Thousands of fans packed the snow-packed streets of Boston to celebrate the New England Patriots on Wednesday afternoon.
The duck-boat parade traveled two miles slowly from the Prudential Center at the city’s second-tallest building to Government Center near Faneuil Hall. Three feet of snow compressed on curbs and sidewalks, and a ban on spectators climbing the snowbanks, complicated the viewing experience. The mercury nearly reached freezing, which reflects something of the heat wave experienced by the region on Wednesday.
Tuesday’s snowfall, which dropped 16 inches on Boston, delayed the celebration a day. Because players had scheduled trips back home and away from vacation, the city needed to hold the parade on Wednesday despite less-than-ideal conditions. The city killed a scheduled static rally at the end of the route because of the weather.
The duck boats featured a dancing Rob Gronkowski catching a can of beer thrown from the crowd, a smiling Bill Belichick, and a t-shirted Julian Edelman (looking warm nonetheless) aping vintage Hulk Hogan in cupping his hand to his ear to call for more noise. The most lasting image from the procession came from a non-player, Tom Brady’s son, kissing the Lombardi Trophy. The youngster appeared asleep on the quarterback’s shoulder at parade’s end.
Sunday’s Super Bowl victory marked the fourth for quarterback Tom Brady and head coach Bill Belichick. Every Patriots player, save Brady and Vince Wilfork, did not experience the earlier run of championships that concluded a decade ago.
Boston estimated a crowd of 750,000 people–more than 100,000 more people than live in the city.