WASHINGTON - Joy and happiness spread through the streets of the District as the city celebrated its first major sports championship in 26 years with a parade for the Stanley Cup Champions Washington Capitals on Tuesday.
After years of devastation, the DC-sports faithful gathered along Constitution Avenue and on the National Mall to cheer on Alex Ovechkin, TJ Oshie, Nicklas Backstrom, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Braden Holtby and all Capitals as they hoisted Lord Stanley for the entire city to see.
Thousands began lining the route hours before the start of the parade, which was the first celebration of a major sports championship in the city since the Washington Redskins won the Super Bowl in 1992. For reference, the No. 1 song at the time of that parade was Michael Jackson’s “Black or White,” according to Billboard.
Fans donning Capitals Red, waving flags and holding signs could be seen hours before the parade was slated to begin at Constitution Avenue and 17th Street, NW. The energetic crowd chanted "LET'S GO CAPS" as they left the Metro and gathered around the route.
It was a sea of red as Capitals fans flooded the National Mall in front of the iconic Washington Monument. Fans along Constitution chanted, "Raise the Cup!" and "Ovi! Ovi! Ovi!"
Ovechkin sat at the front of the double-decker bus, alternating between resting his arms on the trophy, raising it, and drinking out of his blue Bud Light bottle. The team's captain fired up fans by reminding them that he said at the start of the year they weren't going to be as bad as some thought. Then Ovechkin and his teammates sang along to Queen's "We Are The Champions" to complete the rally.
According to Metro, ridership spiked on Tuesday with more than 800,000 people taking the trains on Tuesday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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