PARADE DAY: Confetti cannons and eager Astros fans in downtown today
By the time the Houston Astros complete their championship parade route this afternoon, piles of orange and blue confetti will rest on downtown streets.
The city began receiving shipments of confetti from out of state Thursday night ahead of the victory celebration.
About 1,000 pounds of the tiny pieces of paper will shoot out of 16 cannons placed above the route from high-rises and at street level.
Confetti will also be given to parade-goers to throw at their champions.
The glittering of paper is just one aspect of the parade, which was in the planning stages as early as a week from the Astros winning the World Series.
The city recruited artist Yolle Lemberger to convert old Thanksgiving floats for the Astros.
“You create and people get to see it, appreciate it, and it’s different,” said Lemberger. “You can’t go to a store and buy it on the shelf. It’s got to be made by hand.”
In addition, eager Astros fans arrived along the parade route pre-dawn Friday to get prime viewing spots.
One fan said he came to Houston all the way from California. Daniel Hernandez said he called his supervisor as soon as the Astros clinched the title. He arrived Thursday night. He explained why he and his brother showed up in downtown hours before the parade.
“We’re expecting a major crowd,” said Hernandez. “We control our own hours so we’re going to be here at the crack of dawn!”
Hernandez’s estimation is right on with the number of people the city expects: at least 500,000.
As for the players, the Astros roster and personnel arrived at Minute Maid Park after landing at Bush Intercontinental Airport during the evening Thursday. Their caravan into MMP and away from it could have been considered the parade before the real parade, with die-hard fans cheering for the heros.
“We’re very proud of them,” said Freddy Minero, who helped welcome the Astros back to the city. “We’ve been through thick and thin. We’ve been there through the 100 losses. We support our team and love our Astros!”
With the large crowd expected for the parade and the rally at city hall, traffic delays will be expected. Roads will close around the route at 1 p.m. in time for the 2 p.m. start time.
The celebration will begin on Smith at Lamar, proceeding north on Smith, east on Walker, south on Milam, west on Pease, north on Smith and ending at Lamar Street.
Aside from the crowding and travel issues, fans should also expect a warm and steamy parade, so bring those rally towels!