It's been 20 years since Lawrence has had the opportunity to celebrate a national championship basketball team. As Kansas University officials realized soon after Monday's victory, one of this community's most treasured ways of celebrating such an event is with a parade in downtown Lawrence.
Congratulations to KU officials for quickly agreeing to a victory parade down Massachusetts Street at 3 p.m. Sunday. This will be a great opportunity for school children and working folks, who were unable to attend Tuesday's celebration in KU's Memorial Stadium, to honor the national champion Jayhawks.
Sunday's event properly is intended to be far different than the alcohol-fueled celebration that followed Monday night's Jayhawk game. The parade should be an opportunity for families, children, people of all ages, to come downtown and express their affection for their favorite basketball team.
It's important that the celebration be fun, but also safe and orderly. That means people should leave their alcoholic beverages and glass containers of any kind at home. It means that as much as they may want to hug or touch members of the Jayhawk team, they should stay streetside and refrain from crowding in on the parade vehicles. The parade is likely to draw many visitors from outside Lawrence, and we want to create a welcoming atmosphere by showing them how to celebrate with class.
The best possible honor for the Jayhawk players and others associated with the team will be a large, cheering crowd that is both enthusiastic and well behaved. After the parade, KU officials have invited the public to Allen Fieldhouse for a public awards ceremony for the team. Doors will open at 5 p.m. for the 6 p.m. ceremony.
So put on your championship T-shirt, pick up your red and blue pompoms and bring your Jayhawk spirit down to Massachusetts Street Sunday afternoon. We have the best college basketball team in the country, and it's time to show them some love.