For Kings players, South Bay is spot for true hometown celebration
In some ways, the Kings’ Stanley Cup celebration Wednesday was the real hometown party.
It was a beachfront victory lap in the South Bay, home to the Kings’ training facility and all but one of the players.
Team members have been known to hold postgame celebrations at local bars and mingle at community events.
Two days after the official celebration in downtown Los Angeles, Wednesday’s four-mile parade wound through the streets of three beach cities, passing along the Strand before ending at the Manhattan Beach pier.
Vendors walked up and down the barricades, peddling Kings T-shirts and championship hats.
“Even when they were losing, we were going to the Forum to watch them play,” said Hector Magana, who has lived in the South Bay and rooted for the Kings his whole life.
He skipped out on the downtown blowout, choosing instead to stay home from work Wednesday to attend the beach cities’ parade with his nieces.
“It’s more intimate and they’re doing it for their fans where they live,” said Magana, whose right forearm is inked with the logos of his favorite Southern California sports teams, with the Kings on top.
At the North End Bar & Grill in Hermosa Beach, where Kings players had arrived with the Stanley Cup just hours after the double-overtime win over the New York Rangers in Game 5 on June 7, more than a dozen fans were lined up after the parade route passed through Wednesday.
“They live and play, raise their families and hang out with their friends in the beach cities,” said Hermosa Beach Mayor Michael DiVirgilio.
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