ShannenB (shannenb) wrote,

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The Phelpstival--photos and fun

I watched some of it on the Baltimore TV stations's website feed. It was very cute, and surprisingly relaxed. The parade was really funny--there were no barricades, so people were walking right up to the car Michael was riding in, and he was telling everyone to just walk along with the parade and meet up with them at the courthouse where he was gonna get the key to the county. It was funny to watch--in a normal parade, the parade passes and people are still standing along the street after. Not this one--as soon as Michael's car passed, people just started following it, so it was like all the people watching were in the parade too!

The day actually started off at Michael's old high school, where they renamed the street to Michael Phelps Way.

They then moved on to the parade.:

Michael started tossing T-shirts with his logo out into the crowd:

And at one point, he took off his own shirt and tossed it into the crowd. Of course, Mom was there with another one in a hurry! :D

Then the ceremony moved to the little park between the city's courthouses. Several people got up and gave speeches about Michael and presented him with different things--the Congressmen from the district gave him a flag that had flown over the capital building, and things like that. Michael seemed especially happy when one speaker singled out the accomplishments of his mother. It was cute, because he was trying to clap really hard and also seemed like he wanted to hug his mom at the same time, so he kept clapping and just kinda leaned over, touched his head to hers and let her hug him:

The feed kept cutting out (because at that point, the actual TV broadcast went off and you had to watch it on the website, so more people were logging on) but Debbie got up and gave a speech about Michael, and brought his sisters and father up on stage. Oh, and she had gold pins of Michael's logo, and she made Michael pin them on all the people who gave speeches and gave him things, which was very cute and Mom-like! :D He was laughing about it the whole time.

Then Michael gave a speech. The feed totally cut out, so I only heard what he opened with, which was thanking The Boys and Girls Club of America, Pathfinders for Autism, and the kids at Riverside Elementary for letting him do charity work for them, because it had provided him with so many moments over the years that were priceless to him. Awww!

The the commissioner presented Michael with a key to the county--the first person to ever get one!

Then, they actually spent the rest of the afternoon having a festival--there were food vendors and music and Michael stayed and signed autographs until it was all over:

It seemed like a really fun day, and Michael seemed really happy and relaxed. And they didn't forget to mark the remembrance of 9/11, as most everyone made mention of it in their speeches and prayers, which was really nice.

Too bad Michael only gets to spend one more night in his bed, then he's got to get up early and leave for Penn State tomorrow. Seeing him at home really is nice--he just oozes pure joy.

If you have Quicktime, you can watch video of Michael at the street renaming (and doing a totally adorable Q&A) here(if you're not registered with the Baltimore Sun, you have to register, but it's free and they don't send you any spam.) Watch it if for no other reason than his answer to the last question. He *gets* what it means to be a role model, and he welcomes that. He really personally takes pride in those kids at Riverview who are reading and improving their grades because he comes to their school and helps them. The fact that he gets that at just blows me away.

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