It looks like Boston Mayor Marty Walsh has snow on his face.
Walsh backtracked last night after holding a noon press conference in which he declared that the New England Patriots Super Bowl victory parade would roll out on Tuesday morning despite an ongoing blizzard that was set to dump more than a foot of snow on Boston’s already blanketed streets.
Earlier on Monday, Walsh told reporters at a live news conference that the parade would happen on Tuesday, despite the snow. Players often go on vacation with their families right after their seasons are over and the hope was to have as many Patriots players and staff attend the rally as possible.
That wouldn’t happen if it was pushed back to the weekend, according to Walsh.
“As every day that goes on, you lose more and more players,” said Walsh, a longtime Patriots season ticket holder. At noon, as snow fell and cars skidded, Walshs said he was confident enough snow would be cleared from the city’s sidewalks and streets to accommodate crowds on Tuesday.
“We’ll be fine, we have crews out there now,” he said. He said the city never considered cancelling the parade. “I think people want a parade,” said Walsh.
But come 5:30 p.m., Walsh’s office released a statement saying there was a change of plans.
“Due to today's bad weather and the worsening forecast for tonight, the New England Patriots and the City of Boston have made the mutual decision to postpone the victory parade until Wednesday, February 4 at 11 a.m.We thank everyone for their flexibility and patience during the planning of this parade and we look forward to celebrating with Patriots fans during better weather on Wednesday.“
When the parade eventually happens, it is expected to last between an hour and 90 minutes. Walsh had said there would be no victory rally at City Hall because of the snow and freezing temperatures, though it was unclear last night if the rally would be back on.
Walsh said city crews would be clearing snow away from other parts of the city and would not be able to clear the plaza in time for such festivities if they were to happen Tuesday. Additionally, he said temperatures are expected to dip into the mid-teens, without windchill.
Citing the expected frigid temps and recent snow accumulation, Walsh could not give an estimate in terms of how many people he expected to show for the celebration.
Boston championship rallies within the last 15 years have drawn crowds in the millions. In 2004, after the Red Sox won the World Series for the first time in 86 years, an estimated 3 million people — which is more than 40 percent of the state’s population — showed for the celebration. In 2011, when the
Bruins won the Stanley Cup, an estimated 1 million revelers lined the route. Those parades, however, were in the fall and summer, respectively.
Responding to a question about whether he would defeat Malcom Butler, the Patriots defensive back who cinched the Super Bowl victory with a goal line interception, Walsh joked, “I’d vote for Malcolm Butler right now.”
Morgan Rousseau contributed to this report.