MILWAUKEE (AP/TMJ4) — Hundreds of thousands of people squeezed into the streets of downtown Milwaukee to catch a glimpse of the Milwaukee Bucks in a parade that celebrates the city’s first NBA championship in half a century.
The team’s ascendance has invigorated a Midwestern city that is far from the league’s more cosmopolitan venues, like Los Angeles or Boston. And fans have embraced NBA Finals MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, who decided to stay with the team that selected him eight years ago with the 15th overall pick in the draft when he was just 18 years old.
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The players and owners boarded five double-decker buses Thursday as they rolled through the heart of the city. They finished with a celebration outside Fiserv Forum in the city’s Deer District.
1:36 p.m. -- Celebration, parade have ended
That's all, folks! What a party. You can re-live all of today's special moments at TMJ4.com/Bucks.
1:21 p.m. -- 'Milwaukee, we did it!' Jubilant Giannis addresses crowd at championship celebration
"Milwaukee, we did it baby! We did it! We did it, man. This is our city." Giannis had simple but powerful words to share Thursday at the Bucks championship celebration.
1:07 p.m. -- 'Best fans in the world': Bobby Portis gets the Bucks celebration crowd hyped
BOBBY! BOBBY! Bobby Portis got the crowd hyped during the Bucks championship celebration, calling the crowd the "best fans in the world."
12:46 p.m. -- Street cleaners descend on downtown Milwaukee after parade moves through
This is impressive: DPW crews are hard at work cleaning up trash after the championship parade moved through downtown Milwaukee.
A parade of DPW street cleaners after the first ever NBA Championship parade in Milwaukee.— Charles Benson (@CharlesBenson4) July 22, 2021
Street cleaners in Five!
Bucks in Six! pic.twitter.com/W2Bxz1KbXn
12:20 p.m. -- Gov. Evers throws up 'W' hand symbol during parade
"Gov. Evers, let us know: Is that the 'w' for win, or are you part of the Wu-Tang Clan?" 😂
12:03 p.m. -- Brandon Jennings is at the parade
"For the culture!" The originator of the Bucks in six chant, Brandon Jennings, is at today's parade.
11:44 a.m. -- Freeway ramps closed for parade
Heads up! If you were brave enough to try driving around downtown right now, there are multiple freeway ramps closed, according to the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office.
Please be aware that the NB and SB I-43 offramps to Fond Du Lac/McKinley are closed in preparation for the Milwaukee Bucks parade.— Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office (@MilwCoSheriff) July 22, 2021
11:36 a.m. -- Giannis hoists Larry O'Brien trophy during parade
This is the moment you've waited 50 years for, Milwaukee! Giannis Antetokounmpo held the Larry O'Brien trophy high above the crowd during Thursday's parade.
11:02 a.m. Catch live coverage of the parade
The parade has stepped off in downtown Milwaukee at Wisconsin and Prospect! Watch live right here.
10:53 a.m. -- Fans can take photo with replica Larry O'Brien trophy
How cool is this? At the corner of Water and Knapp, there is a photo booth where fans can pose with a replica Larry O'Brien trophy.
Bucks fans are lining up at Water & Knapp to take a picture with a replica Larry O’Brien championship trophy! I’m sure Giannis and Khris will be hoisting the real thing today. #Bucksin6 #fearthedeer pic.twitter.com/Q3K4tFUBTV— Ben Jordan (@BenJordan3) July 22, 2021
10:30 a.m. -- Milwaukee billboard supporting the Phoenix Suns replaced with Bucks in Six congratulatory message
The billboard bought by Warner Angle was displayed near downtown and it riled up Bucks fans.
But that billboard is no longer up, instead now replaced with a congratulatory one for the Bucks Championship win.
The new billboard was purchased by Milwaukee law firm Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown LLP.
10:20 a.m. -- Fan goes all-out with Bobby Portis body paint 'jersey'
Now this is dedication! Not only did these fans get here early for the parade, they constructed a full Bobby Portis body paint "jersey."
9:54 a.m. -- Hop streetcar service suspended due to parade
You won't be able to catch a ride on The Hop anytime in the next few hours - service has been temporarily suspended due the parade and celebration.
Due to crowd sizes, the Wisconsin Avenue parade route has been closed to cross traffic and The Hop streetcar service has been temporarily suspended. Service will resume as conditions warrant. Please monitor future Service Alerts for updated information.— Hop Alerts (@HopAlerts) July 22, 2021
9:34 a.m. -- Timelapse video shows fans lining parade route
Things are starting to pick up downtown. Reporter Ben Jordan took this awesome timelapse video of hundreds of fans lining the parade route, with an hour and half to go until showtime.
8:54 a.m. -- Gov. Evers issues proclamation making July 22 'Bucks in Six' Day
July 22 is officially "Bucks in Six" Day, thanks to a new proclamation by Gov. Tony Evers.
Evers issued the proclamation Thursday morning, ahead of the Bucks Championship Parade in Milwaukee.
"The Milwaukee Bucks fulfilled the prophecy of former Bucks guard, Brandon Jennings, which has become their longtime rallying cry of 'Bucks in six!'" said the governor in a press release.
8:39 a.m. -- Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett arrives at parade
First the governor, now the mayor -- Mayor Tom Barrett arrived at the parade route and gave our Delaney Brey a hearty "Go Bucks!"
8:32 a.m. -- Gov. Tony Evers in attendance at parade
Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers is already here along the Bucks parade route. He is expected to be one of many dignitaries attending the parade today.
8:16 a.m. -- Bucks buses are ready to go
After briefly getting stuck on the freeway yesterday, Delaney Brey has confirmed that the double-decker buses that will carry Bucks players during today's championship parade are ready to go!
7:35 a.m. -- More joggers than Bucks fans downtown so far
There are plenty of good spots still available along the Bucks parade route! Digital Reporter James Groh says he has seen more joggers than Bucks fans downtown so far.
At 7:32 I have seen about as many morning joggers as I have seen fans sitting in chairs for the parade... more joggers than I expected tbh pic.twitter.com/X5ZfWXzAto— James Groh (@JamesGroh_) July 22, 2021