The scenes of rejoicing fans were spread throughout the City of Brotherly Love Friday, as hundreds of thousands of spectators watched the parade held in honor of the Phillies’ World Series championship. The parade route was about four miles long, beginning at 20th and Market streets and ending at the sports complex.
It was no easy task for fans heading down South Broad Street to watch the Phillies Parade of Champions. At the Cecil B. Moore station on the Broad Street Line, hundreds waited in line to board the already jam-packed subway cars heading southbound to Pattison Avenue. The token dispensers were working overtime as frantic Phillies fans quickly inserted cash, then pushed themselves through the turnstiles.
The rush to get through open doors on the train was like Rocky making his iconic run up the stairs at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. People shoved and pushed their way to available spaces that could fit more bodies. The last time SEPTA saw such an extreme increase in ridership was during the Live 8 concert held in 2005.
At the corner of Broad and South streets, sidewalks were crowded with nearly 30 people. Fathers put their children on their shoulders so they would not miss history in the making.
Those waiting for the parade to reach their stakeout spots could see red and white everywhere and in every way. Some went for the bird’s eye views, as they perched from balconies, rooftops and trees to get a better view of the celebration. Construction workers and window washers were among the ones with the best view, as they looked down onto Broad Street. The ticker tape, along with shredded paper from office buildings, rained down on the city.
Following the wait and anticipation, the lineup began to reach the eager crowd. The parade included the green and very furry Phillie Phanatic and the Anheuser-Busch Clydesdales. The championship team rode on converted truck beds and Mayor Michael Nutter proudly presented the new pride and joy of the city: the 2008 World Series Trophy.
Matthew D. Wargo can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.