More than 50,000 people are expected to attend a parade on Saturday at Clemson as part of a continued celebration of the school’s College Football Playoff National Championship win.
The Clemson University Police Department is working with multiple agencies, including the Clemson Police Department, the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office and the South Carolina Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol, to keep traffic moving and crowds under control, said Clemson Police Chief Jimmy Dixon.
“We’re not just going to let them run rampant. We’re planning for 50,000 to 60,000 people. It’s hard to tell how many, though,” Dixon said. “We’re basing that off what we had downtown the night of the game and on Tuesday for the homecoming. We’re sort of gearing our estimated number off of those two events.”
The parade will begin at the intersection of College Avenue and Keith Street at 9 a.m. and will follow S.C. 93 toward the athletics district before turning down Centennial Boulevard and ending at Gate 5 at Memorial Stadium. Inside the stadium, coach Dabo Swinney and players Deshaun Watson and Ben Boulware, among others, will be speaking.
Death Valley’s gates will open at 7 a.m. and fans are encouraged to get there early and find seating, said Joe Galbraith, Clemson’s assistant athletic director. The parade will be shown via video screen within the stadium if people choose to watch it from there, and there will be a live stream of all the events available online as well, he said.
There will be a substantial security and police presence throughout both the parade and the celebration within the stadium, Galbraith said. A “clear-bag policy” will be in effect, meaning bags brought into the stadium must be no larger than a purse and transparent. People are encouraged to leave their belongings in their cars.
There will be no restrooms available along the parade route, though attendees will be able to use the bathrooms within Memorial Stadium, Dixon said.
Parking is another issue visitors will face on Saturday.
“There is no type of designated parking for this type of event,” Dixon said. “The best advice is for people to come find a place to park and get to the stadium early.”
The main thing to remember, Dixon said, is that the event had been set up with little time to spare and will not be without some kinks.