Cue The Duck Boats: Thousands Gather In Boston For Patriots Parade

For the fourth time since 2002, the New England Patriots marched through the streets of Boston—this time, piled with snow. The parade was in celebration of a thrilling Super Bowl victory over the Seattle Seahawks last weekend.

Thousands of cheering fans gathered in the city streets on Wednesday afternoon to celebrate the Patriots’ last-minute 28-24 win over the Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX, dredging through the city’s snow conditions.

Grandparents, babies, foreign tourists, college students, and police officers were decked out in red, white, and blue Patriots attire as Bostonians welcomed their team home from Glendale, Ariz. The one and a half mile journey began at 11 a.m. at the Prudential Plaza, from which the players paraded east down Boylston St., then left onto Tremont St. towards City Hall. The event marked the ninth time in the past 15 years a Boston professional sports team held a parade after winning a national championship title.

Children, and even some adults, ignored police warnings and climbed atop 6-foot snow piles to get a view of their favorite players during this powerful moment in Patriots history. There was plenty of excitement and anticipation in the air as fans stood and awaited the arrival of their heroes. Groups of young fans chanted “Let’s go Pats!” and “Brady, you’re my hero!” long before the parade had even begun.

The parade took about 20 minutes to pass, and had many uniquely Patriot-like qualities. Trucks blared music and showered the sidewalks with red, white, and blue confetti as the introduction of the parade, the End Zone Militia, fired their muskets as they typically do upon the Patriots scoring during home games at Gillette Stadium. The colonial soldiers were followed by the Patriots cheerleaders who waved to fans and danced in an open-bed truck to pop music.

The event had originally been scheduled for Tuesday, but Mayor Martin J. Walsh, WCAS ‘09, postponed the parade due to the poor weather on Monday that blanketed the streets of Boston in approximately one additional foot of snow—a state which have deterred many fans on Tuesday.

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The city had not stopped celebrating the victory since Sunday night, despite an 18-inch snowfall that covered Massachusetts on Monday morning. Vendors were selling Patriots gear of all types to those attending the parade. In addition, various signs were being given away by Bostonians that were both celebratory and mocking. Popular posters read “Job Done!” and “Feeling Deflated Seattle?,” alluding to the “Deflategate” scandal that shook the Patriots’ reputation after their playoff game on Jan. 18.

During the course of the parade across the city, 25 World War II-style Duck Boats each carried three or four players along with their families as they took pictures of their fans, who were just as eager to capture the moment. The first Duck Boat received some of the loudest of cheers among fans, as Malcolm Butler, the little-known, rookie player whose interception sealed the win for the Patriots was on board. Every Duck Boat had at least one player throwing gray T-shirts into the crowd saying, “It was the Butler” across the front. Other Duck Boats carried the likes of Robert Kraft—owner of the Patriots—and tight end Rob Gronkowski, who eccentrically wore a yellow beanie to the parade.

A green-colored Duck Boat holding Super Bowl XLIX’s Most Valuable Player Tom Brady was the most popular sight at the parade. For the fourth time in his career, Brady hit the streets of Boston to celebrate a win with his fans. Brady hoisted the silver Vince Lombardi trophy in one hand and held his five year-old son in the other. Crowds of children, chased by their parents, ran alongside the green Duck Boat from the sidewalk to follow Brady, keeping up with the Duck as long as they could.

Featured Images by William Mennicken / Heights Staff