LAWRENCE, Kan. — National championships don’t come along every year.

That’s why the city of Lawrence is planning a huge parade on Sunday afternoon, a massive gathering to thank the Kansas Jayhawk men’s basketball team, which won it all on Monday Night.

KU (34-6) knocked off North Carolina for the national championship — the fourth time Kansas has won the NCAA Tournament, and the first time since 2008.

Downtown Lawrence has already hosted massive fan gatherings. Now, Sunday presents one more jolt of Jayhawk jubilee — a 2 p.m. parade to congratulate and thank KU’s team and coaches.

Parade organizers expect as many as 100,000 fans to pack into the parade route. That total would double the city’s population. When the Jayhawks won it all 14 years ago, a similar parade attracted an estimated 80,000.

“This only happens once per year to one place in this country and its Lawrence Kansas this year,” Sally Zogry, executive director at Downtown Lawrence, Inc., said. “It’s wonderful. We’re thrilled to have people and welcome them whether they’ve been here a million times, or whether they went to school here or they’e never visited.”

The 2 P.M. parade will run through most of Massachusetts Street — from 6th Street down to 19th Street. Parking will be a tough ticket, so the university will run shuttles to and from campus, where parking is more plentiful, beginning at 11 a.m.

Massachusetts Street will be closed to parking beginning Sunday morning at 3 a.m. That means anyone going to the downtown bars on Saturday night needs to make arrangements if they plan to leave their cars overnight.

Merchants along Mass Street are counting on big sales, especially stores like Jock’s Nitch, which specializes in Jayhawk national championship gear. Phil Minton, the store’s owner, expects a record sales day.

“It’s going to have people flooding to Lawrence Kansas. It’s great for the economy. We’ll collect a lot of extra sales tax. It’s going to be good for everybody around,” Minton said on Friday.

The university’s athletic department is excited too, realizing legions of fans are unable to attend games, but a parade that’s free to the public gives everyone a chance to cheer Coach Bill Self and the National Champion Jayhawks in person.

“Our fans are so great. We want to be able to have them feel and touch the celebration in a way because they helped us so often during the season in Allen Field House,” Jason Booker, a spokesperson for KU’s athletic department, said.

A spokesperson for the Lawrence Police Department tells FOX4 several other agencies will assist on Sunday. As parades go, this one is fairly short. Zogry says the route is designed to be easy for police to work if they’re needed.

📲 Download the FOX4 News app to stay updated on the go.
📧 Sign up for FOX4 email alerts to have breaking news sent to your inbox.
💻 Find today’s top stories on fox4kc.com for Kansas City and all of Kansas and Missouri.