Denver businesses, fans prepare for Super celebration

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DENVER -- The city of Denver is preparing for a super-sized celebration worthy of Super Bowl-clinching champions.

It has been 17 years since fans filled every inch of space at Wynkoop and 17th streets in downtown Denver to celebrate a Super Bowl title, but it will happen again Tuesday.

On Monday, there was just a smattering of orange outside a renovated Union Station.

“I was 8 and 9 years old. I was really little, ” said longtime Broncos fan Ashley Ahlfenger, who attended the two previous Broncos Super Bowl championship parades in 1998 and 1999.

Rewind 17 and 18 years ago, a sea of celebratory Broncos fans filled Lower Downtown like a tsunami of support.

“It was unreal being around that many fans, around that much orange, that much pride, that much excitement. It was a real good time,” Broncos fan Rick Martinez said.

But fans like Ahlfender and Martinez expect an even larger turnout Tuesday.

“Six-hundred-fifty-thousand. Is that what we are expecting down here?” asks Pigtrain Coffee Company employee John-Mark Larter about the size of the crowds that’ll are expected into LoDo.

It means his shop at Union Station is bracing for a boom of business.

“I don’t think there’s any way to prepare for it. ... It wouldn’t be too hard to beat our regular Tuesday sales with hundreds of thousands of people down here,” he said.

It will be all hands on deck. The parade route starts at Union Station and travels along 17th Street to Broadway and ends a little more than a mile later at Civic Center Park.

Along the way, the city of Denver will shows its stripes -- and they’re orange and blue.

Crews marked the city’s spirit along two blocks of the parade route.

“It’s going to be a gorgeous winter day in February. I think there will be national media attention on the Broncos coming home with a world championship,” said Brea Olson with the Downtown Denver Partnership.

And fans who have been there before are now at least 17 years older. But they’re finding the exhilaration of the win is timeless.

“Bring them home. We need to celebrate already,” Ahlfenger said.

“I anticipate the one (Tuesday) will be 10 times as crazy as the one from the '90s,” Martinez said.

Before the parade leaves Union Station at noon and arrives at Civic Center Park about 1 p.m., fans can enjoy music and entertainment at the park starting at 10 a.m.

The rally will last about an hour, ending at 2 p.m.