KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City officials held a news conference Tuesday morning to unveil the parade route for the Kansas City Chiefs' Super Bowl celebration.
During the news conference, held at 9 a.m. at the Power & Light District downtown, city leaders announced the parade route and other details of the event, which is planned for Wednesday.
The parade will begin at 11:30 a.m. at Sixth Street and head south on Grand Boulevard through downtown and past the Sprint Center.
The procession will then head west on Pershing Road and end at Union Station, where the celebration rally featuring Chiefs players will begin at 1:30 p.m., shortly after the parade arrives.
The event celebrates the Chiefs' victory over the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LIV. The Chiefs won by a score of 31-20.
"This is 50 years in the making," Jackson County Executive Frank White said, "and this is something that will live with us the rest of our lives."
Those planning to descend on downtown can expect large crowds and major traffic jams.
At least a block on each side of the route will be closed during the parade, organizers said. No parking signs have already gone up in parts of the Crossroads. KC Streetcar will suspend its service before and during the parade.
There will be five locations where pedestrians can cross the route: Ninth Street, 13th Street, Truman Road, 18th Street and 22nd Street.
Police expect hundreds of thousands of people to attend.
Throughout the day, police from across the metro will assist the Kansas City Police Department, which plans to put "everyone from investigative units to academy recruits" to help on the streets. Staff from as many as 19 agencies will assist.
"Pack your patience," Police Chief Rick Smith wrote in a blog post Monday. "There is only so much police can do to move that many cars and people along."
Smith asked that those attending the parade keep a close watch on their personal items and children. Organizers have devoted seven locations to child reunification.
The city's top cop also reminded fans: public alcohol consumption is prohibited.
Police began closing traffic along Grand Boulevard at 2 p.m. Tuesday. They will conduct security sweeps and safety measures. Towing and ticketing will also begin then for cars parked in prohibited areas, said Maj. Chip Huth, the traffic unit's commander.
"We need to be ahead of the game," Huth said.
During the parade, the National WWI Museum and Memorial will host viewing opportunities. Accessible viewing as well as medical services will be available at Liberty Memorial Mall.
Kansas City Fire Chief Donna Maize said the fire department will have several medical first-aid tents. Fire crews will carry bright green flags to help patrons spot them in case of emergencies.
"We hope we all have a fun and exciting celebration," Maize said.
Lessons learned from 2015
Along the route will be 700 portable toilets, the most deployed at any event in Missouri history, according to parade organizers. They can be found at 14 areas along the route, including at the pedestrian crossings.
That's a large increase from 2015, when the city placed about 200 portable toilets along the route for the Royals' World Series parade.
Officials said attendees will also want to prepare for the likelihood of snow, temperatures in the 20s and wind chills in the mid-teens. Snowfall will likely move in during the parade. No warming stations were expected along the route, so attendees should dress warm.
Another thing on Kansas Citians' minds: wireless service.
During the Royals' parade, fans said the cellphone coverage reminded them of the last time Kansas City's baseball team won the series. Their tweets failed and their messages stalled.
"Cell phone signal like it's 1985," one fan wrote on a sign.
Telecommunications companies have already begun preparing for what is expected to be a high use of data. Ahead of Wednesday's event, cellphone towers were set up near Union Station.
T-Mobile, for example, added additional LTE spectrum and two portable cells on wheels along the route, which a spokesman said "performed well" before and during the Super Bowl for those gathered at Power & Light.
Because of the expected data jam, police encouraged parents to take pictures of their children in case they are separated from them. Police said 100 children were temporarily lost during the Royals' parade.
The reunification locations for Wednesday are: the Kansas City Police Department; the downtown Church of the Resurrection; Big Brothers Big Sisters; and Blue Cross and Blue Shield. There will also be reunification tents along Grand Boulevard at the southwest corner of East 18th Street and the northeast corner of 20th Street.
Officials also noted the use of drones is prohibited.
It remained unclear how much the parade might cost, but Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas said there would be a significant amount of support from various sources. The 2015 parade cost more than $350,000, most of which was picked up by corporate sponsors.
Lucas spoke at the news conference along with Kansas City Sports Commission President Kathy Nelson, RideKC CEO Robbie Makinen and representatives from Kansas City fire and police departments.
Officials said they not only learned lessons from the Royals' parade, but were also in communication with other cities with recent large celebrations, such as Philadelphia.
Star reporter Glenn E. Rice contributed to this report.