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Hundreds Of Thousands Turn Out For Heat Celebration Parade

MIAMI (CBSMiami) - Miami Heat fans braved large crowds and hot temperatures just to get a glimpse of the newly-crowned world champions during Monday's parade.

It's estimated half a million people were in attendance for the celebration in Downtown Miami.

Some arrived before the sun was up to secure a good spot.

"We got here about 4 am, " Brenon Martin said. "We want to support the Heat. They did it for us. We can do it for them."

Martin set up camp just outside the AmericanAirlines Arena.

Other revelers, like Heather Stavrinos and her family, decided the start of the route was the place to be.

"Our sons wanted to see it and our daughters," Stavrinos said. "So we got here bright and early so we can be right up front."

Slideshow: Heat Repeat Championship Parade

By 11 am, SW 8th Street, Brickell Avenue and Biscayne Blvd. were all packed with people.

"I think it's great. They have such a great fan base," Kimberly Padron said as she waited for the busloads of players to pass along the Brickell Bridge. "They love their fans and want to party with them!"

"I'm excited to be here," Vanessa Clark told CBS 4's Lauren Pastrana. "This crowd is very excited and we're just here to support them."

Miami wasn't the only city represented.

Fans from Broward made the trip. Grace Hackshaw came from Palm Beach County to cheer for her favorite team.

"It feels good," Hackshaw said. "This is my third time."

It was also Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade's third go-around.

"This is our 3rd time down this path. This is the homestretch. This is amazing," Wade told CBS 4 News.

He even gave us some parade play-by-play from the top of his double-decker bus.

"We just entered Biscayne Blvd," Wade said while raising his arm to excite the fans. "This is the street right here Pat Riley had visions of."

Heat President Pat Riley and team owner Micky Arison followed Burnie, the mascot, to lead the parade.

Parts of downtown Miami basically came to a standstill Monday.

Construction crews stopped working and even cops on patrol could not resist snapping a few pictures.

Fans lined the sidewalks, parking garages and apartment balconies along the route.

Some offices closed for the day.

"My whole office came out," Fernando Perez said. He works at Mary Brickell Village. "I gave them a little bit of time off to see the parade."

For those who could not make it to the celebration, fans are pretty confident they'll have another chance to catch Heat fever in the future.

"Oh please, we got three or four more wins," Vanessa Clark said. "We're not done! We are not done!"

The large crowd left behind a big mess.

Clean-up crews were busy picking up the trash by 5 o'clock in order to be able to re-open Biscayne Blvd.


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