Unlike the 2019 Grey Cup, a parade through the streets of downtown Winnipeg followed by a massive celebration at The Forks, wasn’t possible this year due to public health restrictions.
“This looks a little different than a parade,” Bombers’ head coach Mike O’Shea told the crowd of a few thousand.
“This is phenomenal. We really appreciate all of you.”
Blue Bombers players took turns drinking champagne from the Grey Cup while being driven around in the bed of pickup trucks along the field.
Dignitaries honoured the Blue Bombers, including Manitoba Premier Heather Stefanson, who inducted the 2021 team into Manitoba’s Order of The Buffalo Hunt.
Mayor Brian Bowman also spoke at the event and was joined by AMC Grand Chief Arlen Dumas and Blue Bombers Board Chair Dayna Spiring.
Fully vaccinated fans came to the team’s stadium to watch highlights from Sunday’s championship game and see their team finally let loose after a hard-fought season.
“Epic. Fantastic,” Sean Kavitch said excitedly about the team’s season and clutch of a second cup.
“With the true blue, it’s fantastic.”
Kathy Dowd said she’s been a Bombers fan her entire life and she remembers too clearly all the years of losses. Winning two CFL titles in a row — even with a pandemic-related pause — is cause for celebration, she added.
“Having them win and everything going their way is awesome,” Dowd said, wearing a Bombers’ mask and bundled in blue winter gear.
Neil Ferguson said even though there isn’t a parade, as long as the fans are together it’s always a great time.
“To be back here again this year, it’s a real special feeling that we aren’t taking for granted,” Ferguson said.
The Blue Bombers defeated the Hamilton Tiger-Cats 33-25 in a nail-biting overtime finish at Tim Hortons Field last Sunday.
Winnipeg quarterback Zach Collaros was the game’s MVP and was also named the CFL’s most outstanding player days before the 108th Grey Cup.
Andrew Harris and Nic Demski, both Winnipeg natives, received top Canadian player honours.
Demski was named the top Canadian, while Harris captured both outstanding player and Canadian honours in 2019 when he led the Bombers past the Tiger-Cats 33-12 in the CFL title game.
— With files from The Canadian Press