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How Big a Deal Was It When the Chicago Cubs Won the World Series?

Chicago took the day off on 4 November 2016. After dyeing the Chicago River blue in honor of the World Series-winning Chicago Cubs, city officials estimated that 5 million people gathered along the streets of downtown Chicago and in Grant Park to cheer the team. The Chicago Cubs had finally ended an epic 108-year losing streak, beating the Cleveland Indians for Major League Baseball bragging rights in an event that manager Joe Maddon dubbed "Cubstock 2016."

According to many estimates, it was the seventh-largest gathering in human history. The top four events include the 30 million people who assembled for the Kumbh Mela pilgrimage in India in 2013, followed by the Arbaeen festival in Iraq in 2014, when 17 million people showed up. Funerals have also drawn immensely large crowds in India and Iran -- 15 million people attended the funeral of CN Annadurai in 1969, and 10 million people honored Ayatollah Khomeini in 1989.

Go, Cubs, go:

  • It was just the third parade in Cubs history. Although they did not have a procession after winning the 1908 World Series, there were Chicago parades after the team won National League pennants in 1932 and 1938.
  • If the City of Chicago’s estimate is accurate, it would mean that a crowd nearly twice the size of the city's population took part. The crowds weren't nearly as large to celebrate the Chicago Blackhawks' recent Stanley Cup wins, or even to celebrate the Chicago White Sox victory in the 2005 World Series.
  • The team agreed to pay $388,000 USD to the city for repairs needed in Grant Park after the three-hour-long celebration.
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