Kansas City Chiefs fans from far and wide converged on downtown Kansas City yesterday to revel in a Super Bowl victory 50 years in the making.
Neither a snowy forecast nor a short notice, midweek event could deter the hundreds of thousands of attendees that lined the parade route snaking more than 2 miles before ending at a Union Station rally. The lively crowd was packed closely together extending around the intersection of Pershing Road and Main Street just down the slope from the National WWI Museum and Memorial, with some viewers climbing nearby trees — and even traffic poles — for a better vantage point.
Included among the assembled masses were some fans from closer to home — Mid-Missouri residents also showed up to the party.
Terri Carico, of Jefferson City, was one such example. Carico describes herself as a "nutty Chiefs fan," whose family history has helped make fellow nutty fans out of her own children. She's been a passionate fan of the team her whole life, starting with the foundation of watching games with her father growing up.
Carico's father has passed away, but she said it felt like he would've been just as happy as she was to see the Chiefs pull off their Super Bowl victory.
"I thought a lot about my dad the other day when they won," Carico said. "It was a special moment."
Carico has Kansas City roots, having previously lived there for 10 years. She still has family there, too — after traveling from Jefferson City yesterday, she stayed the night at her daughter's house.
The group posted up outside recordBar near the start of the parade route thanks to a 5 a.m. wakeup call and were treated to a front row experience. Chiefs safety Dan Sorensen, for example, was close enough for a handshake.
"He's a great guy, very personable — he asked how we were doing," Carico said.
Story continues underneath the photo gallery links.Gallery: Chiefs Victory Parade
She said it was also good to see prominent figures like Gov. Mike Parson in attendance, and it was especially nice to see so many people coming together, all in one place, in good spirits and everything going fairly smoothly.
"It was great to see it all meld together, this great state we live in," Carico said.
With the inclement weather, Carico set out for Jefferson City in the mid-afternoon and finally arrived at home shortly after 7 p.m. Despite the odyssey on the way home, she said she wouldn't have traded it for the world.
"I hope they make it to the Super Bowl again next year — I'll be right back there (for the parade) again," Carico said. "And hopefully, I can go see them play."
Taylor Welch, of Columbia, was another Mid-Missouri resident who found herself in Kansas City for the celebration. Welch, who is originally from Kansas City, made the trip along with a friend, and said being there was a no-brainer.
"It was definitely a once in a lifetime experience," Welch said. "I missed the Royals (World Series parade), so this was the one I wasn't going to miss."
Though the event was a particularly cold one, Welch said the whole process was very smooth. She said organizers must have learned some lessons from the Royals' 2015 downtown parade — there weren't any massive clustered crowds she and her friend were fighting through at any point.
"It was worth going to be able to say 'I was there' and to see the mass amounts of people that showed up for our city," Welch said. "We're from Kansas City so the Chiefs are our hometown team, and it didn't feel like a hassle to make the trip for us."
Another notable pair of Mid-Missouri residents that made the trip? Gov. Parson and first lady Teresa Parson. The pair rode in the parade, and Parson issued remarks at the rally.
"It is an honor and privilege to represent the great state of Missouri — the Show-Me State," Parson said. "And who did a better job this year showing us (than) the world champion, Super Bowl champion, Kansas City Chiefs?"
In addition to his appearance in Kansas City yesterday, Parson signed a proclamation commending the Chiefs on a successful season and their status as Super Bowl champions.