Yesterday, hundreds of thousands of Avs fans gathered up from Ball Arena to the Denver Art Musem, wrapping up the lengthy parade at Civic Center Park for a rally that was filled to the brim. Avs faithful showed up and showed out!
An estimated 500,000 fans (at least that was the last number I saw) showed up along the streets and in the park. According to some reports, some even camped out outside of Civic Center Park before it opened. They would not be disappointed, as the Avs community came together in a big way.
Players were scattered on fire trucks all along the parade route with several getting off the top and interacting with the fans lining the streets. It caused some funny moments for certain young guns on the team.
Side note - that poor policeman on the bike trying to stop Bowen Byram from celebrating is never going to be able to live that one down. Aside from that, we saw a wide variety of emotions be released at the rally starting right around noon local time. Sure enough, it was bound to be that way when a bunch of intoxicated men celebrating since Sunday night come to the stage.
As players were called up one by one to the stage to the hundreds of thousands of fans packing the park, plenty had their celebration games on point, and others maybe should leave the dance moves in the 80s and early 2010s - looking at you Mikko, with a chuckle of course after his on-stage performance, where the video below was, unfortunately, the best one I could find.
MIKKO RANTANEN DANCING STAR pic.twitter.com/2lveooLF5D— Divya - AVS WON THE CUP (@04BYRAM) June 30, 2022
Of course, what’s a parade without a few drunken speeches? We learned that Jared Bednar is an emotional drunk when he gave the best speech of the day thanking everyone he possibly could with tears flowing down his face. You said you wanted an emotional coach, you got an emotional coach!
Gabriel Landeskog took control of the stage once he got there, stripping once the rain started to fall and draping himself in the Swedish flag. But before then, what’s a parade without some language? Landeskog made that happen with this infamous speech that won’t be forgotten dropping a handful of F-bombs. Erik Johnson also led a “totally sober” sing-a-long of “All the Small Things” to follow it up and totally got it right.
Don’t worry, there was a legit singalong played by the very own DJ TripleT to wrap it all up. Even as the rain and lightning fell on the parade-goers, Conor McGahey - a man very well known for his words - got the Avalanche faithful riled up by saying that the Lightning wouldn’t stop them now.
It's now raining with lightning in the area. @ConorMcGahey yells "The Lightning couldn't ruin the #StanleyCup chances, and won't ruin the parade either!"— Quentin Sickafoose (@QSickafoose) June 30, 2022
Needless to say the #GoAvsGo fans LOVED that pic.twitter.com/uGmne0lowZ
The rally ended on a high with the Stanley Cup, still dented and all, passed around the stage as hundreds of thousands of people sang “All the Small Things.” While he couldn't make it out to celebrate, Mark Hoppus is out there somewhere enjoying life as a member of the Colorado Avalanche traditions.
The Final edition of All The Small Things did not disappoint! Thanks for singing along all year! pic.twitter.com/tyVyomrCNb— DJ Triple T (@theDJtripleT) July 1, 2022
On a personal note, I couldn’t have been more honored to go to my first championship parade. My parents wouldn’t let me ditch school for the Denver Broncos parade back in 2015 (I know they’ll read this and I’m still a little salty about it) but this makes up for it 100 percent.
I was four months old when they won the Cup in 2001 and wasn’t living in Colorado at the time either, so of course, I have no recollection of anything back then. From the atmosphere stepping out of Union Station yesterday morning, the parade, the rally, and being surrounded by so many others who were all there for the same reason and celebrations wasn’t like anything I’d ever experienced before. And I got to see the freaking Stanley Cup being raised in front of my own eyes. Pretty damn cool if you ask me.
Well, there’ll be no on-ice action until September. It doesn’t mean we’re done covering the Stanley Cup champion Avalanche anytime soon though. Next on the agenda is the NHL Draft being hosted by the Montreal Canadiens. While the Avs have very few picks in this draft with their first one at #97, the Draft will take place on July 7 and 8.