Chicago Sky celebrate championship win with Michigan Ave. parade, Millennium Park rally

Chance the Rapper joined Sky stars on stage at Pritzker Pavilion

BySamantha Chatman and ABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Tuesday, October 19, 2021
Chicago Sky 2021 championship parade, rally
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Chicago Sky 2021 championship parade, rally

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chi-Town turned into Sky-Town Tuesday as the city celebrated the Chicago Sky winning their first WNBA championship.

Michigan Avenue became the boulevard of champions, lined with fans young and old cheering on the history-making Chicago Sky team.

Naperville native Candace Parker was all smiles and said the last 48 hours have been "surreal, to say the least."

"I hope we've had an impact on young girls and young boys, just to show women in leadership positions, winning and doing it at a high level," she added.

In their team jerseys, Sky fans cheered on the caravan featuring champions noticeably different from many of Chicago's other sports legends.

"We don't have a lot to look up to, but for the Sky to win it, it brings a lot to women's sports and girls' sports in general," fan Melanie Bonifacio said. "It's a big deal."

Chicago Sky season ticket holder Michele Curley eagerly awaited the WNBA champs' arrival at Michigan and Roosevelt.

"I just love the support the city of Chicago's giving to this team, and I just say, let's keep it going," Curley said.

Other fans set up lawn chairs for a front row seat as the team made its way from Wintrust Arena.

"It is the first and only time I can remember having a parade for a women's team in the Chicago area," fan Melanie Byrnes said. "I'm 66 years young, and I'm happy that I lived to see this, for sure."

As the champs rolled by with their trophy hoisted overhead, dozens cheered on the history-making women. After the buses went by, some fans headed for the rally to keep that party going.

As the team made their way to Millennium Park, the city packed the house for one of the biggest celebrations of the year. North, South and West siders met at Pritzker Pavilion to witness history. The team was greeted there by both Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Gov. JB Pritzker.

For Latear Eason, it was a sentimental moment she wanted her daughter to witness. The South Side native said she played against Candace Parker in college, and knows firsthand just how much the star deserves this day.

"It was amazing. I was a freshman At LSU and she was a senior. So I wasn't going to miss this moment for anything. I wanted to witness it with my daughter," Eason said.

Kaitlyn Mathews said she also decided to bring her daughter out to show the greatness that women can achieve here in the city.

"She's able to see strong leadership by the players and teamwork and it's something that's really awesome," Mathews said.