By Jim Williams

CHICAGO (CBS) — One final curtain call on Sunday ended a remarkable run for “Hamilton” in Chicago.

There was an emotional scene in the late afternoon at the CIBC Theatre, 18 W. Monroe St. After 171 weeks of performances seen by 2.6 million people, the wildly successful residency of “Hamilton” is now over.

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As CBS 2’s Jim Williams reported, it was the end for the crowds on Monroe Street, the countless selfies in front of the marquee, and of course, the thrilling performance inside.

“The energy in today’s production was unreal,” said one woman who had been in the audience. “There were standing ovations right from the start of the show.”

“It seemed like there were a lot of people crying,” added an audience member named Wally.

During the final curtain call, stars thanked the city for its hospitality and making it feel like home. Mayor Lori Lightfoot returned the praise, declaring Sunday “Hamilton Day” in Chicago.

As CBS 2’s Mike Puccinelli reported, the event brought in people from all over the country and the world.

CBS 2 Theatre Critic Chris Jones said “Hamilton” fans likely pumped about $100 million a year into the Loop economy.

Thus, the loss of the show is a big hit to the city’s bottom line, as well as its cultural landscape.

For more than three years, eight times a week, about 1,800 people have been rising to their feet to applaud Miguel Cervantes and the rest of the cast for the Chicago production of “Hamilton.”

“Hamilton” was a phenomenon – a hip hop musical with a diverse cast portraying the Founding Fathers.

The history lesson, like no other, had been the hottest show in a generation on Broadway in Midtown Manhattan – and its cast album has been an international best seller.

It was, of course, all the creation the show’s star Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Miranda – after rapping for President Barack Obama – told CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole he could never have even imagined the level of success his words and songs achieved.

“No one can imagine this. I mean, I’d be a lunatic; I mean, I’d be so crazy if I was like, ‘Yeah, I totally saw it coming,” Miranda said in September 2016.

“Hamilton” opened on Jan. 20, 2015 in New York. It is still onstage on Broadway, though not with the original cast.

After “Hamilton” became a sensation in New York, it was announced that there would be a second production of with a new cast – and in 2016, it was announced that the production would be in Chicago.

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“This is a show we got before anybody, except for the original Broadway production,” Jones said. “And that’s why economically and culturally, I think, it’s really meant a lot to the city.”

When tickets first went on sale, the demand was so great that fans lined up around the block and slept overnight to get them.

It would go on to become the biggest show ever in Chicago – bringing in $400 million at the box office.

It also brought in an estimated $100 million a year in total economic activity for the city.

Part of the appeal was that fans desperate to see the play really only had two options.

“It’s only really been in Chicago and New York for a long time – the first year or two, those where the only cities you could see it anywhere in the world,” Jones said, “so it attracted a lot of tourists.”

When tickets first went on sale, the demand was so great that fans lined up around the block and slept overnight to get them.

“It’s just been an amazing show that has really sort of captured the city’s imagination more than any other show I’ve ever known in this city – and I’ve been around a while,” Jones said.

But now, the curtain has fallen on “Hamilton” one final time to another sold out crowd, which included one prominent repeat fan.

“The mayor of Chicago was expected here this afternoon,” Jones said. “She told me that she’s seen it four times already. This is her fifth time.”

Mayor Lightfoot put out a tweet Sunday evening honoring “Hamilton.”

She said the production “inspired all of us to reach for our highest ideals. Though we will miss Hamilton here in Chicago, it will live on in our classrooms, revivals, and—if you’re anything like my family—countless Schuyler sister sing-offs.”

Such a dedicated fan base generated buzz around the play that became so great that Jones isn’t sure whether it’s possible to replace the cultural phenomenon that is Hamilton in Chicago.

“There is nothing currently on Broadway that comes even close to ‘Hamilton’ in terms of its popular appeal and its ability to sell tickets,” Jones said.

After more than 1,300 shows in Chicago, the “Hamilton” production will now move on to Los Angeles and other cities.

Many people believe it will return to Chicago, but it’s not clear when that might happen.

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CBS 2’s Mike Puccinelli contributed to this report.