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L.A. Kings parade: 'Now we can die in peace!'

June 14, 2012 | 12:09 pm

Click for live coverage of the parade
As the clock moved closer to noon Thursday, giddy Los Angeles Kings fans made their way downtown to celebrate the team's Stanley Cup win with a parade and rally.

Some followed the team’s advice and packed the Metro Red Line about 10:30 a.m.

"We almost never thought we'd see this happen," said Susan Guernsey, a 20-year season-ticket holder from La Crescenta. She was riding with her mother, best friend and best friend's daughter, who were all wearing in Kings jerseys.

LIVE COVERAGE: L.A. Kings Stanley Cup victory parade

Across the aisle, another die-hard Kings fan finished Guernsey's sentence.

"Now we can die in peace!" shouted Ralph Olivas, a law clerk from Duarte.

Olivas said he had been "in dreamland" since the Kings clinched their first-ever championship Monday night against the New Jersey Devils. He said he grew up playing hockey in Fresno and now coaches a youth roller hockey team. He took off work to make it downtown Thursday.

PHOTO GALLERY: L.A. Kings parade

"This is the parade I've been waiting for my whole life," Olivas said. "As Kings fans we learned our lesson in the '90s ... there are no guarantees. We have to soak this in because you never know –- we might not see it again."

By 11 a.m., a large crowd had gathered at 7th and Figueroa streets for the start of the parade.

But not everyone had time to attend the festivities. Near the 60 Freeway onramp, Kings fan Daniel Garcia bent down to gather dry leaves. A hockey and Kings fan for three years, he was the one in a pack of nine people performing court-ordered community service.

The East L.A. resident said he was definitely going to miss Thursday's festivities.

"I don't mind," Garcia said as he put the leaves inside an orange plastic bag. Then he adjusted his orange helmet. "I really don't go to parades," he added. "I'm just not into that crazy atmosphere."

"I have traffic tickets," he said. "Got to pay them somehow."


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Stanley Cup: Downtown prepares for afternoon L.A. Kings parade, rally

-- Sam Allen and Ruben Vives

Photo: Kings fans along the parade route. Credit: Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images