WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) — Victory parades in 2020 are similar to celebrations in 2023 for the Kansas City Chiefs. Like three years ago, crowds gathered downtown for the Super Bowl championship parade. But the world has changed significantly in that three-year span. Early February 2020 was weeks away from the onset of a pandemic that severely limited large gatherings for more than a year.
Prior to last Sunday, the Chiefs won their last Super Bowl on February 2, 2020. That championship save in Kansas City happened three days later on February 5. Just over a month later, on March 11, the World Health Organization declared a pandemic. Kansas Governor Laura Kelly has issued an executive order to stay at home, effective March 30. Governors across the country have issued similar orders.
Chiefs fans who were in Kansas City in February 2020 to celebrate the 2019 Super Bowl season said seeing pictures of Wednesday’s celebration brings back fond memories from three years ago. In 2020, Jacque Bretton traveled from Phillipsburg to celebrate Kansas City’s first Super Bowl championship in half a century. He didn’t make the trip this year.
“It was a bit cold but you can only see the atmosphere. It’s a sea of red, obviously, but it was very exciting,” she said of the Feb. 2, 2020 celebration.
Bretton, like many, has seen parts of his life changed by world-changing events since 2020. He now works from home. Virtual work was not that common in early 2020.
“Working from home, has its challenges because I’m kind of a social person and an out-of-the-box kind of person,” she said.
Chiefs fan Luis Gutierrez, a Hutchinson tattoo artist, also reflected on being with his family in Kansas City to celebrate the Chiefs in February 2020. He couldn’t be there Wednesday due to his work schedule. Looking back, like many, Gutierrez said he never imagined how COVID-19 would change the world.
“Then the pandemic and, of course, the way people now view games. It’s a little different. We’re a little more cautious about how you do things and safety for everyone,” she said.
Bretton and Gutierrez said one constant is how winning brings people together. They hope to see their team win another Super Bowl so they can participate in another parade. The team’s goal is to return next year as repeat champions.