Thousands of people flocked to downtown Los Angeles and lined both sides of Figueroa Street near Staples Center today for a parade and rally honoring the Stanley Cup-champion Los Angeles Kings.
The parade will begin at noon at the corner of Figueroa and Fifth streets, then head south on Figueroa to Staples Center, where an hour-long rally will be held in front of a capacity crowd.
"I never thought they would make it this far," said J.B. Myer, a Burbank resident who wore a Kings jersey with the name on the back "Fan Since" and the number "84."
Myer, who said he went to his first Kings game at the Forum in 1990, brought his 4-year-old son Braden to the parade -- noting that they took the subway from North Hollywood rather than fight traffic.
"I just want to see the Stanley Cup for the first time in my life," he said. "My son just wants to see (goaltender) Jonathan Quick."
Kings players and their families, coaches, staff, broadcasters, alumni, the Ice Crew and mascot Bailey will ride on six double-decker buses and other decorated vehicles along with the Stanley Cup, the Conn Smythe Trophy, which was awarded to Quick as the most valuable player in the playoffs, and Clarence Campbell Bowl, emblematic of the team being champion of the Western Conference.
By late morning, the Los Angeles Police Department had not reported any arrests or troubles with the crowds. Fans packed in the area around Staples Center chanted, "Go, Kings, go!" while others sounded horns and volleyed beach balls. Mascot Bailey worked the crowd and posed for photos with some fans.
The Kings reminded parents who brought their children to the parade to keep them close to prevent them from becoming separated from their groups.
Parade-goers were encouraged to drink water and use sunscreen. A high of 71 is forecast in the downtown area.
The parade is expected to last 30-45 minutes.
Street closures around Staples Center started at 4 a.m., according to Anschutz Entertainment Group, which owns the Kings.
The parade route on Figueroa between Fifth and 11th streets was closed to traffic, as was Figueroa between Third Street and Pico Boulevard, 11th Street between Figueroa and Cherry streets, and L.A. Live Way (formerly Cherry Street) between Olympic and Pico boulevards.
The parade will be followed by an hourlong Championship Rally that will begin at 2:30 p.m. in Staples Center and feature video highlights, special presentations and the the introduction of the team, the coaching staff and Kings executives.
All of the more than 18,000 tickets to the rally were distributed Tuesday.
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