Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby touched down in a military helicopter in Halifax on Friday morning, lifting the Stanley Cup above his head as hundreds of fans cheered.

The NHL star is celebrating his 22nd birthday by bringing the trophy back to Cole Harbour, N.S., the suburban Halifax community where he learned to skate.

Crosby and the cup, which was reportedly visible from the ground as the Sea King helicopter approached the wharf, landed on the deck of the HCMS Preserver. Hundreds of members of the military and their families were on hand for the landing, as was Defence Minister Peter MacKay. Many wore Penguins jerseys.

"For him to bring it here to Cole Harbour and raise the awareness of our community here - we're very thankful for him for doing that," Lorelei Nicoll, a city councilor from Cole Harbour, told CTV's Canada AM.

She said Crosby's success has made her community known internationally, and that it has become difficult to book ice time in the town, largely due to Crosby's success.

"There are more and more children enrolling in hockey because they all have an aspiration to be like Sidney, to gain the same success as he has," Nicoll said.

A parade has been scheduled for 2:30 p.m. local time, which Crosby will lead. Thousands of people are expected to attend. Montreal musician Sam Roberts is also scheduled to play a concert later in the day.

Halifax Mayor Peter J. Kelly has said he will declare the day "Sidney Crosby Day."

In an interview with CTV News Channel, Kelly called the event "just like Christmas" for the kids who have gathered to see Crosby, and praised his leadership skills.

Fans in Cole Harbour will have a chance to meet the star. They will also be able to see some commemorative items from earlier in his young career, including a famous washing machine he used for target practice as a child.

The Penguins beat the Detroit Red Wings in seven games to win the NHL championship, making Crosby the youngest team captain in NHL history to hoist the Stanley Cup.

He has been a hometown hero since playing in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League as a teenager. Years before he was drafted to the NHL, Wayne Gretzky predicted that Crosby would become a hockey legend.