DENVER -- They arrived during the night and began multiplying by the minute.
As the sun rose over Denver, a dark downtown was overcome with color as a spectacular sea of orange began to fill the city’s streets stretching as far as the eye could see.
“Oh my goodness, you don’t even know. It was like receiving my degree back in December, same type of feeling. Oh my goodness,” said one Broncos fan trying to sum up the experience of being a part of the crowd.
All of the fans were there for their heroes: Manning and Miller, Demarcus and Daniels, football players who are now world champs back home in Broncos Country to celebrate with their fans.
“I’ve waited my entire adult life for this moment,” said one fan.
Some watched from the upper stories of downtown buildings. Others from the streets below. Colorado’s Capitol even paused to watch the festivities as a drab Senate floor was lit up in shades of Broncos orange and blue.
“It’s phenomenal to see how many people are down here today,” said State Rep. Tim Dore of Parker.
The sight from the skies was even more spectacular to behold, the crowd estimated at more than 1 million people by the city and the Denver Police Department.
The noise was deafening, especially when the players took the stage at the fan rally.
Von Miller was greeted by chants of “MVP, MVP,” as he took the stage, telling the crowd he believed back-to-back Super Bowl wins were possible.
Captains Demarcus Ware and Peyton Manning took the stage next. Manning credited teammates for what the team was able to accomplish.
“We made plays at critical times. All 53 guys on the roster did what they needed to and that helped us win a championship,” he told the crowd.
Ware discussed the significance of the Super Bowl win.
"This symbolizes what a team really means, winning a Super Bowl, and I'll tell you what, when we go in the stadium and it's packed, there's no place like Broncos Country,” he said.
“This is awesome right here. This is amazing,” while gazing out over the crowd.
There were also cheers for the first man to reach a Super Bowl as a player and coach for the same team.
"I'm so proud to be a part of this organization, but even more so of the greatest fans there are,” coach Gary Kubiak said.
Broncos fans will also never forget the proclamation issued at the rally by Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and Gov. John Hickenlooper, declaring Feb. 9, 2016 “Pat Bowlen Day.”
It was a fairy-tale ending to a fairy-tale season, a day young kids will one day tell their grandchildren about. The day Denver won it all and the city lit up in Broncos orange and blue.