With 24 green-and-white buses, cans of Bud Light, and the Vince Lombardi trophy in hand, the Philadelphia Eagles shut down the city during their travels along the Super Bowl Championship parade route.
The scene wasn’t very different from the night of their historic win. The “Fly, Eagles, Fly” fight song permeated the city, and sky art from an aircraft that read “Philly Philly Dilly Dilly” — the team’s apparent new catchphrase — could be seen by the millions of fans that stuffed themselves like sardines into Center City.
The parade celebration went smoothly and enthusiastically, ending with an explosion of green fireworks behind the Philadelphia Museum of Art and a sing along to “We are the Champions” by Queen.
Philadelphians will be talking about the historic win and subsequent celebration for the rest of their lives. Here are a few takeaways from unforgettable moments during the parade.
6. SEPTA didn’t shut down.
Despite selling out of the Eagles’ day passes and offering free rides, SEPTA and PATCO maintained their Eagles parade transportation schedules. Cynwyd, Chestnut Hill and Doylestown Regional Rail lines were suspended in the early hours of the morning due to train overcrowding from parade attendees.
Early on in the afternoon, the Broad Street Line bypassed Walnut-Locust station because of congestion. The BSL’s Cecil B. Moore station faced the same overcrowding on the commute home from the parade.
Getting out of the city after the parade was tough. Parade goers experienced long wait times just to get into stations such as SEPTA’s Jefferson and PATCO’s 10th and Locust. All things considered however, people were thankful to SEPTA for how smoothly the day went.
Thank you! It was an incredible challenge, but we were happy to transport the millions who came in for the parade! ^AS
— SEPTA_SOCIAL (@SEPTA_SOCIAL) February 9, 2018
5. We drank.
For some Philadelphians, it’s never too early to start the celebration for their boys in green. In fact, some Eagles fans started taking shots and drinking beers before dawn.
PlanPhilly reporter Jake Blumgart visited Stokes Sports Bar in South Philly at 7 a.m., where patrons were festooned with Eagles jerseys.
This is, without question, the earliest I’ve ever been in a bar pic.twitter.com/DOMZtT3gR5
— Jake Blumgart (@jblumgart) February 8, 2018
This is Alex (no last name), Ryan Gamelli, and Tim Gauntt. They are striving to prove Mayor Kenney’s prediction about morning partying wrong. (Some swearing in this one.) They’ve been drinking since 5:30. #EaglesParade @WHYYNews pic.twitter.com/kymWb1dH5m
— Jake Blumgart (@jblumgart) February 8, 2018
4. Meek Mill’s “Dreams and Nightmares” lives on.
The song has become nearly synonymous with the Eagles’ underdog status, the team’s adopted anthem. The Eagles took the U.S. Bank Stadium field to Mill’s hip-hop track before Sunday’s Super Bowl. And fans celebrated their win blasting it from boom boxes as they converged on Broad Street after their victory.
— Avi Wolfman-Arent (@Avi_WA) February 8, 2018
It’s only fitting that “Dreams and Nightmares” played once again on Thursday as the Eagles presented their trophy on the “Rocky steps” at the Art Museum.
3. Fans attended the parade with family members, or loved ones in spirit.
Eagles fandom runs in the bloodline. For some folks hoping to see the Philly’s curse lifted, this citywide celebration was something they’ve waited a lifetime for. Nearly 60 years after the team last won a national championship game, die-hard fans had the chance to experience the ultimate victory bash with their fathers, mothers, sons, and daughters.
— Big Mike (@mmattinglyjr) February 8, 2018
There were even some who took the time to honor their dearly departed loved ones who would’ve been happy to finally see their team carry the silver football trophy.
— Mannknizzle (@ManniKnits) February 8, 2018
Some fans brought urns, and one man from Tampa, Florida, spread a deceased family member’s ashes around the celebration route.
doesn’t get realer than scattering your grandfather’s ashes at the Eagles Super Bowl parade.
said they flew up from Tampa. pic.twitter.com/HPygzJahmD
— maurice (@tallmaurice) February 8, 2018
2. We climbed everything. It’s what we do.
It’s unclear if the city had enough Crisco or hydraulic fluid for the millions of people in the city. Touting dog masks and eagle masks — and some wearing shorts, despite the 30-degree weather — Philly’s jovial attendees ascended the typical lamp posts, trash trucks, and bus stop shelters. But for the parade, we got a little more creative. Fans were spotted climbing on top of the Civil War statue along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and a South Philly Baptist church. And despite possible sanitation concerns, mounting port-a-potties was a great way for many to spot the team along the parade route.
1. And have you met Philadelphia’s new mayor, Jason Kelce?
Step aside Jim Kenney, the city has spoken. In case you missed it, Jason Kelce — dressed in sparkly, Mummers-style garb — stole the show during the team’s speech at the Art Museum. In an address peppered with expletives, Kelce called out all the Eagles’ haters who underestimated the underdogs.
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) February 8, 2018