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Parade alert: No free rally tickets left

By 4:20 this afternoon, all of the tickets to tomorrow's post-parade rally tickets were gone.

By 4:20 this afternoon, all of the tickets to tomorrow's post-parade rally tickets were gone.

They had become available for free to the general public starting at 3 p.m.

Earlier in the day, they'd been offered to Phillies season-ticket holders.

Perhaps 100,000 seats, snapped up in mere hours.

Of course, even before they'd disappeared, dozens of tickets were selling for $40, $50, $100 and more through and online ticket brokers, such as

Welcome to the wild world of having a World Series champion.

Philadelphia is geared up for an epic event tomorrow - a parade to officially celebrate the city's first major sports championship in 25 years.

It'll be a Halloween few fans here will ever forget.

The parade will begin at noon at 20th and Market Streets, then head down Broad Street for two mid-afternoon rallies: a main one at Citizens Bank Park and another at Lincoln Financial Field.

Basically, those at the Linc will see a broadcast of the parade and the Bank ceremonies, plus brief appearances by Phillies players.

Gates will open at 10 a.m. at both facilities.

The ticket opportunity was announced by John Weber, vice president for ticket sales, at an early-afternoon news conference about the parade and rallies.

He was one of a half-dozen team and city officials, including Mayor Nutter, who spoke.

No alcohol will be sold at either facility, Phillies president Dave Montgomery announced.

The parade, which is also free, is to celebrate last night's Phillies victory over the Tampa Bay Rays, 4-3, to finish the suspended fifth game and win the World Series.

Riding floats will be the entire Phillies squad, as well as ex-players, ballgirls, team offcials, and, of course, the Phanatic.

The forecast calls for sunny skies, with a high in the low 60s and light breezes.

Thinking of driving downtown? Think again, officials say.

Streets will be jammed and parking will be difficult to find, so people are urged to take public transportation.

Or walk or bike.

Parking will be prohibited after midnight tonight on Market Street west of City Hall and Broad Street south of City Hall, a parking official announced. Vehicles left there will be towed.

SEPTA will provide additional bus and subway service. Riders were advised to buy tickets in advance, and asked to be very patient tomorrow.

The PATCO high-speed line will have extra service all day, with trains to and from South Jersey running every six minutes or less from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Officially, Philadelphia public and parochial schools will be open. But if past parades are predictive, many pupils will contract a serious case of "Phillies Fever," which is treated by fresh air and loud cheering.

In 1980, some teachers even conducted impromptu field trips with their students, citing the importance of studying history.

"Northeast Catholic came up with a unique solution. The kids were sent home just after 11 a.m. - in time to catch the el to the parade," the Daily News reported.

In South Jersey, the decision to close will be up to each school district, a state education spokeswoman said.

Plenty of police will be on hand, the mayor said at the news conference.

"We will certainly have a sizeable presence out on the streets to make sure the public is safe," he said.

Sponsors have stepped forward to pledge more than $100,000 to help with the city's costs, Nutter said.

The crowd at the 1980 parade for the Phillies first-ever world championship was estimated at 750,000 to 1.5 million, with another 80,000 at J.F.K. Stadium, where players and team officials addressed the fans.

The 1983 parade after the Sixers won the NBA title - the city's last major title until last night - drew about 1.7 million fans.

Biggest of all might have been the 1974 Flyers parade, witnessed by 2 million or more fans, according to estimates.

"Phillies fans have been waiting 28 years for this day," Mayor Nutter said in a statement last night. "We deserve this win. I can't wait to share this day with Phillies fans from across the city, state, and even country."