Chicago Bears centennial celebration kicks off in Rosemont

ROSEMONT, Ill. (WLS) -- Rosemont's Donald E. Stephens Convention Center is decked in orange and blue this weekend as Chicago Bears fans celebrate the team's centennial season.

Faithful fans lined up more than four hours before the festivities were set to begin, eager to cheer Bears greats past and present down the orange carpet.

Kevin Smith traveled from Los Angeles.

"This is a once-in-a-lifetime deal," he said. "You'll never see this many Bears in one place."

Casey Stewart, a Bears fan from New York, had been looking forward to seeing Brian Urlacher. Unfortunately Urlacher is sidelined by a stomach bug, according to a tweet Friday afternoon.

"We are now most excited about seeing Mike Singletary and Dick Butkus," Stewart said. "We have a lot of legends that we want to get signed so Hall of Famers, we have an authentic helmet ready to go!"

Mike Ditka was the first of more than 200 Bears greats to arrive.

WATCH: Coach Ditka on the orange carpet
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Ditka called coaching the Bears "the greatest time of my life."

"I think it's great. I mean, to be a part of the celebration... I played in the league a long time ago and got to coach in the league for the Bears. I was hired by Mr. Halas twice and it was the greatest time of my life," he said.
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