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L.A. Kings parade: Stanley Cup draws fans young and old

June 14, 2012 | 12:49 pm

Stanley Cup parade
L.A. County sheriffs deputies Darren Robison, Mike Gelardo and Eric Williams were standing close, against a barrier, taking in the scene at Thursday’s Kings parade, but they weren't on duty.

They were there to see the Cup.

"It’s the most prestigious trophy in sports, the heaviest, and the toughest to win," Robison said. "We had to be here to see it."

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

The three men, who work out of the sheriff’s Antelope Valley Station, were decked out in Kings T-shirts, hats and jerseys. Gelardo even sported a large Kings tattoo on his left calf and said he planned to add a Stanley Cup to it later this week.

"The whole thing is surreal," Gelardo said of the Kings championship victory Monday. "That's really the word for it."

"You wake up the next day and say, 'Did that really just happen?' " Williams added.

PHOTO GALLERY: L.A. Kings parade

The deputies, who all took days off Thursday, joined a large crowd of Kings diehards lined up along Figueroa Street, where vendors hawked championship shirts and pendants while LAPD officers patrolled in large numbers.

"No. 1, its a great day for L.A.," said Mark Meza, a 24-year-old from Eagle Rock. "The Kings didn't come from another city or state. This is an original L.A. team. To see everyone here, from all across the city, all the Kings fans, it’s amazing."

Some supporters said they were still in shock from the team's championship.

Mike McGill said he was a "theater kid" in high school in Burbank when Wayne Gretzky came to town and the Kings made their first Cup run in 1993.

"It was a no brainer to come today," said McGill, who is now an engineer at a robotics company in Valencia. "We may never see this again."

The celebration drew new supporters too, such as Meredith Gullion, who said she and her daughter Ella started watching the Kings only recently.

They showed off a replica Stanley Cup they made together this week out of polystyrene, aluminum foil, and "a heck of a lot of hot glue," Gullion said.

"Hockey is just something different. It's always cool to check out something new," Gullion said. "And I can tell you, after this week, my daughter is going to be a fan for life. The tears were running down her face when they won Monday."

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L.A. Kings: Thousands anxiously await Stanley Cup parade

-- Sam Allen

Photo: Kings fans line the streets on downtown Los Angeles for the parade honoring the Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings. A "Championship Rally" follows the parade at Staples Center. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

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