Thousands of Montrealers attended, in a festive atmosphere, the parade held Wednesday in the heart of downtown to mark the Alouettes’ victory in the Gray Cup. Celebrations that many have been waiting for for 13 years.
” That’s wonderful ! » says Nina Sauvé with a smile, who has admired the Montreal football team since the age of 15. She is one of the thousands of people who gathered late Wednesday morning to watch the parade of players, who came to proudly brandish the trophy they won at the end of a season full of twists and turns.
It culminated Sunday with a 28-24 victory for the Montreal Alouettes, who faced the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in Hamilton in the Canadian Football League championship game. It was the eighth Gray Cup victory in Alouettes history, and the team’s first since 2010.
We’ve been waiting for this for a long time, [cette coupe]
It is therefore no surprise that the atmosphere was festive as dancers, acrobats and trucks paraded from 11:30 a.m. on the roof of which the players of the victorious team celebrated, beer in hand. “We’ve been waiting for this cup for a long time,” joyfully proclaimed Martine Courtemanche, a “complete Alouettes fan” we met on site.
In front of these heavy vehicles, sports cars also paraded, including businessman Pierre Karl Péladeau, owner of the Alouettes. In another car, we could see quarterback Cody Fajardo all smiles, greeted on all sides by citizens gathered behind the barriers installed along De Maisonneuve Boulevard. Everything took place under police surveillance.
“Cody, Cody!” » chanted supporters of the Montreal team, while the well-known song Conceived, by John Lennon, was playing in the background. The event attracted a number of parents who came to celebrate this moment with their children, at a time when a strike is paralyzing many schools.
“It was for you!” »
The parade, lasting approximately 45 minutes, culminated in front of a stage set up on the Place des Festivals, in front of which thousands of people gathered. Several brandished Quebec flags, a jersey with the name of their favorite Sparrow player on their back.
After the presentation of a video looking back on the Alouettes’ season, the team’s players took the stage one after the other to thunderous applause, nourished by a crowd which retained its enthusiasm until the end despite the gray weather. Cody Fajardo was then welcomed on stage holding up the Gray Cup, to loud cheers. The players then danced on stage to the hit We Are the Championsby Queen, sung shortly before 1 p.m.
“We worked hard for this Gray Cup, and it was all for you! » then launched head coach Jason Maas to the cheering crowd. “We are proud to be from Montreal, from Quebec, to be Quebecois! »continued the man of American origin.
We worked hard for this Gray Cup, and it was all for you!
He spoke shortly after Pierre Karl Péladeau, who was visibly happy that the team he acquired last March could celebrate victory after several arduous years. “Hello, Montreal! » the businessman said with joy. “We brought it back, our cup!” » he chanted at the top of his lungs.
“What an absolutely incredible season! » For his part, declared the president of the Alouettes, Mark Weightman, who thanked the team’s fans for having supported it through the difficult years “until today.”