What a crowd!
Were you there? If so, you were part of the biggest sports celebration Houston has ever known.
A crowd estimated to be in the hundreds of thousands or more – fans, kids off from school, workers playing hooky, people who have waited decades for such a moment – crammed into downtown Houston on Friday to celebrate the first-ever World Series title by the hometown Astros.
A parade and rally toasted the team, which rode atop fire trucks and was showered with confetti and fan praise, on a slow ride to City Hall.
Houston ISD canceled school for the day – after getting hundreds of requests from its own employees to – coincidentally! – take the day off.
It was the third time the city saluted a sports champion. The other two: the 1994 and 1995 Rockets after winning the NBA title.
The parade featured floats, music and former Astros like Hall of Famer Craig Biggio, who was never able to savor Series victory in his career-long affiliation with the team.
The rally featured some politely received remarks the mayor, governor and a Congresswoman, but then a raucous, full-on celebration ensued with remarks by Astros players – among them outfielder George Springer, the World Series MVP.
Roadways and light-rail lines were hopelessly overtaxed as crowds far more than expected tried to make their way to the celebration. The rectangular parade was extended southward by several blocks to create for more room for Astro Nation’s biggest-ever pilgrimage.