Oprahpalooza Takes Over Chicago

Oprah celebrates her 24th season with a massive kickoff in the Windy City today

Tuesday, Sep 8, 2009  |  Updated 9:27 PM EDT
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Oprah Winfrey waves to her fans Tuesday, Sept. 8 in Chicago while taping an episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" on a three-block stretch of Chicago's Michigan Avenue near the Chicago River. Winfrey hosts the show to celebrate the kickoff of the 24th season of her show.

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It's a celebration fit for a talk show queen.

Oprah is celebrating her 24th season premiere with a star-studded kickoff event so large it forced the closure of several city blocks in Chicago today.

Thousands were expected to descend on three-block stretch of Michigan Ave. on the famed Magnificent Mile today for a free taping that was open to the public and featured a performance by the Black Eyed Peas and Jennifer Hudson among others.

Fans gathered by the gates as early as 2 a.m. for Oprah's 24th Season Kickoff Party and waited through the night until the gates opened around 8 a.m.

New episodes of the show begin on Sept. 14 with Whitney Houston in what Oprah bills as "the most anticipated music interview of the decade." 

The talk show queen has had the No. 1 show for 23 consecutive seasons.

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