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Parade for Ravens to include stadium celebration

Baltimore was in parade-planning mode Monday, a day after the Ravens’ Super Bowl victory, and some fans citywide were still wearing purple to celebrate.

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake says the city’s parade for the team will begin at City Hall on Tuesday morning and end with a free celebration at M&T Bank Stadium.

Parade details were still being finalized Monday afternoon. John Ziemann, president of the team’s all-volunteer Baltimore’s Marching Ravens, said he knows his 250-person band will be playing. It’s not clear, though, if they will be leading the parade, as they did after the team’s only other Super Bowl victory in 2001.

Ziemann, 65, said the group plans to play the team’s fight song, which he helped write. They’ll also play The White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army,” the tune of which has become a Ravens anthem.

“I think that’s what the fans want to hear, and that’s what we’re going to give them,” Ziemann said.

Fans, meanwhile, walked around downtown Baltimore on Monday decked out in purple, and even a downtown statue of Cecilius Calvert, one of the founders of Maryland, had a purple piece of fabric around his neck. Oleg Fastovsky, 35, a criminal defense lawyer, was wearing a purple tie and carrying a purple foam finger as he walked past Pratt Street, one of the streets on Tuesday’s parade route. He said earlier Monday a court clerk teased him for not wearing enough purple, since she herself had her hair sprayed the Ravens color.

“Everyone’s been in a very good mood,” said Fastovsky, who plans to catch the parade in between court appearances.

Margie Favaro, 47, a paralegal, said she suggested that her office celebrate purple Monday, and she wore her No. 52 jersey in honor of retiring Ravens middle linebacker Ray Lewis. Favaro and coworker Richelle McConnaughy, 56, who was also wearing a Ravens T-shirt and a string of purple Mardi Gras beads as they ate lunch, said their office near City Hall would likely close for a time Tuesday so employees can see the parade. McConnaughy joked that she’d lock the boss in the closet if the office isn’t formally given the time off.

“I’m going to cheer all of them,” McConnaughy said of the returning players.

Andrew Tracz, who watched his team’s 34-31 win over the San Francisco 49ers Sunday at a bar near the stadium, didn’t have to make threats to get the time off. The athletic trainer said he walked in to work Monday and asked what he had to do to be able to go to the parade with his roommate.

“It’s been a lifelong dream of mine to go to a championship parade. There was no way I was going to miss it,” he said, adding his boss is letting him take the morning off.

The parade will begin at 10:45 a.m. Tuesday at City Hall, where there will be a new purple, black and white congratulatory banner hanging. The parade will head south on Commerce Street and continue to Pratt and Howard streets. Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi says officials are planning for at least 100,000 fans.

The celebration at the stadium, which seats 71,000, begins at 12:30 p.m. The National Weather Service was forecasting temperatures in the low to mid 30s at the around the time of the parade and celebration. There is less than a 20 percent chance of rain or light snow after noon, said meteorologist Kyle Struckmann.

Click here for a map of the parade route.