STORRS, Conn. (WTNH) — The state celebrated the University of Connecticut’s men’s basketball team Saturday with a grand parade and rally.

The Huskies won their fifth NCAA national title after a 76-59 victory over San Diego State University.

A victory parade stepped off at 11:30 a.m. in downtown Hartford.

Parade route

The parade started at the capitol building at the intersection of Trinity Street and Elm Street. It then went north through the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch before going east onto Jewell Street, north onto Trumbull Street, and then ending at the intersection with Asylum Street.

A map of the parade route for UConn’s celebration,

A busy day in Hartford

City officials said drivers should expect traffic delays Saturday. The Hartford Yard Goats play the Bowie Baysox in an Opening Weekend game at Dunkin’ Park. Gates open at 11:30 a.m., and the first pitch is at 1:10 p.m.

Hartford police said the parade would be an “all hands on deck” event with 100 officers on duty.

“It will be a full detail – the traffic division will be facilitating the parade,” Hartford police Lt. Aaron Boisvert said. “There will be some road closures. I would suggest coming a little bit early – you’re not going to be able to travel on Jewel Street or Trumbull Street.”

Boisvert wants pedestrians to be mindful of drivers, use crosswalks, and put the crossing signal on for everyone to get home safely.

Attendees for the parade or game should arrive early.

Road closures

  • Rally Area
    • Trumbull Street to Church Street
      • From 9 a.m. to approximately 3 p.m.
      • Hartford 21 residents can use the garage until 11 a.m.
      • Illegally parked vehicles will be towed.
  • Capitol Area
    • Trinity Street from Capitol/Elm
    • Elm Street from Pulaski Circle
      • From approximately 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Parade Route
    • State Capitol to Trinity Street, north on Trinity Street, east on Jewell Street, north on Trumbull Street to the front of the XL Center
      • Roads adjacent to the parade route will have closures.
      • From approximately 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
      • Illegally parked vehicles will be towed.

A potential boost for local businesses

Officials hope that the parade will draw people to businesses downtown.

“This will be a wonderful opportunity to check out some of the great retail shops, try some of the amazing restaurants,” Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz (D-Conn.) said.

The parade route is relatively short. However, businesses, along the way, hope to take advantage of it.

“We could use the business in downtown Hartford,” Chris Roya, the owner of Professional Barber Shop, said. “Come down, check out the parade, and come in and get a nice haircut and a hot shave.”

Parade and rally organizers rely on private donations and business sponsorships to pay for the event. No state or city funding is being used.

The Hartford Business Improvement District is producing it in collaboration with the state and city of Hartford.

Businesses can sponsor the event by contacting the Hartford Business Improvement District.

“We can’t wait to welcome the national Cchampions to Hartford and to welcome all of Husky Nation and folks from all around Connecticut to come and celebrate this Saturday,” Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin said.

Welcome home rally

The team returned to a welcome home rally Tuesday at the Gampel Pavilion.

Vandalism on campus

The campus was rocked with unrest late Monday night and into early Tuesday morning as students climbed buildings, lit fires, smashed out windows and dismantled light posts.

By midday Tuesday, 15 people had been arrested and charged with various crimes, and 16 people had been hospitalized.

A visit to the White House

The Huskies may have another trip on the horizon after President Joe Biden said he looked forward to hosting the team at the White House.