Canton, Ohio – The NFL and Pro Football Hall of Fame officially kicked off the 2015 Hall of Fame Enshrinement Weekend on Thursday morning with the "First Ball."
Over 2,000 children formed a human chain to hand the football off along the three-mile route from the location in downtown Canton where the NFL was founded to the steps of the Hall of Fame.
Returning Hall of Famers Elvin Bethea, Joe DeLamielleure, Mike Haynes and James Lofton took part along the route, while Steelers Hall of Famer Lynn Swann took the final handoff of the football and placed it in the Hall of Fame.
The Bus arrives in Canton, Lynn Swann takes part in First Ball.
"This started where the game itself started," said David Baker, President of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. "The ball gets passed along the way by the young kids. What we are trying to do at the Pro Football Hall of Fame is pass the values of the game, the commitment, the integrity, the courage, the respect, the excellence that these men and the Gold Jacket stand for."
The event was part of a year-long celebration of Super Bowl 50, and all former NFL players who played in a Super Bowl will receive a gold football this year to place in their high school as a part of the Super Bowl High School program.
"This is exciting because it engages so many kids," said Swann. "The program, the Super Bowl High School program, is phenomenal to have a football representative of their participation in a Super Bowl is outstanding. A lot of drama, a lot of excitement, and a lot of fun.
"I am always proud to be a part of what is happening in the NFL and what is happening at the Hall of Fame."