Over 1,000,000 people are expected in Grant Park this evening. The party intended to celebrate Obama's victory will be paid for by the Obama campaign. (Listen to an NPR Broadcast from November 3, about the rush for tickets for the planned celebration.)
Security concerns are an issue, and tickets were issued by the Obama campaign for entry to Hutchinson field where Obama and supporters will be. People without tickets will be gathering in Butler field (northern part of Grant Park) where a large screen will be broadcasting. The entry to both party sites will be at Congress Parkway and Michigan Avenue and will open at 8:30 p.m. (Millenium Park and surrounding areas will be closed, for security reasons). Due to the crowds, there will be long lines. Residents and visitors to Chicago have been instructed to take public transport in the city tonight, and to buy their tickets in advance.
According to James Janega in the Chicago Tribune: "If you get into the ticketed event, you'll be able to see Obama on stage with Lake Michigan and the Museum Campus in the background. If you don't have a ticket, you'll be able to watch the event on at least one Jumbotron television in Butler Field."
There will be no seating available on either site, and with the crowds expected, there wouldn't be room to sit down anyway. Unfortunately, Buckingham Fountain is currently closed for renovations.
If you can't make it to Grant Park, you could join any other Election Night Party in Chicago...or around the world. If you happen to be in Paris, here are a few tips about where you could chat with others on Election Night, from Libération (November 3, 2008).
Meanwhile, in Hyde Park, there are also victory celebrations planned around the University of Chicago.
Obama supporters celebrate in Washington and in Chicago AFP Video (November 6, 2008).
James Janega, "Your guide to the Obama Grant Park Rally," Chicago Tribune with detailed map of Grant Park as a link (November 3, 2008).
"Barack Obama Rally at Grant Park," a series of photos from the Chicago Tribune (November 3, 2008).
"Obama rally set for 2 areas of Grant Park" on Chicago Breaking News (with video of security briefing, November 3, 2008).