One Arrest at Broncos Victory Parade and Rally Out of Estimated 1 Million Fans

An estimated one million people attended yesterday's Broncos victory parade and rally.

And while the downtown celebration in the immediate aftermath of the team's win over the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50 this past Sunday featured a dozen arrests, numerous police confrontations and the use of pepper spray to disperse crowds, there were far fewer accounts of busts and citations at the rally despite the monstrous attendance.

Fears of widespread ticketing for public consumption of marijuana didn't come to pass, and the Denver Police Department reports only a single arrest, involving a man accused of issuing a threat and displaying a weapon.

At least one police officer showed a gun, too, as is demonstrated by the image, captured by our Kevin J. Beaty.

For the most part, however, problems were few and far between based on my observations.

I entered the throng around noon, starting at Westword's 10th and Broadway offices and tracing the parade route from the Colorado Art Museum to near its starting point on 17th Street.

On 17th, crowds lining the streets were at least twenty people deep, making it all but impossible for folks of average height to see Broncos players such as Peyton Manning and Von Miller being delivered to Civic Center Park on fire trucks — but no one I saw was complaining.

The excitement and joy in the air was infectious, as were regular chants of "MVP" and "Broncos!"

I then joined a group of people who ran along 16th Street to beat the procession to Broadway.

Plenty of police were gathered along this stretch, but as I raced past, they merely watched the activities with amusement rather than getting involved in trying to stop them.

Along the way, one older man who probably shouldn't have been sprinting did a face-plant — but fellow fans came to his aid and, in the end, the only thing hurt was his pride.

Broadway was even more clogged with revelers, so I headed over toward the end of the route and managed to find a spot along the barrier to the street, affording me the opportunity to capture shots of Miller checking his phone....

...Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas reveling in the moment....

...defensive mastermind Wade Phillips grinning at everyone in the vicinity....

...and a victorious pose by a slew of D-squad standouts such as T.J. Ward, Derek Wolfe, Aqib Talib (he may be a tool, but he's our tool) and Chris Harris Jr. that summed up the moment perfectly.

Yes, there were complaints before and after about traffic and parking.

But we're happy to say the opening pic in this post was the exception, rather than the rule on a day that filled the hearts of every member of Broncos Country with delight.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts