Oprah Winfrey kicks off 24th season, shutting down Chicago streets with Black Eyed Peas party

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Olympic athletes pose during a taping of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" Sept. 3, 2008, at Millennium Park. The show kicked off Winfrey's 23rd season. (HARPO)

Oprah Winfrey's throwing a party -- and she's inviting EVERYONE to come.

Winfrey will kick off the 24th season of her show with a free bash in downtown Chicago Sept. 8 that'll shut down parts of Michigan Avenue for almost three days.

The kick off will be headlined by a special appearance from the Black Eyed Peas, as well as other surprise guests. The group recently re-recorded its "I Gotta Feeling" song with a Winfrey twist to promote her upcoming season.

Doors for the taping open at noon, Sept. 8, at the intersection of Michigan Avenue and Ohio Street and no overnight camping is permitted. The city plans on shutting down Michigan Avenue between Wacker Drive and Ohio Street at midnight the night before until 5 a.m. the day after the event.

According to the Red Eye, Winfrey is picking up the tab for the event and the city expenses that come with it, including the cost of shutting down the streets.

This isn't the first time Winfrey's used downtown Chicago as a landscape for her show.

Last year, Winfrey kicked off her season with an olympic-size debut in Chicago's Millenium Park welcoming more than 100 athletes from team USA back from the Beijing Olympics.

Target and T-Mobile are co-sponsoring the show, which will air Sept. 10.

Here's the details:

Admission is free and open to all ages. Minors should be accompanied by an adult. Doors will open at 12:00 p.m. CDT on Tuesday, September 8 at the intersection of Michigan Avenue and Ohio Street, and space is available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Camping overnight will not be permitted.
The taping will begin promptly at 5:00 p.m., rain or shine. Space is standing-room only for the approximately two-hour taping.

Attendees making a day of the production are encouraged to bring their own snacks and water. No food of any kind will be provided. Water stations will be available within the designated production area. There will be no seats provided or available for guests attending the show. No professional recording equipment is permitted.

• The City of Chicago anticipates closing Michigan Avenue between Wacker Drive and Ohio Street on Monday, September 7 at 12:01 a.m. for the taping of "The Oprah Winfrey Show." Expect the closure to remain in effect until Wednesday, September 9 at 5:00 a.m.
• Traffic is expected to be heavy in these areas. Traffic patterns may need to be adjusted periodically throughout the day.
• Pedestrian access along Michigan Avenue will remain open at all times, including access into all buildings along the Michigan Avenue corridor.
• CTA reroutes will be in effect. Customers may obtain travel information by visiting CTA's website at www.transitchicago.com, by calling 1-888-YOUR-CTA or the RTA Travel Information Center at 836-7000 from any local Chicago area code. Attendees are strongly encouraged to take public transportation to and from the show taping. Public parking options will be limited.

• Clark Street, Dearborn and Lake Shore Drive may be used as alternates.
• Lower Illinois Street, Ohio Street and Grand Avenue will remain open to traffic.

The transportation pick up and drop off location for Paratransit vehicles and private vehicles transporting guests with disabilities will be located on the west side of Cityfront Plaza Drive between Illinois and North Water Streets (across from NBC Tower). Guests with disabilities will be escorted to designated ADA areas.

You can find more information at oprah.com/party

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Mark Bieganski published on September 1, 2009 8:05 AM.

New Oprah Winfrey book club pick coming Sept. 18 was the previous entry in this blog.

Erin Andrews to Oprah: Nude video was 'nightmare' is the next entry in this blog.

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