Hundreds of Washington Capitals fans decked out in red visited the Salamander Resort in Middleburg on Monday night to take a photo with the revered Stanley Cup, which the Capitals won in June for the first time in the team’s history.
Three hours after Caps fans started lining up for their chance to see the trophy up close, Resort Owner Sheila Johnson—who is also the vice president of Monumental Sports & Entertainment, which owns the Capitals—presented the Stanley Cup to a sea of red. “The Stanley Cup is now in Middleburg, Virginia,” she said.
Only about 200 of the event’s earliest-arriving visitors were allowed to get close enough for a photo with the trophy, which was escorted to the resort by two Middleburg Police officers. Those visitors were also required to pay an admission fee—a canned good for the Seven Loaves Services food pantry or a toy donation for Toys for Tots.
Lifelong Capitals fan Andrew McGowan said that getting the chance to see the Stanley Cup up close was “surreal.”
“It’s a special feeling to know that the team that I’ve watched my entire life actually was the one that earned the right for this trophy to be here,” he said. “I have photos that can help prove it, but really the feeling that I have right now is going to last with me more than any of those photos.”
The Capitals’ campaign for a repeat championship is well underway and the team has the exact same 17-12 record that it had last season at this time. That puts them at the top of the Metropolitan Division and eighth overall in the National Hockey League.