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Walsh says staging parade was right call despite snow

(Boston Globe) Undaunted by the cold and by snow-piled streets, thousands of New England Patriots fans cheered as the team rolled through Boston in a parade celebrating the team’s improbable, last-minute victory in the Super Bowl. By Scott LaPierre
(Boston Globe) Undaunted by the cold and by snow-piled streets, thousands of New England Patriots fans cheered as the team rolled through Boston in a parade celebrating the team’s improbable, last-minute victory in the Super Bowl. By Scott LaPierre

Mayor Martin J. Walsh stood on a balcony overlooking City Hall Plaza and pumped his fist in the air as the victory parade passed by for the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots.

Walsh wore a blue Patriots tie and had his arm around City Council President Bill Linehan as confetti swirled and a battery of fireworks exploded from the base of City Hall. A cavalcade of duck boats carrying Patriots players rolled up Cambridge Street, and Walsh said he had no regrets hosting the parade even as Boston continues digging out from recording-breaking snow.

“The only people questioning me are the press about it and a few people that probably don’t live in Boston,” Walsh said in an interview. “This is what we do. If we’re going to not have a parade because people complain to me, it’s not going to work.”

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Walsh, a longtime Patriots’ season ticket holder, said the celebration allowed the city to share the team’s victory.

“There a million people out here watching the parade today. They’re excited,” Walsh said. “If we didn’t have a parade today, a million people wouldn’t have had a chance to get a little piece of the Super Bowl victory.”

Overnight, the city removed 150,000 tons of snow from streets throughout the city, Walsh said -- not just along the parade route. Classes resumed for Boston public schools for the first time since Friday and at least 20 buses were more than an hour late, according to the School Department.

Asked about late buses, Walsh noted that Boston had received more snow in one week than any other time in Boston’s history.

“There’s going to be traffic,” Walsh said. “There’s going to be delays. . . . You have to go slower. Certainly, there’s a lot of frustration.”

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Walsh acknowledged that “some roadways aren’t plowed correctly” and that problems with the MBTA forced more people to drive than normal.

“Dorchester Avenue was tough today, I went down there,” Walsh said. “A lot of Dorchester was tough. But some of the other streets there was no traffic.”

It was the perfect storm of traffic, Walsh said, but that was not a reason to sack the parade.

“The Patriots have had a long season,” Walsh said. “We’ve had a long winter. This is a day to celebrate.”

A fan has fun in the snow as the Patriots make their way down Boylston Street.
A fan has fun in the snow as the Patriots make their way down Boylston Street. Sean Proctor/Globe Staff

Andrew Ryan can be reached at acryan@globe.com Follow him on Twitter @globeandrewryan.