CANTON, Ohio — Andre Reed has become a beloved figure in the Lehigh Valley, particularly in Allentown.

But what became clear Saturday morning as Reed's convertible winded its way down the 21/2 mile route of the TimkenSteel Grand Parade on the streets of Canton is that Reed is beloved by so many everywhere.

"We love you, Andre!" shouted one woman.

"You made the Bills!" yelled another man in Buffalo attire.

One lady, who said she is a Liberty High School graduate, made it past security long enough to pose for a selfie with Reed.

Reed, seated alongside his former Bills coach and Saturday night's Hall of Fame presenter Marv Levy, waved and pointed to many admiring fans along the route of the parade that served as a prelude to the Hall of Fame Enshrinement ceremony set for nearby Fawcett Stadium.

"How you guys doing today?" Reed shouted at one point.

It was clear he was having the time of his life.

So were members of the Dieruff ROTC program and Husky marching band who were part of Reed's unit — one of 109 — in the parade that attracted thousands of people to downtown Canton.

The other members of this year's enshrinement class — Ray Guy, Claude Humphrey, Derrick Brooks, Walter Jones, Michael Strahan and Aeneas Williams — were all respectfully treated.

But Reed didn't have to take a back seat to anyone when it came to adulation.

Canton's proximity to Buffalo, where Reed played all but one season in his storied 16-year career, has enabled many fans to get here to see the former Dieruff and Kutztown University standout join other Bills greats such as Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas and Bruce Smith in receiving the biggest honor in professional football.

"Let's go, Buffalo!" Reed's stepfather John Ebling shouted as he high-fived many of the Bills fans along the route.

The 76-year-old Ebling walked almost the entire way alongside the Reed entourage, which featured his wife and Andre's mother, Joyce, who was seated in a convertible with Andre's children — 20-year-old daughter Auburn and 18-year-old son Andre.

Ebling, wearing a special "Once a Husky, Always a Husky" commemorative shirt that had Reed's No. 11 from his Dieruff career on its back, said at one point: "I hope I don't have a coronary."

He quickly added that he was enjoying one of the best days of his life.

Then again, so was everyone, especially the kids from Dieruff.

"That was an amazing experience," Huskies quarterback Chris Marks said after he held the "Over the Middle — Into the Hall" banner along with teammate Luis Acevedo that led the Reed/Dieruff contingent.

"This is never going to happen again. … It's a once-in-a-lifetime day," Acevedo said. "I feel an extreme sense of pride to be a Dieruff student today. This banner was a little heavy, but it still felt great because we got to lead off the Dieruff part of the parade and show our pride. We wanted to put Allentown on the map."

Walking along the route, you could hear many people who didn't know where Reed was from saying, "Oh, Allentown, Pennsylvania."