For Immediate Release
CHICAGO — For the first time ever, all five championship trophies won by Chicago pro sports teams will appear together as part of the state’s Bicentennial Birthday Party on December 3rd at the United Center. The trophies will be featured at the culmination of an Illinois champions parade of team owners, players, legends and celebrity fans.
The Bears, Blackhawks, Bulls, Cubs and White Sox will be joined by representatives of the original Rockford Peaches. The Peaches are being recognized on the 75th anniversary of their first All-American Girls Professional Baseball League championship. Track and field star Jackie Joyner-Kersee will lead a cavalcade of Illinois Olympic champions.
“In a conversation with several of the teams it was determined the last time the trophies had been together the Cubs did not have one,” said Stuart Layne, Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of the Bicentennial. “This will be one of several first-time presentations and performances during the evening.”
The Bicentennial Birthday program will be a star studded, once in a lifetime affair that will highlight the people, places, events and innovations that were born, built and grown in Illinois.
Tickets range from $50-$75 and are on sale through Ticketmaster and at the United Center box office. For information go to www.illinois200.com.
Among the most anticipated acts is a tribute to the state’s greatest citizen, Abraham Lincoln, that includes a special musical rendition of the Gettysburg Address starring Miguel Cervantes, who plays Alexander Hamilton in the Chicago cast of “Hamilton.”
Previously announced to participate are members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, REO Speedwagon and Styx, blues legend Buddy Guy and Bill Kurtis. Legendary Blackhawks national anthem singer Jim Cornelison will do the honors to open the party.
Layne noted there will be other celebrities added to the program and many surprises in store for the evening. “If you think about the big names associated with Illinois history, entertainment and sports, we’re inviting them all,” he said.
Opening- Bill Kurtis intro, National Guard Color Guard, Jim Cornelison to sing national anthem
Act 1- Born Built and Grown-Why we are celebrating
Highlight the people, places, events, and innovations that make us Illinois Proud
Act 2- Veterans
Members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra play piece from the movie “Lincoln” (John Williams’ composition)
Joe Mantegna narrates Illinois Veterans video
Recognize Bicentennial HONOR 200 veterans
CSO plays Armed Forces Medley
Act 3- Illinois entertainment
Video of iconic Illinois movies, theater, shows, actors
Illinois rock bands perform (REO Speedwagon, Styx, other collaborators)
Act 4- Sports
Video-History of NFL/Bears;
Championship Parade: owners, players, trophies and celebrity fans from:
Bears, Bulls, Cubs, White Sox, Blackhawks, Rockford Peaches, Olympic champions
Act 5- History/Culture
Gettysburg Address Rap – “All People are Created Equal” – Miguel Cervantes (Hamilton, Chicago) with 24 Illinois high school musical theatre awardees
Act 6- History of Chicago Blues
Video chronicling migration of jazz and blues; from the Deep South to East St. Louis to Chicago
King of Chicago Blues Buddy Guy, his band performs finale
Ensemble of guests sing “Sweet Home Chicago,” “Happy Birthday,” celebratory birthday cake from Eli’s Cheesecake
The Sheraton Grand Hotel is the Official Hotel of the Bicentennial Birthday Party. For event discount: https://book.passkey.com/gt/217155572?gtid=640413d02234f1b2eb6cba0769bcf817