It was a day Sidney Crosby won’t soon forget.
Neither will the tens of thousands who came out to see the Cole Harbour superstar and hockey’s Holy Grail.
With perfect weather and a revved up hockey community looking to catch a glimpse of Sid the Kid and the Stanley Cup, a crowd of about 65,000 came out to an afternoon parade Friday to see Crosby with hockey’s top prize.
This was on top of the thousands who in the morning saw the Pittsburgh Penguins captain land with the Cup via a Sea King helicopter on HMCS Preserver at the Halifax dockyard.
“We got a few people that are Cup crazy here today, it looks like,” Crosby told the crowd at Cole Harbour Place, which packed the venue’s parking lot following the parade that began at the MetroLink terminal on Portland Street.
“Thank you very much,” the almost overwhelmed superstar said. “This is incredible.”
Crosby stood next to the Cup on an antique fire truck for the more than one-hour parade, waving to his admiring fans that stood 10-people deep in some spots. Afterwards, Crosby brought the Cup onto a large stage and spoke for about five minutes, where he thanked all the people who helped get him to where he is today.
He then had a special message for the young hockey players in the crowd.
“They’re seeing the Stanley Cup up close, and I’m sure all of you dream of winning it yourself,” he said. “I just want you to know I did the same thing and the proof is right here that you can do it. So, go for it.”
While he spoke to the crowd, Crosby was serenaded with chants of Happy Birthday several times. Crosby celebrated with the Cup on his birthday – he turned 22 on Friday – something he wouldn’t mind doing again in the years to come.
“I’d love to be able to say this is something that is going to happen every year. I really hope it happens again soon, sooner rather than later,” he proclaimed to loud cheers.