By Tim McLaughlin and Elizabeth Barber
BOSTON (Reuters) – Thousands of warmly dressed New England Patriots fans, some perched atop huge snow piles, cheered their team along Boston’s frigid streets on Wednesday to celebrate Sunday’s Super Bowl victory with a downtown parade after two massive snowstorms.
Early morning temperatures dropped to 6 degrees Fahrenheit (minus-14 degrees Celsius). Fans packed into subway cars and commuter trains and arrived in high spirits, though a little less mobile due to their layers of warm clothing and Patriots jerseys.
Mounds of snow along the parade route reached up to 6 feet (1.8 meters) high in places after Boston received more than 40 inches (1 meter) of accumulation over the past week. Ignoring safety warnings from Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, some people climbed atop the snow piles to get a better view.
Fans cheered star quarterback Tom Brady, who held one of his young sons while waving to the crowd. Brady was named the Most Valuable Player in the 28-24 victory over the Seattle Seahawks in Arizona.
“Tom Brady! Born in a manger, baby!” one exuberant female fan yelled.
The parade featured World War II-era amphibious trucks known as “duck boats,” which carried the players, their families and Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who flashed the silver Lombardi Trophy and said, “Thank you” over and over to the crowd.
Trucks along the route blared music and pumped red, white and blue confetti. Malcolm Butler, the rookie whose interception in the final seconds sealed Sunday’s victory, looked almost overwhelmed by the crowd’s adulation.
Whitney Gikis, a 27-year-old house painter from Westminster, Massachusetts, said there was no way the bone-chilling weather would keep him from celebrating the team’s fourth Super Bowl victory.
“I love the Patriots. I’m ready for this. I was born ready for this,” Gikis said.
The parade, postponed by a day because of the snowfall, began at Prudential Tower and ended at City Hall, but lacked the traditional rally because of the cold and snow accumulation.
Debbie Provencher, 52, and her family left their home in Merrimack, New Hampshire, at 6 a.m. to get a good spot near the start of the parade. She said she was waiting to see “our hero Butler.”
“I’m feeling awesome,” said Keith LeBlanc, a 28-year-old bar manager. “This is the best moment of my life.”
(Reporting by Tim McLaughlin and Elizabeth Barber; Editing by Scott Malone and Will Dunham)