Thousands celebrate Grey Cup Parade in Winnipeg
WINNIPEG – A city that waited nearly 30 years for its CFL team to bring home a championship took to the streets in the thousands to celebrate the big win.
Winnipeg police estimate there were upwards of 10,000 people lining the streets to catch a glimpse of the Grey Cup and the team that brought it home.
The Winnipeg Blue Bombers first arrived in the city Monday, fresh off the team’s 33-12 win over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats at the 107th Grey Cup in Calgary. They were welcomed at the airport by a sea of blue and gold dressed fans cheering.
As impressive as their reception was on Monday – it was nothing compared to the parade that shut down downtown Tuesday afternoon.
Police said there were no issues reported during the parade.
“This is such a surreal moment. For me being from the city here, home grown from Winnipeg, this is just – I’m ecstatic. I’m at a loss for words right now,” Winnipegger and Bomber running back Brady Oliveira told CTV News from a float. “All the support, seeing everyone here, seeing how much this means not just to the team or the organization, but to the City of Winnipeg – we really wanted to bring it back to Winnipeg and we finally did it after 29 years. These fans have been great forever and they deserve it.”
Over on a shirtless Chris Streveler’s float – the party was well underway. Screaming fans pushed up to the float, with some offering the Bombers’ quarterback a six-pack of beer.
“It feels pretty good. We have a lot of fans and they are awesome. Yeah it feels pretty good,” Streveler said. “We love you guys – thank guys so much for the support. Have you guys seen the Grey Cup? It’s pretty awesome.”
THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods
From his float, Winnipeg-born running back Andrew Harris said this celebration is 29 years in the making.
“Everyone is just so happy about the Cup back home. The drought is over, the cup is here, and people are excited. It’s awesome,” he said.
THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods
BOMBERS TO HAVE STREET NAMED AFTER TEAM
Over at The Forks, thousands packed under the Market Plaza as Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman had a special announcement in honour of the championship win.
Chancellor Matheson Road between University Crescent and Pembina Highway will get an honourary new name, “Grey Cup Champions Way.”
The signs will be installed later this week and will stay there for the next five years. When they do eventually come down, the city said they will be donated to the Bombers organization.
The parade continued down to The Forks for more celebrations throughout the afternoon.
Yet the party won’t end on Tuesday. The Bombers’ said there are more plans for celebrations at the RBC Convention Centre later this week.
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