ST. LOUIS -- Missouri is now home to the Stanley Cup hockey champions. The St. Louis Blues were welcomed home and cheered by more than 500,000 fans for a victory parade and pep rally downtown Saturday.
A solid sea of blue and gold lined the heart of the city as St. Louis marked its first-ever Stanley Cup, a celebration 52-years in the making.
"It's unbelievable. Straight up. I cried. I bawled my eyes out. I think we all did to be honest with you. I can't believe we're here," one fan told FOX4.
With blue dyed bears, championship t-shirts and souvenirs, the party carried on for hours. Some fans even sported their own mock-ups of the silver trophy, lifting it high in the air.
"Being a Blues fan my entire life it's pure joy to be here and celebrate with the boys," said Blues fan Kurtis Boardsen.
Babies were strolled through the streets in wagons, blue pom poms waved, faces painted, and many high fives were exchanged between total strangers bonded by their love of sport.
Shoulder to shoulder, crowds of supports were able to catch glimpses of the team that made the celebration possible, and offered thanks to the team.
"This an absolute dream," said Blues center Ryan O'Reilly.
In exchange, players offered their own gratitude for the relentless support they've received, recognizing many years it was hard to be a fan of the club.
"I've been a blues fan forever, crying myself to sleep in the 90s when we didn't win the up. The atmosphere down here is crazy! There's going to be a lot of beer drank tonight," Boardsen said.
The team offered some lucky fans, many who slept on the streets to get a front row seat, high fives, hand shakes and even a chance to touch the Stanley Cup.
The parade down Market Street was capped off by a massive party under the Gateway Arch.
"It's super emotional. All those childhood memories, everything you experienced as a kid, the pride of the city all coming together and being validated through a Stanley Cup, just means the world to me," said Blues fan Tyler Atkinson, who drove overnight from Denver, Colo. to take in the festivities.
The party is likely to keep going for days and weeks to come. Blues fans are hoping they don't have to wait another 50 years to have a celebration like this again.