More than 10,000 people are thought to have crammed into Sheffield city centre to pay tribute to Team GB's Olympic hero Jessica Ennis.
Ennis, who grew up and trained in Sheffield, took gold in the heptathlon earlier this month.
Addressing her home crowd, the 26-year-old athlete said: "This is my home and this is the place that I love."
Many at the front of the barriers had waited for more than four hours for Ennis to appear on the stage outside the City Hall.
When she stepped out and waved to the crowd, she was greeted by deafening cheers and a sea of Union flags.
She told Sky News: "It's been incredible to step out into the city centre and see all these people."
She thanked all her supporters for "lots of amazing" messages, tweets and cards and admitted that her gold medal had not left her side very often since she won it.
The heptathlete added that becoming an Olympic champion was "definitely going to be one of the greatest moments within my career" but given her age and recent world record in the 100m hurdles event, there was still "a little bit more to achieve".
She unveiled a new plaque to commemorate her London 2012 success on Sheffield's Hollywood-style Walk of Fame on her return to her home city.
It sits alongside those of other Sheffield stars including actor Sean Bean, singer Joe Cocker and athlete-turned Games organiser Sebastian Coe.
As she uncovered the tribute, council leader Julie Dore said: "You have truly helped to change this great city of ours from a city of steel to a city of gold."
The crowds turned out wearing gold while nearby trees and lamp posts were draped in the same colour.
Sheffield Lord Mayor Councillor John Campbell officially welcomed the Olympian home, calling her "a true superstar".
He added: "She has done her home city proud. She is such a great ambassador for Sheffield and we are so proud of her.
"Jessica has stayed strong to her Sheffield roots by being educated here through school and university, training here and seeing Sheffield as her home."
Earlier in the day an area next to the city hall called Balm Green was transformed into a mini athletics track where young people could try out some of the heptathlon events.
Sheffield artists Sarah Mac and The Hot Soles also took to the stage, and a celebration of Jessica's journey to Olympic success was shown on big screens.