Penguins fans pack Downtown for parade
Streets Downtown are being reopened for rush hour traffic after hundreds of thousands of people gathered to catch a glimpse of their on-ice heroes and Lord Stanley's Cup.
Pittsburgh police said as many as 375,000 people attended today's "City of Champions" parade for the Penguins, about 25,000 more than February's Super Bowl victory parade honoring the Steelers.
"You deserve to be called 'The City of Champions,'" said team captain Sidney Crosby. "Thank you all for your support. We don't want to stop at one, we want to go for more. Let's do it again sometime."
There were 23 calls for people needing medical attention and two people transported to local hospitals for hydration issues. Temperatures today reached 81 degrees.
While the crowd was relatively well-behaved, police did issue two citations, including one for disorderly conduct and another for selling T-shirts without a license.
Team members rode through the city in the "City of Champions" parade, which concluded with the players and coaches speaking at a stage near the intersection of the Boulevard of the Allies and Stanwix Street.
The parade culminated a weekend of celebration. Pens captain Sidney Crosby hoisted the cup Sunday at the Pirates game and winger Bill Guerin threw out the first pitch to the delight of 27,565 fans. That followed celebrations outside private parties involving the team Saturday in the South Side.
Guerin, who hoisted the Stanley Cup for the second time after winning it in 1995 with the New Jersey Devils, also thanked the fans.
"This has been an incredible journey for not just myself, but my family," Guerin said. "I remember when the general manager of the Islanders told me I had been traded to the Penguins — talk about upgrading. It was a unique opportunity and situation. For the first time in my life I am almost speechless. Thank you for bringing me here and making me a part of this team."
Fans lined up before 5 a.m. and by the time the parade started at noon, some spots were packed 20 people deep.
"The Penguins are my team," said Stephane "Roots" Rocine, a fan for the past 25 years, who drove 12 hours from Montreal. "They have a lot of heart."
Josh Davis, 27, of Mt. Washington showed up Downtown at 5:30 a.m. donning a Sidney Crosby jersey he wore for seven weeks without washing.
"It's a bad omen to clean the shirt," he said.
Davis also was carrying a puck from Game 4 he said landed in his lap.
"I'm going to keep it as a family heirloom," he said.
Beth Karos sat in front-row fold-out seats with her husband to watch the team go by.
"We lived in Maryland last time and couldn't be here for the parade, so we didn't want to miss it this time," said Karos, 48, of Mars.
Karos said the Penguins championship is great for the city.
"There are people Downtown spending money, eating food, all that good stuff," she said. "Maybe it will help our image with the rest of the nation."
When Evgeni Malkin went by, they cheered for him, his family and borscht.
The majority of those in the crowd are in their 20s and 30s, but there also are many teenagers and parents with their children. Businessmen lined their office windows.
Jennifer Lang, 29, of Plum brought her 13-month-old son, Jacob, who was wearing a Penguins shirt. Lang remembered watching Pens games when she was little and said she wanted her son to witness the event.
"I wanted to be able to bring him out to see this. He's been clapping when everyone was clapping," Lang said. "A lot of people are here and everyone's been so nice and polite."
Many came from out of town to celebrate the team's first Stanley Cup victory in 17 years.
Lori Wolfgang, her husband and three children drove in from Detroit, where they attended Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final, to attend the parade.
"We've been circling from Detroit, Cincinnati to here," said Wolfgang, 36, of Detroit. "We love the Penguins."
Today's parade took the same route the Steelers did after they won their sixth Super Bowl title, proceeding down Grant Street, looping to the Boulevard of the Allies and ending at Stanwix Street.
Mike Banas, 41, of Scott stood on a step ladder along Grant Street to get a better view and camera angle. He learned that trick after the Steelers parade earlier this year.
"Framing the bottom of pictures with the tops of heads doesn't exactly add to the quality," he said. "I'm a big hockey fan so I want a picture of everyone. There are a million photos of Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, but not as many of Eaton and the Rob Scuderi's of the world."
David Sedpak, 25, of Bloomfield said everyone in the crowd is getting along great.
"We're all here for the same reason," Sedpak said. "There's no conflict of interest. We're all here because the Pens won."
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Penguins’ Crosby details his mumps experience
- Starkey: Pederson had to go at Pitt
- Steelers, young and old, thirst for opportunity to reach the postseason
- Auditions for Broadway’s Carole King musical coming to Pittsburgh
- West Virginia offensive coordinator takes job with Kentucky
- Pederson’s 2nd tenure as the athletic director at Pitt comes to abrupt end
- Judge dismisses littering charge against City Council president Kraus
- Developer reveals Buncher plans for 400 Strip District apartments, townhomes
- QB Smith is chief concern for Steelers’ defense
- Chryst returns home, named football coach at Wisconsin
- Arnold Stop-n-Go robbed