L.A. Kings parade: 'Now we can die in peace!'
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.
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.
"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.
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."
-- Sam Allen and Ruben Vives
Photo: Kings fans along the parade route. Credit: Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images