Fans streamed into downtown Kansas City by the thousands for the parade and rally to celebrate the Chiefs' first Super Bowl championship in 50 years.
Chiefs players began the parade atop double decker buses before ditching their ride to walk the route, greeting fans and dancing in the street along the way.
Some fans camped out overnight to reserve choice spots along the parade route, which took the team from the intersection of Sixth Street and Grand Boulevard to the rally outside Union Station.
“This is so awesome,” said Shauntel Lyons, 40, of Kansas City, who was a Chiefs cheerleader from 2003 to 2005. “I learned so many great lessons from my time with the team. To see them bring home that trophy after 50 years is so gratifying. I'm just glad to be part of it.”
Earlier in the day, an impaired driver taking a “joy ride” along the parade route was put into a forced spin by law enforcement officers who then arrested the driver and another person at gunpoint, according to officials and video footage of the incident.
Clay County Sheriff's deputies threw out Stop Sticks and several patrol cars surrounded the car and stopped it as it approached the crowd near Union Station, police said. Video posted online showed officers approaching the car with weapons drawn before taking two people into custody. The arrest happened around three hours before the parade began, and no one was injured.
Mayor Quinton Lucas told local news stations that it was an impaired driver taking "a joy ride" and was not terrorism-related. He praised the quick response of the officers who responded, who were cheered by fans who witnessed the incident.
“We have even more heroes to cheer today,” Lucas said.
The Kansas Legislature took the day off to celebrate and their Missouri counterparts scheduled a light workday. Many area businesses also planned to close or open on a reduced schedule. At Children's Mercy Kansas City, the emergency room at the main downtown hospital will be open, but appointments and some surgeries were being rescheduled or moved.
When the Royals won the World Series in 2015, an estimated 800,000 people flocked to the victory parade, shattering expectations in a city with a population of about 470,000 and a metropolitan area of about 2 million. Cellphone towers were overwhelmed by the throngs, and motorists began parking along side of the interstate and walking as exits jammed.
The city has learned from that experience and is making adjustments, adding a temporary cell tower and increasing the number of portable toilets to 700 from 200. Officials also are boosting the number of lost child stations — something that was deemed crucial after about 100 youngsters became separated from their caretakers in 2015.
The city will again provide free shuttles, but will drop parade-goers further from the route to prevent buses from becoming trapped in traffic as happened during the Royals parade.
Kansas City police Major Chip Huth said law enforcement from 19 surrounding agencies will help to provide security for the masses.
“The main thing we have learned," he said, “is that we need to be ahead of the response."
The weather will make it particularly difficult getting home, warned National Weather Service meteorologist Jimmy Barham. He said the snowfall will start at relatively light and will be at its heaviest during the rally, falling at a rate of half an inch (1.2 centimeters) an hour.
“One of our messages is it probably won’t be bad getting to the parade but there will be hazardous conditions leaving the parade,” Barham said.