Well before 8 a.m., dozens of people gathered Friday in the Battery at Truist Park — the first fans to arrive for a celebration of the Atlanta Braves World Series victory that will culminate with a Ludacris and Big Boi concert late this afternoon.
A group of children played football on the turf of the pavilion. Several fans worked to get the perfect photo with the Atlanta Braves sign framed overhead before crowds later in the day pack the area and almost certainly make it too difficult to get that shot.
Marietta resident R. L. Robinson and his 17-year-old daughter were among those who arrived early, long before the Braves players are expected grace the park.
For Robinson, who has lived in the area for more than 30 years, the Braves win is “everything.”
“Thank you, Braves!” he said as he tipped his hat off toward Truist Park. “It’s been 26 years since we won and I’m all in.”
Lee, who lived in Statesboro when the Braves won it all in 1995, said even back then he could feel the energy from Atlanta down in South Georgia. But today, he said, is “indescribable.”
“It’s amazing just to feel the excitement of the city,” he said.
By 10 a.m., the crowd outside the ballpark had grown to hundreds, if not well over 1,000. Chairs lined the intersection of Cobb Parkway and Circle 75 Parkway near the ballpark. Cars honked as they drove by.
Friday’s procession will start at noon at Woodruff Park in downtown Atlanta, not far from their former homes at Turner Field and the old Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium. The parade will then move along the city’s most famous street, Peachtree Street.
The team members will then travel from Atlanta northward along Interstate 75 to Truist Park in Cobb County for the bigger celebration. They are expected to arrive around 3:30 p.m. with the Ludacris and Big Boi concert slated to begin around 4:30 p.m.
At least eight school districts in the state have canceled classes on Friday so students will have a chance to watch the parade in person. Other schools around the state were allowing children to wear Braves gear to the classroom.
The Braves tweeted what was on everyone’s mind: “Y’all ready to party?”
This story comes to The Georgia Sun through a reporting partnership with GA Today, a non-profit newsroom focused on reporting in Georgia.