PLANS for the first Hibs Scottish Cup victory parade since 1902 have been finalised – all the Easter Road side have to do now is win.
If successful in ending their Scottish Cup hoodoo against Celtic at Hampden next weekend, supporters will have the chance to turn out and cheer their heroes on Monday evening.
Proceedings will kick-off with a civic reception in the City Chambers at 7pm, before Pat Fenlon’s side boards an open- topped bus and begins a route down the High Street and North Bridge.
At Waterloo Place the procession will turn on to Regent Road, down Easter Road, and right on to Albion Road before disembarking at the stadium.
Council officials estimate the journey would take approximately 45 minutes to complete. It is understood that discussions between the multi-agency team comprising club officials, police and council officers concluded that a route down Leith Walk to the Foot of the Walk and then doubling back up Easter Road to the stadium presented too many safety risks.
Hibs Supporters Club chair Mike Riley said: “I don’t think you’ll find any Hibs fans too fussed about not going down Leith Walk – that’s a problem fans will be only too happy to put up with as it will mean we’ve won it.
“If we are to win it, it would have been nice to cleebrate back in Edinburgh that night but I suppose this way we’ll get to celebrate twice.”
Supporters have been urged to choose between either attending the 20,000-capacity stadium for free or lining the route, as the Easter Road turnstiles will shut at 7.30pm to avoid the potential for any crush from fans clamouring to get in.
Barriers will be erected at the top of Easter Road stopping supporters from following the bus along the route.
Lord Provost Donald Wilson said: “Our officers are working closely with the club, the police and others to ensure that the victory parade and other celebrations are befitting of what would be a truly magnificent triumph for Hibs.”
Club bosses are currently putting the rubber-stamp to their own victory plans and an official announcement is expected next week. The Easter Road side have already announced a sell-out of hospitality tickets for the match and officials have been forced to close a general sale of tickets due to “phenomenal demand”.
Where to watch
IF Hibs win, the festivities begin with a civic reception hosted by the Lord Provost in the City Chambers at 7pm.
At 7.15pm Pat Fenlon and his team plus backroom staff will emerge on to the High Street and board an open-top bus. Fans on North Bridge will greet the bus at 7.20pm before it makes its way to Waterloo Place, where it will turn on to Regent Road.
The procession is expected to reach Easter Road at 7.30pm and will turn right on to Albion Road, arriving at the stadium at 7.45pm.