Fans will say this parade has been 52 years in the making. Those organizing it put the event together in a matter of days.
“We’re very superstitious in hockey,” said Steve Chapman of the Blues’ front office. “So we started planning this about two days into the Stanley Cup Final. Quietly, very quietly.”
But details are set for the Blues’ championship parade and rally to celebrate the team winning the National Hockey League’s Stanley Cup this week. It’s the team’s first championship.
The parade commences at noon Saturday, beginning at 18th and Market streets. Floats will proceed down Market toward the Gateway Arch, where the team will hold a rally.
The Blues’ Chapman says the parade and party will be fan-centric with players riding various floats. Several notable Blues alumni will also be involved in the event, Chapman said, as will Lailia Anderson, a superfan who became a cheerleader and rallypoint for team this year.
Championship merchandise will be for sale near the Stifel Theatre as well the team store at Enterprise Center. There will be a half-dozen screens set up around the Arch for people to view the rally.
Organizers were hesitant during a press conference Friday morning to predict the number of fans that will line Market Street and fill the Arch grounds, but Ann Chance, the city’s director of special events, told St. Louis Public Radio it could be a half-million people.
All those people will mean waits at security checkpoints getting into the Arch grounds and delays getting to and from downtown. Metro St. Louis Executive Director Jessica Mefford-Miller said people should plan for an hour to travel between home and downtown.
“We’ll ask our customers of course to bring their patience with them tomorrow, especially after the event ends,” she said. “It’ll be quite a bit of time before all the traffic and trains clear downtown St. Louis.”
Extra trains will run on MetroLink tomorrow. Mefford-Miller encouraged riders to buy tickets ahead of time using its app.
For those driving downtown, meters will be enforced and garages will likely fill up. Organizers are encouraging drivers to have a plan B for where to park. Street closures along Market Street and blocks to the north and south will begin around 10 a.m., according to St. Louis Metropolitan Police.
The same restrictions as for other large events on items and activities allowed in Gateway Arch National Park will be enforced. Strollers and wagons are allowed as well as soft-sided coolers No glass bottles are permitted.
“Bring as little as you absolutely need to bring,” said park deputy superintendent Frank Mares.
An accessible viewing area for people with mobility limitations will be near the north leg of the Arch.
The parade will also be broadcast live on KSDK and Fox Sports Midwest. The event will be held rain or shine.
If you go:
St. Louis Blues Championship Parade and Rally
When: Noon Saturday
Where: Parade begins at 18th and Market streets and ends at the Gateway Arch
How much: Free
Information: St. Louis Blues website
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