Cleveland knows how to represent champions in a big way. Sure, the city might not have had much practice, but it made all the more reason for people to take vacation, travel, and even camp out overnight to ensure downtown was teeming with people for the Cleveland Cavaliers championship parade. In all, it was estimated that 1.3 million people were in attendance as first reported by Anthony Lima of 92.3 The Fan.
To put the number in context, the Cleveland metropolitan area is estimated to have a population of 2,060,810 people as estimated by the United States Census Bureau. That means, if the people downtown were just from the metro area, 60% of the local population would have descended upon downtown's parade route. However, despite 87% reported area households tuned in to the end of Game 7, it was obvious that many had journeyed from afar. There were reports were that Hopkins International Airport had Cavs fans departing planes and heading downtown. Highways were bustling from every direction with a destination of East 9th Street. And locally, lines overwhelmed the RTA and Rapid stations as people attempted to navigate downtown without the need to find parking.
Regardless, the city represented well as the pictures and videos were fantastic depicting the city that we all love. The parade started an hour late (due to so many people that they had to clear the route) and took over four hours to complete (due to every player being gracious with their time to the fans along the way), but the accounts filing in across social media demonstrate that the 52 year wait for this parade made it that more sweet to soak every moment of it in.
Here are some of the sights and sounds from the day, one picture at a time.