I live pretty close to the parade route of the Los Angeles Lakers Victory Parade, so I just walked over to watch the defending NBA champions receive their accolades. To start my journey, I noticed neighboring businesses were cashing in by selling parking spaces for $20 bucks a piece. Some made quite a bit of cash. Hey, it helped the parade people, since there really are no parking spaces there.
Since I live close to the end of the route, which was on Jefferson, I thought it would be a little emptier. I know, wishful thinking. It was probably the heaviest part, since people who were at the beginning of the parade at the Staples Center were trying to walk up the parade route. It made for cramped conditions, especially when you throw in people who had tents and chairs.
The streets leading up to the parade were filled with vendors selling unofficial championship shirts, water, hot dogs wrapped in bacon (a favorite illegal item in Los Angeles), and beer. Some vendors were also selling marijuana lollipops, but no need since some people were openly smoking pot and offering it to others.
I made my way until the crowd forced a stop. After about an hour, the police motorcycle brocade came, followed by the Los Angeles Fire Department carrying the Lakers Girls and, finally, the double decker buses, normally used for tours, wrapped in Lakers banners came.
The fans went wild, as every type of horn was heard and people began to chant MVP for Kobe Bryant and “Three-peat” in hopes of another NBA Championship next year. When all those passed, the Los Angeles Police Department wanted it to be known they were serious, as they had two charter buses filled with a SWAT team.
Of course the LAPD made its presence known this time around. Where I was standing on the parade route, there was an apartment building, and it was filled with police in the windows and on the roof.
According to the LA Times, after the parade, there were only seven arrests, and most of them were insignificant. The bonus for me was, while I was on my way home, a group of us were stopped and not allowed to cross the street. We thought it was for the fire truck we heard, but it came and passed and we were still not allowed to go. Within minutes, the LA Lakers rolled by and waved to us from their coach buses.
The Los Angeles Lakers victory parade was a fun event to bring out the fans. It was even better because people did not lose their head and vandalize the parade route, like some had done last year.