TAMPA (WFLA) – It may have been on a Monday workday, but that didn’t stop thousands of Tampa Bay Lightning fans from coming out to celebrate their teams second consecutive Stanley Cup.
Noelle Miller was able to get the day off, but just barely, to see the parade.
“I requested off on Thursday, but my supervisor was out, so I didn’t find out until 20 minutes ago that my PTO was approved, So I was taking a little bit of a chance there,” Miller said shortly after arriving for the parade at 9:00 a.m.
She wasn’t the only one to get to Curtis Hixon park early to claim a prime spot on the Hillsborough River to see the parade. Danielle Hanson also arrived before 9:00 a.m.
“We’re prepared, got our umbrellas, got all of our swag. So, we’re good to go,” Hanson said.
For her, the early arrival paid off. When head coach Jon Cooper passed by on his boat, he tossed an “adult beverage” to Hanson onshore.
“Oh, this makes it. The team is awesome and they really do give back to the community. I mean we saw shirts and beads and everything just coming at the crowd, it was awesome,” Hanson said.
Fans saw the Stanley Cup pass by on boats, passed from players as they participated in the boat parade. A few players even allowed a lucky few fans to touch the trophy.
Players posed for pictures for fans to take and some of the players used their phones to take videos of the fans as they passed by.
Rylan Ames brought his two-month-old son down to see the parade and said, for him, the effort was worth it.
“I think it’s pretty exciting, I’m just glad we are all able to be out here and be involved in all of this,” Ames said.