Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake says the city’s parade for the team will begin at City Hall this morning and end with a free celebration at M&T Bank Stadium.
Parade details were still being finalized Monday afternoon, but organizers expected it to begin with a short ceremony at City Hall complete with purple and white confetti.
Team members were then expected to be carried through the streets in more than 30 vehicles, with a police and fire honor guard leading the way along with the team’s band.
The team arrived back in Maryland on Monday afternoon, and the players arrived at the Owings Mills practice facility about 6:15 p.m.
Some 150 people greeted the players, although fans were not allowed on the grounds of the facility. Many carried hand-lettered signs that read: “Welcome Home,” “We Love You Ray,” “We Love You Champs” and “Go Ravens.”
John Ziemann, president of the team’s all-volunteer Baltimore’s Marching Ravens, said his 250-person band will be in full dress uniform playing the team’s fight song, which he helped write. They’ll also play The White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army,” the tune which has become a Ravens anthem.
“I think that’s what the fans want to hear, and that’s what we’re going to give them,” Ziemann said.
Fans, meanwhile, were in good spirits Monday and still celebrating the team’s victory, the Ravens second Super Bowl win.
At Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, Jen Gaskill, 41, of Baltimore, was waiting for her luggage with a large sign reading “52 Shades of Ray” after flying back from the Super Bowl.
The season-ticket holder for 10-plus years decided with her friend Amanda Cabaday, 36, the week before the game to fly on a charter flight taking 140 Ravens fans to the game.
“The whole crew I sit with, we were all down there,” Gaskill said.
Gaskill was among hundreds of fans that turned the baggage claim area into a sea of purple, wearing shirts bearing statements such as “FINAO — Failure Is Not An Option.”
Jaime Hoback, 37, a Havre de Grace elementary school teacher was also on the charter flight with Gaskill and Cabaday, and said in a hoarse voice that he was “physically and emotionally drained” from the game.
Some fans walked around downtown Baltimore on Monday decked out in purple, and even a downtown statue of Cecilius Calvert, one of the founders of Maryland, had a purple piece of fabric around his neck.
Margie Favaro, 47, a paralegal, said she suggested that her office celebrate purple Monday, and she wore her No. 52 jersey in honor of retiring Ravens middle linebacker Ray Lewis.
Favaro and coworker Richelle McConnaughy, 56, who was also wearing a Ravens T-shirt and a string of purple Mardi Gras beads as they ate lunch, said their office near City Hall would likely close for a time today so employees can see the parade. McConnaughy joked that she’d lock the boss in the closet if the office isn’t formally given the time off.
“I’m going to cheer all of them,” McConnaughy said of the returning players.
Andrew Tracz, who watched his team’s 34-31 win over the San Francisco 49ers Sunday at a bar near the stadium, didn’t have to make threats to get the time off. The athletic trainer said he walked in to work Monday and asked what he had to do to be able to go to the parade with his roommate.
“It’s been a lifelong dream of mine to go to a championship parade. There was no way I was going to miss it,” he said, adding his boss is letting him take the morning off.
The parade will begin at 10:45 a.m. Tuesday at City Hall. The parade will head south on Commerce Street and continue to Pratt and Howard streets. Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi says officials are planning for at least 100,000 fans.
The celebration at the stadium, which seats 71,000, begins at 12:30 p.m. On Monday, television news footage showed workers constructing a stage in one of the stadium’s end zones.
The National Weather Service was forecasting temperatures in the low to mid 30s at the around the time of the parade and celebration. There is less than a 20 percent chance of rain or light snow after noon, said meteorologist Kyle Struckmann.
Alex Dominguez contributed to this report from Linthicum, Md.