Cole Harbour’s Nathan MacKinnon paraded the Stanley Cup through downtown Halifax on Saturday and past the arena where he skated with the 2013 Memorial Cup-champion Halifax Mooseheads.
Families with their kids, and supporters wearing Colorado Avalanche jerseys, erupted into cheers as MacKinnon made his way past crowds of thousands, Stanley Cup in hand.
Narcy Rumbolt brought his two kids to watch the parade. Rumbolt has been an Avalanche fan since 1995 when he lived there.
“It’s kind of surreal, really. I mean, you watch the games all on TV and then you’re actually going to see the [Stanley] Cup like 10 feet from you — and your current favourite player,” said Rumbolt.
Maureen and Ed O’Neill said MacKinnon grew up in their neighbourhood in Cole Harbour. Maureen said she was so excited for the parade, she couldn’t sleep.
“We’re huge hockey fans, sports fans. Anything to represent Nova Scotia and Canada,” Maureen said.
Perhaps the most creative supporter was Glen Nowell, who transformed a scooter into a Zamboni, complete with dry ice in the back. The miniature Stanley Cup is even a popcorn machine that he uses when watching hockey games.
Nowell said he hasn’t seen the real Stanley Cup since he visited the Hockey Hall of Fame as a kid.
“So to see it live in person is going to be a treat,” Nowell said before the parade began. “And we’ve got to celebrate Nathan MacKinnon, what he’s accomplished. It’s terrific, terrific to bring the [Stanley] Cup home to Canada.”
The procession ended at the Grand Parade where Mayor Mike Savage declared Aug. 20 Nathan MacKinnon Day in HRM.
MacKinnon then took the stage for a question-and-answer session. He thanked his friends, family and community for their continued support.
“Being back at the house we grew up in was pretty cool, it comes full circle — the memories, the hard work we all put in all those years, the dents I put in my neighbours’ houses with pucks,” MacKinnon said.
He said he remembers being at Sidney Crosby’s Stanley Cup parade as a boy. Now, he said he hopes someone from the crowd will be in his shoes one day.
“To come home and share the [Stanley] Cup with all you guys is a dream of mine and definitely a bucket-list moment for sure,” said the 26-year-old MacKinnon.
“This is very special. You know, I’ve gotten a lot of love my whole career, win or lose, so I definitely really appreciate all of you coming out. It means a lot to me.”