Georgia football players, students, and fans prepare for National Championship celebration in Athens

Georgia football fans are still riding the high of Monday’s College Football Playoff National Championship win.

Many believe that excitement will carry through the weekend.

Athens will essentially shut down Saturday to officially welcome the Bulldogs back home.

Police will be hard at work keeping the packed crowd safe from crime.

Athens-Clarke County Mayor Kelly Girtz says everyone’s on cloud 9 after the win.

"It feels like the whole town is floating right now. Buildings, people, cars, everything," Mayor Girtz said. "It’s a message of resilience. Working hard sweating and grinding until the very end and hanging on to each other. That’s what keeps a team strong and a community strong."


Officials expect thousands to flood the city in a sea of red and black for the championship parade.

With the crowd comes safety concerns.

Athens-Clarke County Police Department is getting ready to keep everyone safe.

"Enjoy the celebration but celebrate responsibly," Lt. Shaun Barnett said. "With the large crowd we are anticipating we are allocating many of our resources to ensure it’s a safe experience both before and after the celebration."

Barnett also said everyone in and around the Athens area should expect heavy traffic and road closures.

"There will be some lane closures and there will be some personnel assigned to traffic detail to facilitate safe and effective flow of traffic. That will be one way and some roads that aren’t normally one ways," Lt. Barnett said.

Earlier in the week, the city saw students and residents fill the streets with excitement.

"We had a little bit of property damage and things like that Monday evening. So I would just encourage those who are going to go out and celebrate to do so responsibly," Barnett said.

Barnett says there are some who will try to take advantage of the good times.

"Make sure to secure your valuables and particularly your firearms. Lock your vehicle doors and if you are planning on staying late at night. Walk in a group. Use reputable ride share apps and if not walk in heavily populated and well lit areas," Barnett said.

The goal for the weekend is to celebrate, have fun and be safe.

"What we know living here is that there’s a great spirit and solidarity and a willingness to push to the end and it played itself out on the field," Girtz said.

When and where is the parade and ceremony?

University of Georgia officials said the campus will be open to visitors at 7 a.m. Saturday. Gates will open at Sanford Stadium at noon.

There will be a 12:30 p.m. parade down Lumpkin Street followed by a ‘Dawg Walk’ at 1 p.m. The formal ceremony is scheduled to follow.

How to get tickets for the ceremony in Sanford Stadium?

All tickets are complimentary and will be available to season ticket holders and UGA students Tuesday through Thursday through an online request form, athletics officials said.

The remaining tickets will be available to the public on Thursday and Friday.

UGA athletics plans to release details on social media channels and online.