got taken out by the power lines! Lost my hat! Haha

— Jon Lester (@JLester34) November 4, 2016

The Cubs shared a look at a handful of the buses:

It was pure, cathartic bedlam by the time the parade reached Michigan Avenue, as Fox Sports MLB passed along:

This is so cool. The celebration is UNDERWAY

The @Cubs wave to their fans on their CHAMPIONSHIP parade. #CubsParade https://t.co/ipjjOXH6iq

— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) November 4, 2016

Anthony Rizzo shared his exuberance with the crowd, per Dionne Miller of ABC Chicago:

— Dionne Miller (@dmillerabc7) November 4, 2016

Brad Edwards of CBS Chicago and Fox Sports MLB shared overview looks at the scene:

The parade eventually reached Grant Park, where Cubs broadcaster Pat Hughes played the role of emcee. Team owner Tom Ricketts talked about the chance to finally tell desperate fans they won the World Series, per Fox Sports MLB:

"There you go."- @Cubs’ owner Tom Ricketts to all the people who told him to win the #WorldSeries before they die. https://t.co/z1uu2fXSeh

— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) November 4, 2016

Epstein discussed the rebuilding process and joked about this year’s slogan, per CBS Sports MLB: "Let’s be honest, for a while there, we forgot the ‘not’ in ‘try not to suck.’"

Epstein gave way to manager Joe Maddon, who called the massive crowds "Cubstock 2016," per Sarah Spain of ESPN. Maddon also had another task, as Tony Andracki of CSN Chicago described: "Maddon immediately thanks wife after getting to podium. Theo runs over to have Maddon thank Mrs. Epstein too, because Theo forgot that part."

The Cubs shared a look at that Cubstock crowd in Grant Park:

Hughes then introduced the players after Maddon. Dexter Fowler was the first player to speak, but Lester was the first one to swear, as Brett Taylor of Bleacher Nation described:

Lester: "How about this sh*t? … sorry kids."

Worth it.

— Brett Taylor (@BleacherNation) November 4, 2016

Miguel Montero, Kyle Schwarber and World Series MVP Ben Zobrist also spoke, and Zobrist said, "This is a team full of MVPs, and we’re in a city of MVPs," per 670 The Score in Chicago.

Rizzo took the stage after Zobrist and broke into tears when he introduced Ross and talked about how the veteran mentored him and the rest of the young players. Ross also got choked up and lifted up the World Series trophy, as Fox Sports MLB documented:

Rizzo gave the ball from the final out of the World Series to Ricketts before the team and singer Brett Eldredge belted out "Go Cubs Go" with the crowd.

It was the party of a lifetime for generations of Cubs fans, but it may be the first of many if Epstein continues to operate his well-oiled machine on the city’s north side.

Chicago won an MLB-best 103 games this year and features an incredibly young core of position players. Rizzo, Kris Bryant, Addison Russell, Schwarber, Javier Baez, Jason Heyward, Jorge Soler, Albert Almora Jr. and Willson Contreras are all 27 years old or younger.

It is not much of a stretch to suggest they could add to the 2016 title, especially after proving they can deliver on the biggest of stages in the clutch moments.

Game 7 appeared to slip from the Cubs’ grasp when Rajai Davis drilled a game-tying home run off Aroldis Chapman in the eighth inning. However, the Cubs rallied back following a rain delay and received critical run-scoring hits from Zobrist and Montero in the 10th.

You can not play this media on the current browser / platform.

Must C: Cubs’ game-winning rally

ShareFacebookTwitterGoogle+Embed

More info

Thanks to the 2016 team, future Cubs squads will no longer be under the burden of history and an extensive World Series drought.

Now the talented players who Epstein and the front office brought to Chicago will turn their attention toward the 2017 season, where they are already listed as championship favorites on Odds Shark.