All along the parade route, Eagles fans have been filling the streets and sidewalks since the early hours of Thursday morning, waiting for what will be an important day in Philadelphia history.
Multiple vendors plan on offering free food and drinks for people going to the parade. Approximately 40 food trucks were estimated to be stationed along the route, as well as 850 portable toilets.
Bud Light will distribute free beer to everyone of legal drinking age on the parade route. Yards Brewing Company, located at 500 Spring Garden St., will also offer free beer starting at 11:30 a.m. Throughout the day, Shake Shack will hand out free scoops of custard at its Center City, University City, and King of Prussia locations.
Outside City Hall, a sea of green pours out from all directions. Seemingly by the minute, the crowd expands and continues to diversify. Men, women, children, and grandparents are decked out in Eagles apparel, babies are wrapped in green blankets in their strollers, and many in their late 60s and 70s sport jerseys of retired Eagles players.
There are already people selling overpriced Eagles t-shirts on the streets, people on stilts, and fans holding signs covered in glitter above hats depicting actual eagles. Others have brought along a copy of Monday's newspaper, emblazoned with headlines of the historic victory.
The City of Philadelphia announced Tuesday it would host a city-wide parade on Feb. 8. The parade starts at Lincoln Financial Field stadium at Broad Street and Pattison Avenue, traveling north towards Benjamin Franklin Parkway and ending at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
While a few people have already picked a spot to camp out for the parade, the majority of people have kept moving, generally in the direction of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where the parade will end and a celebration on the steps will commence.
On Penn's campus, students have already been making their way down to the parade.
College sophomore Paige Adams, a lifelong Eagles fan, is completely decked out in Eagles gear. She grew up in Connecticut, which she describes as “Patriots territory,” and said she’s excited to finally see her team win.
Adams said she was thrilled that classes were cancelled, not just at Penn but across the city. As a tutor for the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America program, Adams said she would not have been able to attend the parade if operations at public schools had not been suspended.
Outside of Hill College House, the atmosphere was relatively quiet when a storm of 30 to 40 Penn students marching together toward City Hall yelled, "F*ck Tom Brady!"
Wharton freshman Lobo Itzol said he never really had a football team to root for before, but after the Philadelphia Eagles won he said, “They’re my team now."
He now joins the crowd, wearing a white sweatshirt with a hand-drawn Eagles jersey name and number written in black marker.
College and Engineering freshman Arun Kirubarajan is from Mississauga, Canada, and said he had never seen a football game until he watched the Super Bowl with his hall-mates on Sunday.
He said watching the Super Bowl helped him “assimilate into American culture," and helped him realize how important a role football played, comparing it to hockey during Olympics season in Canada.
Bill Owens, clad in a furry eagle hat, and his son Bryan came to Penn to park their car before heading to the parade. Owens’ wife works as a pharmacist at Penn and is considered an essential staff member of the University, so she does not have the day off.
As people trek down to the parade from Penn’s campus and elsewhere, they’re bracing themselves for the cold weather, staying bundled up in their Eagles gear and preserving body heat as much as possible.
While the temperature is hovering around 30 degrees, it is expected to rise to 34 degrees by this afternoon. With wind chill, the temperature will not go much above 25 degrees, however, and will be much lower in the morning, so be sure to bring layers.
Along the Schuylkill River trail, approximately 500-600 people are walking toward the Art Museum carrying a giant Eagles flag. Compared to the atmosphere in Center City on Sunday night after the Eagles won, there are significantly more families in attendance and the crowd is less rowdy.
Closer to the museum, approximately 100 men and women are lined up across a fence urinating beside the tracks.
Outside the museum, upwards of a thousand people are standing and watching the Super Bowl win on two projectors screening the game. At every successful Eagles play, the crowd roars in celebration.
The smell of marijuana is also pervasive throughout the crowd, although the fans in attendance do not appear to be heavily intoxicated.
Grace Youngren, an 18-year-old Philadelphia native who goes to school at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, missed over six classes in order to come back to her home city and attend the Eagles parade.
She said back at school she watched the game with a group of Patriots fans, so she’s happy to be able finally to celebrate with fellow Eagles fans.
Erin and Chris Saulino from Plymouth Meeting, PA excused their young children from school so they could attend the parade.
“We have been Eagles fans for life, and it’s amazing to finally get to share this excitement with our kids,” Saulino said.
The parade is about to begin and the Eagles players have all boarded the buses at Lincoln Financial Field, preparing to leave from Broad Street and Pattison Avenue. The double-decker buses are decorated in a special Eagles design, along with advertisement from Bud Light, which is giving out free beers all day.
The parade has officially begun, and the buses left the field and turned onto Broad Street, where people are shouting and being cheered on by fellow fans, including an Eagles mascot on a skateboard. There are also hundreds of police officers on bikes both in front and behind the buses with the Eagles players.
At the museum, the endpoint for the parade, the crowd has begun to increase in volume and rowdiness. Loud hip-hop music is playing, including "Low" by Flo Rida and "Bodak Yellow" by Cardi B.
One fan is climbing a tree and two others are throwing beer cans at him, as if playing a game to see who could knock him down first.
“I’m really just here to join in the crowd and go crazy,” Melvin Kimen, an exchange student from Indonesia studying Mechanical Engineering, said. “We do soccer back in Indonesia. It’s nowhere near American football.”
Kimen came to the parade with College junior Carlo Salas, Engineering junior Anthony Nardone, who said he has been an Eagles fan since he was four years old, and College junior Nate Wilson.
“I grew up in Philly, so this is a very big deal for me,” Wilson said.
At Samson Street and City Hall, people are crowding onto the sidewalk to get a view of the festivities. On almost every store or apartment ledge, there are people standing decked out in Eagles apparel. In every apartment window, as well, people are crowded together, peering down below.
Minh Truong, who is attending the parade with her twin sister, came to the United States in 1991 after the pair were born in a refugee camp in Thailand.
The rowdiness of the crowd does not bother Truong, who said this was “the first time we’re uniting. There’s no violence.”
“The first win I’ve ever had in my whole life,” she added.
Truong is also sporting a unicorn mask “because it’s a magical day.”
The Hubert family has been camping outside City Hall since 7 a.m., and Rocco Hubert says he brought his children to the parade and took them out of school.
“I was an Eagles fan my entire life. My dad’s side of the family is Philly-based, so I got into football pretty early on,” Rocco said, adding that everyone is especially courteous to his two young children and that “the victory is really uniting everyone here.”
Parade watchers are crowding against the windows inside Macy’s, located on 1300 Market St., to escape the cold weather. A large Eagles banner is hanging between the pillars of the Macy’s entrance. Outside, people are standing directly in the road, where there are few restrictions and police officers are scarce.
People are climbing statues and sitting on top of the portable toilets along the streets to watch the parade. Crowds of people are clad in Eagles gear, along with their babies and dogs.
As the parade approaches City Hall, the crowded sidewalks erupt with more excitement. Babies are lifted on their parents' shoulders, fans shout Eagles chants, and the volume of the crowd is soaring.
City Hall is approximately 1.5 miles from the steps of the Museum, which is the final destination of the parade.
The parade has made its way to Logan Square and is now circling the Swann Memorial Fountain on Benjamin Franklin Parkway, less than a mile away from the Museum. The streets are exploding with green and white ticker tape.
In front of City Hall, Patrick McKenna, an Eagles fan for the past 16 years, and his eight year old son Eamon have been at the parade since 7 a.m. McKenna flew back yesterday from Ireland, where he watched the game.
“I went to an Eagles game the first year I was here and ever since then, I fell in love with it,” McKenna said.
As the parade continues on its route, an increasing number of people have joined in the march toward the Museum. On the street leading up to the museum, the lampposts display Eagle flags along the side that read two simple, important words: "World Champions."
The bus with the Eagles players is approaching the back of the Art Museum, where they will emerge from their buses and prepare for the ceremony. In the crowd in front of the museum, fans became excited as the bus approached, but many expressed frustration with the frigid weather and the length of time they have been waiting.
On the way back to campus, several people disrobed and jumped into the Schuylkill River, disregarding the frigid temperatures.
Outside the Art Museum, fans are singing and dancing while waiting for the ceremony to start. People are shotgunning beers in the crowd, and some are climbing trees. A couple families were also camping out in tents that had been there since dawn.
Garbage trucks are parked on the road, seemingly to stop cars from passing, and at one point someone stole the Broad Street sign. Yet, despite some vocal impatience, many held signs that read, "Worth the wait," and "Finally."
Staff Reporters Gianna Ferrarin, Amy Liu, Chae Hahn, Amanpreet Singh, Urooba Abid, Sam Mitchell, Executive Editor Rebecca Tan, Senior Photo Editor Sam Holland, Sports Photo Editor Chase Sutton, and Video Producer Camille Rapay contributed reporting to this article.
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