Area fans travel to Chicago for Oprah's goodbye concert
Just two more Oprah shows remain before Winfrey is wrapping up her quarter-century-running talk show to concentrate on her TV channel, the Oprah Winfrey Network.
The first part of a farewell concert held in Chicago last week was broadcast Monday. ABC7 gave two viewers the opportunity to witness the taping of those shows at Chicago’s United Center.
For Susan Williamson and her sister Ana Lee, it was the trip of a lifetime. The two were whisked off to Chicago, provided luxury hotel accommodations and coveted tickets to the concert.
Tickets for the show were not for sale, but sought-after by Oprah fans. “I registered for tickets at Oprah.com and won and brought my mom,” said Tamika Williams from Waldorf, Md.
Like Williams, hundreds of thousands of fans tried to win one of the fewer than 15,000 tickets. Some fans even offered to clean the United Center after the show in order to get in.
Those who had one of the invitations were excited before the show. “This has been very exciting from the time I found out I was coming - everyone I know knows I'm here,” said Helen Halloway of Alexandria, Va.
Williams said going to the event was a great mother’s day present.
“It was the weekend of mother’s day so I told my mom, ‘happy mother’s day - we're going to see Oprah.’ This has got to be the best mother’s day gifts ever - except having her,” Williams said.
Sentimental feelings were everywhere as people reflected on 25 years of watching Oprah teach, entertain and inform.
“She's such a powerful icon for women everywhere of every creed and color and she's such a great role model for the entire country really,” said Melanie Anton from Montgomery Village, Md.
The second part of the concert, which will air on Tuesday, was hosted by Will and Jada Smith and includes serenades by Jamie Foxx and Stevie Wonder.