In true Florida fashion, boat parade planned to celebrate Lightning Stanley Cup victory

Lightning fans are ready to celebrate and the team wants everyone in on the action.

As part of a full schedule of events, the team is hitting the water Wednesday to show off Lord Stanley.

The Lightning players will be in boats on the Hillsborough River, leaving from Marjorie Park on Davis Islands at 5 p.m. Fan are invited to watch from a boat or from shore, along the Riverwalk.

Boats have to be near the shore and are not allowed to follow the Bolts' flotilla. 


Bubbly in the bubble: Photos from the Tampa Bay Lightning's Stanley Cup celebration

Fans could not be in the stands for the NHL playoffs or the Lightning’s big Stanley Cup Final series against the Dallas Stars. But they could feel the Bolts’ excitement from all the way back in Tampa Bay.  Here’s a look at the cup-clinching game, as seen by the photographers in the Edmonton bubble.

"This is something new. The Lightning are building it as they go," said Tampa chief of police, Brian Dugan. "We need everybody to be patient, understanding, remember, it's going to be a good time, a good family event."

After the hour-long trip, the Lightning will dock at Rick's on the River restaurant. Then they'll drive 2.5 miles to Raymond James Stadium to celebrate with the fans.

During a press conference Tuesday, Chief Dugan said some of the celebrations in Thunder Alley Monday night got a bit out of hand -- both in terms of behavior and social distancing. 

He asked fans to be careful Wednesday, to wear masks, and be responsible.

"When I looked at the crowds, it was concerning," said Dugan. "A very few people got out of control, when you look at the thousands of people there. But when you put it in perspective, you look at COVID, dealing with it for six, seven months, quite frankly some of us, myself included, feel like we are caged animals. This was an opportunity to enjoy life and it's providing a positive distraction from reality."

The event at RayJ is free, but requires a ticket. Those became available through Ticketmaster at 1 p.m. Tuesday and were immediately claimed.

If you can't join in-person, the live coverage will air on FOX Sports Sun.


Here's where you can find Stanley Cup gear to support the Lightning's win

If you're searching for Stanley Cup champions merchandise, there are some options for Lightning fans to get the gear.