Seattle Seahawks fans will be swarming toward the city's downtown today for the Super Bowl champions' parade, including an official "Moment of LOUDNESS" at 12 minutes past noon.
Seattle's tourism spokesman Dave Blandford says parade organizers are expecting half a million people in the streets today, including several busloads of supporters from Canada.
Blandford says the Seahawks and their fans have been waiting 38 years for the big win.
"You know, if feels great, and you see the banners and flags. But it's also a bit surreal, I have to say. We've never really done this before. We don't really know how to react. So we're all sort of scratching our heads here. It's very different being world champs; we're not used to it."
The parade will feature the NFL Seahawks players and coaches showing off the Super Bowl trophy to their famous legions of 12th Man fans, while riding in amphibious World War II-era Duck vehicles normally used by tourists.
Skipping school okay
Officials told the parade-goers to dress warmly and expect traffic. The National Weather Service forecast sunny skies and temperatures below 0 C. But despite the cold some people staked out spots overnight in freezing temperatures to beat the crowd.
City officials are anticipating a turnout between 200,000 and 500,000 along Fourth Avenue. The parade begins at 11 a.m. local time at Denny Way and goes to CenturyLink Field, where an event for season ticket holders will be held.
Many school-aged children are expected be in attendance at the parade, with Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Jose Banda on Tuesday saying that principals would have discretion over whether to excuse absent students.
It was a reversal from his position a day earlier, when he said that students would not be excused in spite of a suggestion from Seahawks Head Coach Pete Carroll that they get the day off.
'Moment of LOUDNESS' proclaimed
Carroll received a phone call on Tuesday from President Barack Obama, who commended the coach on the team's "decisive victory" and said he looked forward to greeting them at the White House in the coming months, according to a White House statement.
Also on Tuesday, Washington state Governor Jay Inslee proclaimed a statewide "moment of LOUDNESS" to take place during the parade.
In a nod to the team's fans, collectively known as the "12th Man" for their opponent-rattling rumbling during home games, Inslee ordered the organized screaming to occur at 12:12 p.m. on Wednesday.
"Our team is bigger, faster and stronger and the 12th Man is without question louder than anyone else in the nation," Inslee said in a written statement accompanying the proclamation.