The Toronto Raptors parade is already going down in history as one of the largest events that the city has ever hosted. Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment revealed that two million fans are expected to show up to the Raptors parade. Which is astounding, especially when you consider the fact that only 2.9 million people live in the city and 5.9 million in the GTA. It’s a crowd that MLSE says they're prepared to handle, but it caught at least one Raptor off guard.
Raptors star Kyle Lowry took to his Instagram on Monday to express his reaction the news. Lowry seemed taken aback by the huge turnout in his post. “Wow!!! #WETHENORTH I heard we getting 2million got the parade?!?!! Grandma, I know you front row already!!”
Lowry is appearing in the parade on bus number three alongside Fred VanVleet and Kawhi Leonard.
Lowry is already out and about at today's parade, carrying the championship trophy in a Damon Stoudamire jersey:
According to a report by Yahoo, Mike Bartlett, Head of Community Affairs and Events at MSLE explained that while it is “hard to say” exactly how many people will turn out for the parade, he estimates that anywhere between 1.5 to 2 million fans will show up.
MLSE reached out to the officials who run the Toronto Santa Claus Parade as they raced against the clock to plan the event over the last few days. Bartlett later added that he is confident that they'll be able to execute the “biggest party Toronto has ever seen on Monday.”
“We got a few surprises up our sleeves, but we are going to leave some of that for tomorrow,” he said. “I can guarantee you that each and every Toronto Raptor will be there as will our front office team.”
Here's some footage of the festivities already underway: