Stanley Cup celebrations: Tampa to honor Lightning with boat parade, fan rally on Wednesday

Lightning

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Celebrations continue Wednesday for the Tampa Bay Lightning after their 2-0 win against the Dallas Stars in the 2020 Stanley Cup Final.

The city is hosting two events to give fans a chance to cheer on the players in person and get a glimpse of the coveted Stanley Cup.

The Lightning touched down in Tampa Tuesday evening and their plane taxied in under a stream from two water cannons.

Players kissed their wives and hugged their kids, which they hadn’t seen in two months. One of the best moments came when Lightning player and dad Blake Coleman put his baby into the Stanley Cup.

“I got to believe that they’re much more excited to see their families at this point. It’s 65 days in that bubble. So kudos to them and kudos to their families for being so supportive. That’s a long time away from home. I don’t think any of us can appreciate how tough that was,” said Lightning owner Jeff Vinik.

Fans cheered on the side of the road as the team made its way down Bayshore Boulevard in trolleys.

Inside Amalie Arena, the Lightning Organization held a celebration with families, Lightning staff, and other VIPs. Players skated on the ice inside Amalie for the first time since the shutdown, and they did it with the Stanley Cup held high above their heads.

Fans will get another chance to cheer on the Bolts in person on Tuesday.

A boat parade is being held along the Hillsborough River and the Tampa Riverwalk at 5 p.m. The parade will be followed by a Stanley Cup Champions Celebration at Raymond James Stadium, which is set to begin at 7:30 p.m. Parking is free, and doors open at 6:30 p.m.

MacDill Air Force Base said they plan to kick off the celebration by flying a KC-135 Stratotanker over the stadium.

Tickets to the Raymond James event were free but needed to be claimed online ahead of time. By 3:15 p.m. Tuesday, just more than two hours after they were made available, all tickets were gone.

“Tickets are sold out now. Check back soon,” a message on the Ticketmaster website read.

“We are still amidst the COVID and even though we’re outside we’re asking everyone to social distance and to wear a mask, and just have a good time. It’s going to be a good, fun, family event and if everyone is patient and cooperates with us we think everyone will have a good time,” said Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan.

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