Reporting Jessica Kartalija
BALTIMORE (WJZ) – The crowd goes wild!
The city of Baltimore celebrated the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens with a parade and rally on Tuesday. Turnout was incredible and during the parade people jumped the barriers and followed the parade route, making for a very dangerous situation. Police were on the scene with their horses. Officials estimate around 200,000 people attended the parade and rally Tuesday.
WJZ crews were also overwhelmed by the crowds.
Police had an extra police presence in the Federal Hill area, Fells Point area and areas near the stadium for those who wanted to continue their Ravens celebration. They reminded fans to celebrate responsibly and encourage them to use crosswalks and avoid walking in the street. The Baltimore Police Department also reminded fans to never drink and drive.
The Department of Transportation also has extra crews out and about to help with traffic.
M&T Bank Stadium was packed with fans both in the stands and on the field. The stadium seats 71,000 and all seats were filled. About 10,000 people were on the field.
The team was announced at M&T Bank Stadium to an at-capacity crowd. The offense was announced first and then the defense. Joe Flacco came out to “When You Wish Upon A Star.” Ray Lewis came out to “It’s Hot Out In Here,” carrying the Lombardi Trophy. He then did his squirrel dance.
Watch Ray Lewis Do His Dance:
The crowd chanted the ”Seven Nation Army” song and players used their cell phones to record the event.
O.J. Brigance was honored for being an inspiration.
Joe Flacco was then announced on stage.
“Baltimore, we did it! This is awesome,” said Flacco.
He spoke to the crowd with his young son in his arms.
“There’s no place on this earth better than Baltimore,” said Ray Lewis. “In 1996 until now, we’ve believed in each other, Baltimore.”
Ed Reed then sang “Two Tickets To Paradise.” With a camera on his head and his son on his shoulders, Reed called Baltimore a football town and thanked the fans.
“The city was going crazy for the Ravens….the World Champions…the Baltimore Ravens,” said coach John Harbaugh.
The celebration was free.
Jessica Kartalija reports Coach John Harbaugh and owner Steve Bisciotti first kicked off festivities by greeting fans at M& T Bank Stadium earlier in the day.
Harbaugh said he had been worried no one would show up.
But the fans answered with a mighty roar for their team. From the moment the team came out of the tunnel through Ray Lewis’ last dance, it was every fan’s dream come true.
M&T Bank Stadium was filled to capacity and beyond from the highest row on the upper deck to thousands crowding the field.
Many, many fans took the day off work or played hooky from school to join the celebration. No one wanted to miss out on the biggest party in town, cheering for their Super Bowl heroes and especially MVP Joe Flacco.
As the parade started, Joe Flacco also talked to WJZ’s Adam May.
“Pretty hard to describe it. It’s pretty cool to see everyone out here,” Flacco said.
Flacco then got out his phone and recorded the crowds.
More than a dozen trucks from the Maryland National Guard rumbled over the cobblestones in front of Baltimore’s City Hall, transporting the winners of Super Bowl XLVII to M&T Bank Stadium for a victory celebration with the fans.
Four large open air flatbed trucks hold most of the team and coaches. Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Terrell Suggs and Joe Flacco rode on Humvees at the start of the parade.
Adam May caught a ride with Suggs.
“We did it. Ravens Nation, baby. You can never imagine something like this. I’ll never forget this,” said Suggs.
The Ravens stood in front of City Hall as thousands of cheering fans filled the plaza.
“This is a dream come true. This is really something special,” said Justin Tucker.
“Everything. This is the best feeling ever,” said Ray Rice.
Ed Reed got the crowd even more hyped–even letting fans touch the Lombardi Trophy!
“It’s a blessing,” Reed said. “A blessing, man.”
“This is madness. So many people,” said Paul Kruger.
That madness got out of control when Ray Lewis fans stormed the barriers. The parade route was overtaken by the crowd and tens of thousands of people filled the streets in celebration.
President Barack Obama called head coach John Harbaugh and General Manager Ozzie Newsome to congratulate them and the Baltimore Ravens on winning Super Bowl XLVII. He commended the Ravens on an unbelievable year and for the steadiness the team displayed through the end. The president also expressed how moved he and the First Lady were by the story of O.J. Brigance. The president said he looks forward to congratulating the team in person at the White House.