ST. LOUIS — The moment St. Louis Blues fans have been waiting their entire lives for finally happened Saturday. The Stanley Cup paraded down Market Street.
Members of the team wasted no time or opportunity in bringing the Cup to the fans.
Tens of thousands of fans lined the route from 18th Street to Broadway. Blues players took turns carrying the Cup along the parade route and frequently carried it over the barricade so fans could put their hands on history.
The team and fans then made their way under the Arch for the celebration rally.
Blues fans have waited 52 years for this moment.
"I have never seen a crowd like this before. Not for a Super Bowl parade, not for a World Series parade," said 5 On Your Side anchor Kay Quinn.
"This is the best of St. Louis. This has brought us together in an incredible way," St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson told 5 On Your Side live on the air.
About 500,000 people were expected downtown to witness history on Market Street, according to the city's director of special events. Official crowd totals have not yet been released.
If you missed the parade or rally or want to relive some of the best moments, follow our minute-by-minute coverage below. Click here to re-watch our coverage from beginning to end and click here for our YouTube playlist with all the highlights.
Photos: Blues fans at the Stanley Cup Championship Parade
Stanley Cup Rally at the Arch
Thousands of fans are gathered under the Arch for the official celebration rally.
There is still room for fans inside the rally area. There are three security clearance points – two are in Luther Ely Smith Square, which are located on Fourth Street between Market and Chestnut Street and one is in the north grounds of the Arch.
4 p.m., We are the champions!
The Blues wrapped up their celebration with St. Louis by reliving the final moments from Game 7. A video played on the big screens under the Arch showed the on-the-ice celebration at the end of the game.
When the video clip was over, the song 'We are the Champions' played over the loudspeaker while the players took turns hoisting the Cup for the fans.
3:50 p.m., Alex Pietrangelo
The Blues captain took the stage last telling the crowd he was "so damn proud" to be a part of this moment.
"It's pretty damn amazing. It's unbelievable. I got to walk the parade with the kids. It's about the fans, the families and there's another family behind me," he said gesturing to the players behind him.
"I'm so damn proud to be a part of this. It's just a bunch of messed up individuals put together," he said with a laugh.
3:45 p.m., Vladimir Tarasenko
Vladimir Tarasenko took the time to thank the crowd and Blues fans everywhere.
"We know how much this means for you. We promised to bring it here; we finally did it," he told the crowd. "I just want to say thank you for your support. You always support us so much."
Tarasenko also took a moment to thank the families of the players who stood by their sides all season and supported them. He then turned his attention to his teammates.
"I'm really proud to share this moment with my teammates. It's unreal. Now, we're Stanley Cup champions! And hey, let's do this again, right? Hey!"
3:40 p.m., St. Louis native Pat Maroon
Pat Maroon did his hometown proud on the big stage Saturday. Here's his message to St. Louisans:
"I'm a hometown hero, baby! Woo! Put your glasses up right now St. Louis and look around. We're Stanley Cup champs, baby! Here we go, St. Louis! Let's party tonight!"
Maroon then got his young son Anthony to lead the crowd in a "Let's Go Blues" chant.
3:35 p.m., Tyler Bozak and Jaden Schwartz
Tyler Bozak proclaimed St. Louis as the "hockey capital of the world!"
Bozak signed with the Blues in the offseason after playing for Toronto for nine years. He famous told the players tribune, "I want to win a cup so damn bad. That's why I signed in St. Louis. There's your headline. Print it."
Jaden Schwartz said the parade was the best thing.
3:30 p.m., Jordan Binnington
Jordan Binnington walked up to the microphone to a massive applause from the crowd. He's normally a man of few words and emotions, but all day Saturday he was hyped up, smiling and having fun with the crowds.
When asked about how he's normally so quiet, he responded, "You wanna see some f****** emotion? We're Stanley Cup champions, baby!"
Binnington ended by saying how happy he was to share the moment with all the fans.
3:25 p.m., Colton Parayko and Laila Anderson
Laila Anderson first met Colton Parayko at a St. Louis Children's Hospital Halloween event. The two became fast friends and Saturday they shared the stage in front of thousands of Blues fans.
"This is unbelievable, unreal," she told the crowd. As she was being interviewed, the entire team rallied behind her and got the crowd to chant her name.
Parayko clearly formed a special bond with Laila. He brought her on the ice in the moments after they won the Stanley Cup and helped her lift the cup after Game 7.
She got to do it again Saturday at the Stanley Cup champion rally, this time with the help of Robert Bortuzzo. Then, they kissed the Cup at the same time.
3:20 p.m., Ryan O'Reilly
Ryan O'Reilly played in every single game this season and skated off the ice in Boston with the Conn Smythe trophy as MVP of the playoffs. On the stage, he applauded the thousands of fans who supported the team all along and even gave them credit for something else.
"This is a sea of amazing hockey fans, amazingly nice people and amazing drinkers as well. They can handle their stuff; it's awesome. That was the coolest thing I've ever experienced in my life. I can't believe that just happened."
3:15 p.m., Coach Craig Berube
Sports broadcaster Chris Kerber introduced Coach Craig Berube with a call to get rid of the 'interim' title. He led the crowd in a chant of 'Chief! Chief!'
"It's awesome. I've never seen anything like it in my life. What an incredible experience for sure," Berube said.
Berube said he was so happy for the city and the fans, but more than anything he was excited for the players who worked so hard to become champs.
"They deserve it."
3:10 p.m., Bobby Plager
Bobby Plager has wanted a Stanley Cup parade since the first day he put on the Blue Note. He played in the team's only other Stanley Cup series in 1968, 1969 and 1970. At 76 years old Saturday, he finally got his parade.
"It's unbelievable, but this year I got my parade and it was a heck of a parade," he said on the stage. "I am more happy for you (the crowd) than anybody else here. Thank you Blues fans!"
Plager then lifted the Cup in front of the crowd with the help of Blues Captain Alex Pietrangelo.
3:05 p.m., Blues owner Tom Stillman
Tom Stillman was the first from the Blues organization to speak to the crowd. He thanked the crowd and credited Blues fans everywhere for generations for helping them become Stanley Cup champions.
"Really the most important people in all of this effort were all of you. Blues fans you supported us since 1967 through the ups and downs, the victories and the disappointments. For the last 52 years, you showed us and the country what real persistence, resilience and character are. What we did was feed off you, we followed your example. We saw how the whole region came together behind the Blues. We are a reflection of you," Stillman said.
The Blues players came onto the stage one by one. Captain Alex Pietrangelo was the final player announced. He walked onto the stage—while 'Gloria' played over the speaker, of course—in front of everyone carrying the Stanley Cup and hoisting it up in the air for the crowd to see. The players took turns passing it around and getting the fans pumped.
2:45 p.m., Brett Hull being Brett Hull
Jon Hamm was spotted on the stage briefly, but Brett Hull really stole the pre-celebration show.
Hull kept the party going in front of the fans talking for several minutes before rallying the crowd by singing parts of 'Gloria' in true post-season Brett Hull form. It's something you just need to listen to. Press play on the video below or click here.
The Blues players are now starting to make their way to the stage. Several of them are expected to speak throughout the rally.
Stanley Cup Parade
They dressed in ponchos, stood under canopies and carried umbrellas, but no rain could dampen the spirits of the pumped up fans downtown Saturday. The crowds were about 40 people deep at some points along the parade.
1:45 p.m., Ryan O'Reilly
Ryan O'Reilly, who won the Stanley Cup Playoffs MVP trophy, walked part of the parade with the Stanley Cup in his hands while 'Gloria' played over a loudspeaker. He made sure to bring the Cup to the fans and let them touch it.
"This is the coolest thing I've ever done in my life," he told Frank Cusumano. "I can't believe the support from this crowd. It's not just the guys that laced them up. It's every single person in this city that stuck with us. Even when we were in last place, people still came and watched. It's the people like that that we won this with.
O'Reilly said he wasn't sure how long the party would last.
"I'm just enjoying every second."
1:30 p.m., David Perron
Another player showed up to the parade with a clean face. David Perron tried to talk with 5 On Your Side, but he had a very hoarse voice.
"It's so special for this city. So many people showed up," he said, citing the rainy start to the day. "It's an incredible day. Greatest day for us."
1:15 p.m., Pat Maroon
The St. Louis native was soaking up his walk down Market Street.
Maroon looked a little different from what fans have been used to... he shaved his beard.
"The city's been waiting for this for so many years, and now, it's here," he told 5 On Your Side. "My son is having a ball, too."
Maroon's son, Anthony, was seen signing autographs for the fans lined up along the route.
Maroon walked behind the Oakville High School marching band and spirit squads. Maroon is an Oakville native.
1 p.m., Ivan Barbashev, Joel Edmundson, Brayden Schenn
At this point in the parade, the trucks aren't containing the players. They are getting out and walking along the parade route, greeting fans at the barricades, leading chants and cheering with the thousands who are gathered.
Ivan Barbashev stopped for a moment to talk with 5 On Your Side. He gave a shout out to his wife.
"She's been there every single step," he said before waving a Blues flag to the crowd. Barbashev then passed the flag on to his teammate Joel Edmundson who then got the crowd even more pumped up from the back of a truck.
Edmundson kept the heartfelt messages going by thanking his parents. He said he was happy to celebrate with them because they've done so much for him. His dad was on the back of the truck going down the parade route with him.
Brayden Schenn was blown away by the crowd turnout and said they're "pretty lucky guys."
He had a bottle of bubbly in his hand. Frank prompted him to crack it open. He did, spraying the crowd and then soaking frank in a champagne bath.
12:50 p.m., Alex Pietrangelo and the Stanley Cup
Alex Pietrangelo brought the Stanley Cup to the fans. He was seen walking it along the parade route just down from the Enterprise Center. He stopped for a moment to talk with Frank Cusumano.
"I knew it would be great but not this crazy," the Blues captain said with a big smile.
When asked whether this has all sunk in yet, he replied, "Now it's sinking in."
Pietrangelo said he got to put his kids in the Cup, which was a dream come true for him. Then, he said something Blues fans have talked and dreamed about for decades. At one point in the parade, he was seen carrying two of his triplets, who were born last year.
"We always talk about the parade on Market and here we are, about to make the turn onto Market," he said before hoisting the Cup and facing the fans.
12:45 p.m. Vince Dunn and the Budweiser Clydesdales
Vince Dunn walked along the parade route to cheer with the fans. He stopped for a moment to reflect on the season with Frank Cusumano.
"I'm so happy for the city," he said, almost overwhelmed by the power of the moment. "You can't really prepare for this, but it's the best feeling in the world."
Dunn is 22 years old and just won his first Stanley Cup.
"I'm very grateful to be where I cam right now. I'm so proud of everyone," he added.
5 On Your Side got a first look at where the Stanley Cup is sitting along the route. There's no more a fitting place than on the back of the Budweiser Clydesdales beer wagon at the end of the parade.
Blues Captain Alex Pietrangelo was seen sitting on the beer boxes holding the Stanley Cup.
12:40 p.m., Vladimir Tarasenko and Alex Steen
Vladimir Tarasenko stood on a float with his family.
"It's unbelievable. It's amazing. Our dreams came true. Look at these people," he said with a huge smile on his face.
Further down the parade route, Tarasenko walked along the barricades to greet fans.
In a truly touching moment, he walked up to a young boy who had a horn that he was honking to rally up the crowd. The boy let Tarasenko honk the horn and the crowd burst out into 'LET'S GO BLUES' cheers. Tarasenko hugged the boy before he continued down the barricades. The boy burst into tears and fell into a loved one's arms.
Alex Steen was walking around the parade route shaking hands with fans, high-fiving them and cheering with the thousands who are gathered along Market Street.
"This is nuts," he said with a hoarse voice, adding that he lost it about 10 minutes after Game 7 was over.
Steen explained how proud he was of the team and how happy he was for the City of St. Louis.
"What a town. What a sports town. What a hockey town. People outside of St. Louis don't understand what goes on here. They know now," he said proudly.
12:30 p.m., Jordan Binnington and Colton Parayko
Parayko has been one of the biggest fans of the team's good luck charm, Laila Anderson. He helped her hoist the Cup on the ice after winning Game 7.
"Everything about her is so cool. She's unbelievable," he said.
Binnington was seen running along the barricades, high-fiving fans and cheering with everyone who's along the parade route.
Rene asked Binnington at what point in Game 7 he knew we had it.
"I knew it in Game 1. You gotta believe. I'm really proud of this group. It's been an incredible ride. I'm just happy to be a part of it."
12:15 p.m., Tom Stillman and Blues alumni
The Blues zamboni cleared the way for one of the main people who made this day possible: Blues owner Tom Stillman. He rode in a truck down Market Street near the front of the parade. He was followed by several of the Blues alumni who've been waiting for this moment themselves.
Kelly Chase, Al MacInnis and Cam Janssen rode on cars.
Bernie Ferderko told 5 On Your Side, "We're all so happy they got this. This is way too much fun."
Brett Hull, who famously had a lot of fun during this Stanley Cup run said, "This is the greatest city," before his audio feed was cut out.
"This is the greatest day ever, greatest ever," Hull continued while talking with Frank Cusumano. He raised a replica Stanley Cup and then asked to take a photo with Frank.
Bobby Plager has been with the Blues since the beginning. He's been wanting a parade for years, and finally got it Saturday.
12:00 p.m., Laila Anderson
The parade kicked off with the St. Louis police color guard and Lindbergh High School Marching Band.
Not far behind was one of the stars of the Blues postseason: Laila Anderson. Blues players called her their good luck charm as they fought their way through the playoffs.
She is riding in her own car with her mom down Market Street.
"I'm just so grateful I got to experience all of this with them," she told 5 On Your Side's Rene Knott along the parade. "I never doubted the boys, so I can believe it."
Laila told Rene the night the Blues won the Stanley Cup was the best night of her life. She got to hoist the Cup with "her boys" on the ice.
Top Blues and Stanley Cup stories:
- Photos: Blues fans who got inked to honor the cup win
- Opinion | 5 things we learned after the Blues brought home the Cup
- It is officially ‘St. Louis Blues Day’ in Missouri
- After all these years, Bob Plager gets his parade
- Mike Bush: Game 7 was one of the best nights of my career
- The internet is having a heyday at Brad Marchand's expense