PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The city is gearing up and shutting down for its first-ever Super Bowl parade, with universities, schools and government offices all shuttering and mass transit being shifted to serve the needs of parade-going Eagles fans.
Museums, city courts and even the Philadelphia Zoo will close as Philadelphia focuses on Thursday’s celebrations. Visitors who might be in town for reasons other than feting Sunday’s 41-33 win over the New England Patriots will still be able to visit places like Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell.
The parade starts near the team’s stadium and ends its 5-mile trek at the art museum steps that Sylvester Stallone climbed in the “Rocky” movies — a fitting finish for a team seen as the underdog, just like the fictional fighter.
Organizers said they’re preparing for as many as 2 million people to jam the parade route. No official estimate was released for the parade after the Phillies won the World Series in 2008, but crowd assessment experts have said that likely didn’t exceed 750,000.
The city doesn’t plan to make any crowd estimates for this parade.
Mayor Jim Kenney called on fans to celebrate with passion and pride and warned the small “knucklehead contingent” that caused trouble after Sunday to stay away.
The parade has also touched off a bit of a beer war.
Bud Light will offer free beers to revelers at two dozen bars along the parade route, thanks to a promise its brewer made to Eagles offensive tackle Lane Johnson before the season.
Not wanting to be upstaged by an out-of-towner, Philadelphia-based Yards Brewing said it will offer fans a free Philly Pale Ale on parade day in the brewery’s taproom.
“We might not be able to get everyone a beer but we can try,” they tweeted .
The city’s two subways will be free all day, but groupies coming in from the suburbs might have a trickier time getting into the city.
All 50,000 special parade day tickets for the regional railroad lines were sold out as of 1 p.m., said Andrew Busch, a spokesman for Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority. Weekly and month passes are valid, however.
The rapid-transit system connecting Philadelphia and southern New Jersey plans to stop selling tickets Wednesday night for those wishing to take the commuter line to the parade.
PATCO also said having a ticket doesn’t necessarily mean fans will get a ride, and suggested people also consider walking across the nearly 2-mile-long Benjamin Franklin Bridge.
Meanwhile, working off surveillance video and social media posts, police have begun making more arrests for vandalism that broke out late Sunday night.
Among the new wave of arrests was a 20-year-old accused of flipping over a car.
In a tweet , the department urged those involved the post-game mayhem to turn themselves in.