People pack Federal Hill to celebrate Ravens' victory

People pack Federal Hill to celebrate Ravens' victory
People celebrate on S. Charles Street in Federal Hill after the Ravens' victory over the Patriots in the AFC championship. (Baltimore Sun photo by Algerina Perna)

Shortly after it was clear the Ravens were headed for the Super Bowl, the massive crowds that had made it to Federal Hill bars poured into the street to celebrate.

They jumped up and down, cried, screamed in joy. Strangers hugged strangers, and couples kissed in the middle of the throng. A few people crowd-surfed, and one man climbed into a tree.

"Super Bowl, Super Bowl," was the chant.

The crowd, estimated in the hundreds, primarily congregated on South Charles Street, outside Mother's Federal Hill Grille and Mad River Bar & Grille. Many of the people gathered in the street were eager to keep the party going.

"We ran out here, just ran," said Kristen Cambilonga, as she jumped up and down in excitement.

Said her friend Sam Poturalski: "I'm going to rage my face off."

Meanwhile, police, on foot and on horseback, stood by to contain the celebration before attempting to clear the street. The crowd was mostly peaceful, though fans began to disperse after police appeared to fire pepper spray and lined up on horses. A police spokesman later said officers did not use pepper spray.

The Ravens will face the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl on Feb. 3 in New Orleans.

"I absolutely love it," Brad Preisinger said of the win. "It's well deserved, aka destiny."

"I'm on cloud nine," said Preisinger's friend Brian Swiech.

Some of those celebrating Sunday night are pretty sure how the Super Bowl will turn out.

"We feel sorry for San Francisco, but we're going to kick [butt]," Tony Jefferson said.

On E. Cross Street, an icy wind blew and purple-clad celebrants high-fived one another as they passed on the sidewalk.

Donald Singleton and his friend Ellen Jones leaned against a brick wall looking exhausted, elated and satisfied.

Jones, who wore a No. 27 Ray Rice jersey, said he'd done the team proud. "I love him. We short people have to stick together!" she said.

"A Philadelphia Eagle fan told me we're even crazier than they are," Singleton said, gesturing down the street to where the crowd was loudest. "I don't think we're crazy. I think we're just happy we won."