Dark Horse patrons cheered and hugged each other, and chanted Ravens' fans' signature rendition of "Seven Nation Army" as the Ravens cruised to a 34-31 victory in Super Bowl XLVII over the San Francisco 49ers.
"I've never watched football before. . . . My friend invited me to come and now I'm a football fan!" said Bella Ianniello of Havre de Gracek as the entire place erupted.
Horns were honking on Main Street in Bel Air and fireworks were going off as Ravens fans around Harford County celebrated Baltimore's victory.
Just minutes before, shouts of "let's go Ravens" resounded through Dark Horse Saloon as anxious Ravens fans watched the clock count down the final minutes of the fourth quarter Sunday night.
The Ravens' sizable lead had been cut to two points after the 49ers scored three unanswered touchdowns following a nearly 35-minute game delay after the power went out at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
"The minute the lights went out we lost it," a distraught Dina Lombardi-Cavallaro of Forest Hill said, referring to the Ravens' first-half momentum as she watched the fourth-quarter action unfold.
She cried out, "Really?" as 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick ran the ball in for the 49ers third TD.
Krissy King of Bel Air paced nervously between two TVs in the bar.
She remembered watching Baltimore Colts games with her late father while growing up, and said she has tried to pass that love of football on to her children.
She and her husband, Dave, had made a model of the Vince Lombardi championship trophy which was displayed on their table at Dark Horse.
King recalled a season filled with injuries and doubt about the Ravens' chances.
"We fought, and it's just about sticking together and following through and being a team, and being with family and friends," she said. "Its just everything I grew up on."
The score was 34-29 at the two-minute warning and the Ravens defense held the 49ers to a field goal inside the last two minutes before running out the clock to win the game, 34-31.
The power outage at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome might have brought the football game to a halt, but the celebrations continued at Dark Horse as a steady snow fell outside.
"It happens," Mike Wolcott of Bel Air said. "Unfortunately, it's the Super Bowl. "You deal with it, you move on you wait for the power to come back on."
The power outage found the Ravens up 28-6 in the third quarter, having scored four touchdowns while holding the 49ers to two field goals.
"They look like the Ravens of the first Super Bowl that they were in," Joe Cavallaro of Forest Hill said. "They seem like they're on a mission."
Purple-clad fans at Bel Air nightspots had cheered their hearts out as the Ravens quickly took the lead in the first half of the Super Bowl.
"Phenomenal," Carl Johnson of Fawn Grove, Pa., a Dark Horse Saloon patron, replied after the Ravens scored their first touchdown several minutes into the first quarter. "Looks like they're going to do it!"
The crowd in the rooftop deck of the Main Street Tower was equally ecstatic, slapping high fives, hugging each other and bumping chests as the Ravens scored twice in the second quarter to make the score 21-3.
Carlos Williams of Abingdon was dressed head to toe in football gear, including his helmet from his own playing days at North East High School in Cecil County.
He watched the game with the same group of friends he has watched every other Ravens game with at the Tower this season.
"Every game we've been here, so it's just keeping the tradition going," he said.
Ravens fans had a lot to cheer about as their team was winning, 21-6, going into halftime. Besides three touchdowns, the Ravens had an interception by Ed Reed and watched the defense hold the 49ers to just two field goals.
Before the game
Some years lifelong Bel Air resident Caleb White begins watching the Super Bowl at Looney's Pub downtown and then heads to the Tower Restaurant.
This year, he's starting at Tower.
"Win or lose I'm proud of them," he said of the Baltimore Ravens, who will battle with the San Francisco 49ers for the Vince Lombardi Trophy tonight.
Traffic was beginning to pick up at the Main Street nightspots by early evening. Some Ravens fans were waiting a little later than the previous few weeks to head out for the big game. Parking lots still had free spaces early afternoon, but by 4:30 or so, they were filling up.
Patrons were trickling into the nearby Dark Horse Saloon, where manager Pam Talley prepared for a large crowd, including setting up the $25 all-you-can-eat buffet.
"We're booked solid," she said. "Every seat is going to be filled up tonight."
Bel Air resident James Kavlich sat with a beer as he watched pre-game coverage on one of Dark Horse's large flat-screen TVs.
He predicted the Ravens would win 31-28 in overtime.
"We're going to win it on a 56-yard Jason Tucker field goal," he said.