NEW YORK—There was plenty of white stuff falling from the skies in Lower Manhattan on Tuesday, although it was not your typical February snowfall. Instead, it was millions of tons of confetti raining down on hundreds of thousands of New York Giants fans who lined the streets to welcome their Super Bowl winning football team home.
The crowd, dressed mostly in Giants jerseys or championship T-shirts, was rowdy, but jovial. While the open container law was mostly ignored, people obeyed police orders with NYPD reporting no arrests.
Fans began lining up around 8 a.m., coming from all over the Northeast. Kevin Casey and his friend Chris Smakulski came in from Philadelphia, taking a 3:40 a.m. bus to take in their second Super Bowl victory parade. “I worked from 6 p.m.–2 a.m. and then I got on the bus. Then I’m going home and going right back to work,” Casey said. He added with a laugh, “I guess I will sleep on the bus.”
Despite the victory parade being held on a school day, there were plenty of kids among the supportive fans. Jordan, a 5-year-old from Brooklyn, was excited to see his first Super Bowl parade. His mother, who asked her name not be used, said she would be getting a doctor’s note to bring to school on Wednesday.
A Department of Education spokesperson said that the city school attendance rate was 89.3 percent. On Feb. 5, 2008, the last time the Giants held a Super Bowl victory parade, attendance was 86.9 percent.
The parade, which started at Battery Place and Washington Street, ended at City Hall Plaza. Mayor Michael Bloomberg hosted the ceremony and gave each team member a key to the city.
“It’s wonderful to be a part of this great day,” head coach Tom Coughlin said on the steps of City Hall. He continued, “It’s wonderful that we have returned the Lombardi Trophy to exactly where it belongs, right here to New York.”
Instead of leaving the cleanup for after the parade, sanitation crews were on hand during the parade. They swept the confetti to the sides, even getting helpful cheers from the crowd. Many sanitation workers wore Giants hats in support of their team, despite having to clean up after them. Kathy Dawkins with the Department of Sanitation said there were 336 sanitation workers who volunteered to be on hand for the cleanup. They were not paid overtime.
The cost of the parade will be offset by parade sponsors including Duane Reade, MasterCard, MetLife, and Toyota.