SF celebrates Giants with victory parade

November 3, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
It was a moment and celebration of the ages. After 52 years of waiting, San Francisco and their beloved Giants celebrated their World Series win with a ticker-tape parade through downtown and jubilant celebration outside City Hall.

"This is the greatest city to be in right now," Giants pitcher Brian Wilson said. "You don't want to be anywhere else besides the bay."

The parade included the team's stars of today as well as the Giants greats of yesteryear like Willie Mays and Willie McCovey.

Die hard fans called in sick to work and pulled their children out of school for the opportunity to experience the momentous event.

Players were equally as joyous as the fans. They rode trolley cars up Market Street, but many, like Wilson, hopped off at times to celebrate with fans.

"This is pretty much the best day of my life, fact," Wilson said.

Aubrey Huff, who had made claims that he had been wearing a lucky red thong throughout the playoffs, showed off his undergarment of choice, waving it over his head along the parade route.

Thousands flood Civic Center for ceremony

Beginning in the wee hours of Wednesday morning, Giants fans crowded Civic Center Plaza for a chance to see the team that won it all. An estimated 1 million people attended Wednesday's festivities.

"We got here about 4 a.m. this morning, so we've been here awhile," one fan told ABC7.

By 10 a.m., the entire plaza was elbow to elbow. Because of warm temperatures, dehydration was a concern for those in the crowd but there were no major incidents.

Fans watched the parade on Market Street from two jumbotrons set up at City Hall. When they saw the floats getting closer, they went wild.

Giants lauded at City Hall

In a ceremony befitting the World Series Champions, players emerged one at a time, 33 curtain calls in all, for guys who had been mostly unknown, who came together as a team and have now become legend.

"It's a great day to be a Giant, ain't it? ain't it?" Giants Managing Partner Bill Neukom asked of the crowd.

On this day, every person in Civic Center Plaza felt like a Giant.

"These guys, they wanted it as badly for you as they did for themselves," Giants Manager Bruce Bochy said. "It was an incredible ride. This trophy belongs to you as much as anybody here."

Transit organizations add extra service

San Francisco police estimate at least 500,000 people came into San Francisco from other parts of the Bay Area for the parade, jamming public transportation systems. For many, getting into the city on BART and Caltrain meant long waits and packed trains.

BART does not expect to break any ridership records, but every available train was in use Wednesday.

Caltrain also had all of its trains on the tracks Wednesday afternoon. They abandoned their usual schedule in favor of running trains as often as possible and every train made every stop.

Golden Gate Ferries added additional boats to their schedule and warned passengers to expect delays.

Few problems associated with celebration

Although Wednesday's events were mostly peaceful, there were a few isolated reports of trouble.

A man fell from a sign or a light pole along Market Street near Fourth Street after the parade ended. Paramedics took him to the hospital while police asked bystanders what happened.

Officers blocked the doors to Westfield's San Francisco Centre shopping center for a short time, after parade goers got rowdy inside of the mall. Police also made a handful of arrests around the time the mall was closed and after a disturbance at Seventh and Market streets.


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