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Fans pack downtown St. Louis to cheer on the champion Blues

St. Louis Blues Stanley Cup

St. Louis Blues defenseman and captain Alex Pietrangelo carries the Stanley Cup during the Blues’ NHL hockey Stanley Cup victory celebration in St. Louis on Saturday, June 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

ST. LOUIS — After a half-century of disappointment, even Mother Nature didn’t dare spoil the celebration of St. Louis’ first-ever Stanley Cup championship.

A morning downpour fizzled to a light rain by the time the parade began Saturday, and the sun popped out just as a rally was starting before a massive crowd on the grounds of the Gateway Arch.

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The Blues ended one of sports’ longest championship droughts on Wednesday by beating the Boston Bruins 4-1 in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final, the first title for a franchise that joined the NHL 52 years ago. Fans poured into the city for the celebration. There were no immediate crowd estimates, but local leaders’ expectations of at least a half-million people appeared to be spot on.

The long-awaited championship stirred strong emotions in St. Louis, a city still smarting from the departure of the NFL’s Rams in 2016. The loss of the football team seemed to strengthen the fans’ bonds to the Blues and their beloved baseball team, the Cardinals.

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TAGS: celebration, Fans, St. Louis Blues, Stanley Cup
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