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OAKLAND — Not once, not twice, but for the third time in four years, the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday will proudly hoist their NBA Championship trophy in a victory lap around downtown Oakland as confetti rains down on large throngs of adoring fans.
What that means for those in attendance — and even people just trying to get to work on Tuesday — is big crowds. Officials estimate 1 million or more fans will head to downtown Oakland for the parade, with a half-million people boarding BART.
On Sunday, some shop owners along the parade route were busy getting ready for the big day. Oaklandish store manager Lamar Brown said they’ve been stocking specially designed T-shirts for the Warriors’ third championship and planned to open early and stay open late.
Down the street at Awaken Cafe, store manager Dustin Kram said they’ll have extra staff on hand, beer specials and the radio station, KNBR, broadcasting live from the cafe in the morning.
And, at De Lauer’s Newsstand, owner Fasil Lemma said they’ll open their bathrooms for public use and will be selling all the new championship T-shirts, plus other gear from last year that he says he still gets call about.
“It’s very exciting,” Lemma said. “We want to serve the community.”
Here’s everything you need to know:
Start time and route: The parade will begin at 11 a.m. at the corner of Broadway and 11th Street, head straight down Broadway until it turns right at 20th Street/Thomas L. Berkeley Way, right again at Harrison Street, left on 19th Street and right again on Lakeside Drive before circling around Lake Merritt to its terminus at 13th and Oak streets. It’s expected to last about two to three hours.
How early should I get there? Although the parade doesn’t start until 11 a.m., spectators are allowed to start grabbing their spots at the front of the sidewalks beginning as early as 6:30 a.m. See below for a list of things you should and shouldn’t bring.
Where can I park? You probably can’t. So, try not to plan on it. There will no parking zones set up for the parade, along with street closures, making even driving around to look for open spots a challenge. Your best bet is to hop on an AC Transit bus or get on BART, which will both be adding extra trains and buses, along with employees to help patrons navigate them. (More on that below.) If you must drive, consider getting there extra early and plan on walking at least a few blocks; the no-parking zones will make street parking limited and the downtown parking lots, many of which are already booked with monthly parkers, may also be full.
Where do I get off on BART? Use the 12th Street and 19th Street stations and expect to rub elbows with your fellow BART riders; the trains will be packed. BART will be running rush-hour service all day using every train at the maximum possible length to cart the expected half-million riders on Tuesday, said BART spokeswoman Alicia Trost. Peak crowds are anticipated between the hours of 9 a.m. and 11 a.m., and 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. But, it won’t be complete mayhem. BART will have extra staff on hand outside stations, as well as on the platforms, to help riders get to where they need to go. But, be mindful of your fellow patrons and consider these tips for riding BART to the big parade:
- Getting to BART: Try to get a lift to the station. Parking at BART often fills up by 7 a.m. on normal weekdays, and the large crowds expected Tuesday are certainly not going to make the situation any easier. And remember, the spaces labeled “permit” are for people who paid in advance for a monthly or daily permit parking space. Don’t steal their spot; you’ll have a good chance of getting a ticket if you do, since BART police will be “all hands on deck,” Trost said.
- Service changes: Several trains that originate at North Concord for the trip to San Francisco will only be going as far as downtown Oakland on Tuesday, Trost said. So, pay extra attention to the station announcements, or speak to the volunteers at the station platforms, to make sure you’re getting on the right train — especially if you’re heading to San Francisco. If you’re coming from the Warm Springs direction, get off at Lake Merritt.
- Buy in advance: BART expects to see long lines at the ticket machines, so plan on purchasing a Clipper card or blue paper ticket in advance. The paper tickets come with a $0.50, per-trip surcharge and the Clipper cards have a $3, one-time activation fee. BART will have tables set up at the Pittsburg/Bay Point, Dublin/Pleasanton and Fremont stations to help expedite ticket sales.
- Don’t be a jerk: Take off your backpack when boarding a crowded train and move to the center of the train car so it’s easier for people to get on and off. And, please don’t jam the doors; it takes the car out of service and will delay everyone’s ride.
Take the bus: AC Transit buses will be rerouted around downtown Oakland for most of the day due to the street closures in the parade area. But, there will be extra bus ambassadors on hand throughout downtown to direct people to the bus they should take.
Can I ride my bike or scooter into downtown? It’s not recommended. Not only will bikes/scooters not be allowed on crowded BART trains, but there will be few places to park them along the parade route, because the sidewalks will be super crowded. Best to park your bike or scooter at a BART station and head on foot from there.
Stay safe: The Oakland Police Department will be on hand to manage crowds. If you don’t want to spend the night in Santa Rita, don’t bring a gun or shoot any celebratory gunshots; people will think you’re shooting at them and that bullet has got to land somewhere, so let’s make sure it’s not on someone’s head. Don’t drink and drive (duh!). And, try to remember to pick up your backpack or anything else that might look suspicious; people will think it’s a bomb.
Lastly, have fun! It’s the third time in four years Oakland — and the entire Bay Area — will celebrate their basketball team. Be kind to fellow fans. It’s all about you on Tuesday.
Your “dos” and “don’ts” for Tuesday’s celebration:
- Wear sunscreen and probably also a hat.
- Deck yourself out in all the blue and gold you can find.
- Bring signs or banners to show your love for your favorite player or the team; just make sure they are smaller than 18″ by 18″ so as not to obstruct others’ views and don’t contain obscene images or language (this is a family event).
- Fly drones.
- Bring a boat to the estuary or Lake Merritt.
- Bring hard-sided containers, such as coolers or Thermoses.
- Bring glass containers.
- Set up lawn furniture, folding chairs, umbrellas or pop-up tents.
- Drink alcohol in public.
- Bring any illegal drugs.
- Bring weapons of any kind, or even a good-sized pole, stick or sharp object that could be used as a weapon.
- Bring laser pointers.
- Set off fireworks.