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Will the street car still run? Is Taylor Swift coming? Your guide to the Chiefs’ Super Bowl victory parade in Kansas City

DATE POSTED:February 12, 2024

Editor’s note: The following story was published by KCUR, Kansas City’s NPR member station, and a fellow member of the KC Media Collective. Click here to read the original story or here to sign up for KCUR’s email newsletter.

When the Kansas City Chiefs won the Super Bowl last year, close to 1 million flooded the streets of downtown for a victory parade and rally; To celebrate their second win in a row, this Wednesday’s event could bring even more — especially if Taylor Swift shows up

For the second year in a row, Kansas City Chiefs fans will descend on downtown to celebrate a Super Bowl win and show some love to their favorite players.

The parade and celebration are slated for Wednesday, Feb. 14 — yes, the same date as both Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday.

Kansas City fans who have attended previous championship celebrations downtown know that planning is key.

Check out photos from the 2023 Kansas City Chiefs victory parade.

LET’S HAVE A PARADE WEDNESDAY!!!

— Mayor Q (@QuintonLucasKC) February 12, 2024

Here’s what we know so far. (We’ll update this post with more information as it comes in.)

When is the celebration?

The parade is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. A victory rally will start at Union Station as soon as the parade finishes, around 12:45 p.m.

Like in previous years, fans will be able to watch the rally from the lawn of the National World War I Museum and Memorial. The whole parade will also be broadcast live on KSHB-41 and online.

Matthew Naylor, president of the World War I Museum, told KCUR that staff had already begun preparing the grounds ahead of the Super Bowl.

What’s the route?

Pretty much the same as last year!

A map released by the Kansas City Sports Commission has the parade starting at 6th Street in the River Market and heading south on Grand Boulevard, through downtown, Power & Light and the Crossroads. Unlike last year, the parade will not be going through City Market.

The parade then turned onto Pershing Road and finished in front of Union Station.

The parade route for Kansas City’s 2024 Super Bowl victory parade; map courtesy of the Kansas City Sports Commission

Buses loaded with Kansas City Chiefs drive between downtown and midtown during the 2023 victory parade; photo by Tommy Felts, Startland News

How will the parade impact traffic downtown?

The parade and rally will shut down several streets downtown. That means if you’re driving into downtown, you may have to park blocks away from the parade route and walk.

Here are the streets that will be closed (more will be added as details firm up):

  • Main Street, between 20th Street and Pershing Road (closed to both vehicles and pedestrians on Wednesday)
  • Main Street from Pershing to 27th Street (closed to vehicles, open to pedestrians)
  • Pershing Road, from Main Street to Kessler Road (closed beginning Monday)
  • The parade route will be closed starting Tuesday morning at 11 a.m.
  • Streets running east and west of Grand will be closed between Walnut and McGee, from 6th Street on the north to Pershing on the south (beginning Tuesday at 11 a.m.)
  • More road closures on Main Street from 27th to 31st Street (when parade starts)

Union Station will also be closed off to public access on Tuesday night around midnight, and will reopen on Wednesday at about 4 p.m.

What will the weather be?

The forecast for Wednesday is looking balmy and warmer than normal for Kansas City in February.

As of now, we’re looking at sun and a high of 54 degrees. In the early morning, if you plan on getting a good spot along the parade route or on the World War I lawn, expect chillier temperatures in the low 30s, so dress appropriately.

Still, that’s nicer than the brisk day Kansas City had last year.

Will schools close?

Even before the big game, Kansas City Public Schools and the Independence School District announced there will be no school on Wednesday if there’s a parade.

Here is a list of school district that are canceling classes. We’ll update this list as more schools make their decisions – last year, it was almost certain that students in the Kansas City area would get the day off.

In Missouri:

  • Kansas City Public Schools
  • Independence School District

In Kansas, at least one district – Olathe Public Schools – already let families know that “regardless of the outcome” of the Super Bowl, class will continue as scheduled.

Most other Johnson County districts did cancel school last year.

Police officers stand along the 2023 Chiefs victory parade route near Union Station; photo by Tommy Felts, Startland News

What will security look like?

Just like in 2023, the celebration will be an all-hands-on-deck situation for the Kansas City Police Department.

Back in April, the Board of Police Commissioners, which governs the KCPD, said overtime costs for police officers working the parade cost $200,400.

The department said 805 law enforcement personnel were involved, including 530 on-duty and off-duty officers and another 275 from regional law enforcement agencies.

Can I ride the streetcar?

In 2023, the Kansas City Streetcar — which runs on Main Street parallel to the parade route — suspended operation on the parade day.

This Wednesday, the Streetcar will run in a limited capacity and will begin service at 6 a.m.

Passengers will not be able to board the Streetcar at Union Station. Instead, riders can exit and enter at the Crossroads stops on 19th and Main.

Streetcar service on Wednesday will begin at 6 a.m. and run at 10-12 minute frequencies until 10:30 a.m., when the streetcar will temporarily suspend service until the end of the parade and rally at Union Station.

Can I take the bus?

You can ride the bus for free. The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA) will provide park and rides at several locations to shuttle people to the parade route.

The shuttles run from 7-10:30 a.m. and again from 12-4 p.m. Riders are warned to prepare fro a 45 minute wait.

  • Former K-Mart at Chouteau and Vivion (2835 NE Vivion Road)
  • HyVee Arena / West Bottoms (1800 Genessee Street)
  • Swope Park/Zoo (6800 Zoo Drive)
  • Oak Park Mall (11149 W 95th Street)
  • 47th Street State Transit Center (849 N 47th Street)

More info on transportation options here.

Chiefs fans cheer along the 2023 parade route; photo by Tommy Felts, Startland News

What does cell phone service look like?

This has been a major issue in past years. It’s almost certain that cell phone service will be extremely limited because of the anticipated large crowd.

Officials recommend making plans with your group in case any one gets separated.

Will Taylor Swift be at the parade?

She made it to the Super Bowl, against all odds, so it’s a real possibility. Taylor, feel free to let us know what your plans are.

How much is this costing Kansas City?

Both the parade and the rally after will be free to attend, but not for the city to put on.

Kansas City officials recently approved spending $975,000 on the parade, which is higher than last year’s allocation of $750,000. Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas attributed the increase to overtime for city workers, public safety personnel and higher transportation costs.

The Jackson County Legislature also approved spending $75,000 to sponsor the parade. But the total cost of the parade – and how much, if anything, the Chiefs will chip in – has yet to be determined. Private sponsorships are also likely.

Last year, the estimated cost was at least $2.25 million.

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes celebrates amid the team’s 2023 championship parade; photo by Tommy Felts, Startland News

How did the Chiefs victory parade go last year?

It was very big! Upwards of 1 million people attended the parade and rally in downtown Kansas City in 2023. In 2020, estimates put the crowd size somewhere between 800,000 and 1 million.

Fans from the metro and beyond lined up along the parade route early — as in, hours before the sun came up.

As time inched closer to the start of the parade, Grand Boulevard and the lawn of the World War I Museum was packed with people. Some stood 10 people deep, standing on tiptoes or sitting on shoulders, to hopefully get a glimpse of their favorite player.

Pretty early on, one of the biggest issues was bathroom access — KCUR found dozens of people waiting in line at one Porta Potty.

Some fans rented spaces along Grand and stood on rooftops to get a bird’s eye view of the parade. If you were lucky enough to get a glimpse, a convoy of double-decker buses and trucks carried local officials and Chiefs players through downtown, with confetti raining down on the thousands of fans decked out in red Chiefs gear.

“This is a dynasty, y’all just didn’t know ’til now,” Kelce told the crowd at last year’s rally.

Now there’s no doubt.

The post Will the street car still run? Is Taylor Swift coming? Your guide to the Chiefs’ Super Bowl victory parade in Kansas City appeared first on Startland News.