BOSTON - The Super Bowl celebration for New Englanders and their beloved Patriots will have to wait another day as Boston continues to get battered by heavy snow.
Mayor Marty Walsh said the city will postpone a planned victory parade through downtown until Wednesday.
He said the city and team both agreed to hold off on the parade because of Monday's snowstorm, which dumped more than a foot of fresh snow in the Boston area, making commutes treacherous.
"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," Walsh said in a joint statement with the team.
The city had announced earlier that the parade would take place Tuesday. But with weather continuing to worsen, Boston public schools preemptively cancelled Tuesday classes, the fifth snow day in the past week. A decision to cancel the parade followed shortly after.
Boston has seen a record 34.2 inches of snow over seven days, according to the National Weather Service. The previous seven-day record was 31.2 inches in January 1996.
Following their 28-24 victory over the defending champion Seattle Seahawks in Arizona, the Patriots flew back to Massachusetts as scores of flights in and out of Boston's Logan International Airport were cancelled or delayed Monday.
The latest snowstorm didn't stop New Englanders from basking in the glow of their team's fourth Super Bowl victory.
Todd Penney, of Coventry, Connecticut, was still recovering from a heady night of celebrating as he prepared for work Monday morning as a town engineer.
"My voice is very hoarse from screaming at the TV. I was all in last night," he said. "It will be a lot more fun for me to snowblow this morning after the Patriots' win than if they would have lost, that's for sure."
Other fans recounted tense moments from the rollercoaster victory.
"It was an exciting game, a nail-biter to the end. You don't get to see games like that very often," said George Vemis, as he cleared the sidewalk in front of his variety store in Whitman, south of Boston.
Cheryl Happeny, a business analyst from Whitman, said the victory is especially satisfying because so many people outside of New England have been calling the team cheaters since the scandal over underinflated footballs in the Patriots' winning game over the Indianapolis Colts erupted.
"It was a sweet victory," she said. "I don't think it will quiet the critics. I'm waiting for it to heat up again. Everyone hates the Patriots because we're breaking so many records. ...We're like the Yankees of the NFL."
At the Modell's Sporting Goods in Cambridge, devoted fans trickled in Monday morning as thick fluffy clumps of snow fell, grabbing commemorative T-shirts and hats by the armful.
"It's an early Valentine's gift. I'm treating," said Karen Rudgis of Cambridge, who was buying shirts for her husband and two grown children.
Mike Kelley, who works next door at Staples, was buying T-shirts and hats for his daughter, brother-in-law and himself. "It's an expensive day today," he said. "I've already spent $100, and I'm already planning to spend $100 more."
Modell's employees said the biggest sellers so far were the white Super Bowl champion baseball caps the team wore Sunday for the locker room celebration.
"It'd be a lot different if there wasn't a blizzard right now. Later tonight, I would think, it would get busy," said Jennifer Walcott, who had been among a number of staffers brought in from the store's Hamden, Connecticut, location to help open up the Cambridge store promptly at 6 a.m. Monday.
From Boston to western Massachusetts, police reported that Patriots fans celebrated raucously but without mayhem late Sunday and into Monday.
In Boston, where schools were closed but subways were running Monday, Walsh held court in City Hall, reflecting on Sunday's win and sketching out the upcoming celebration.
The championship parade, now scheduled to start at 11 a.m. Wednesday, will begin at the Hynes Convention Center. A fleet of 25 amphibious "duck boats" resembling those used during World War II — a staple of championship parades in Boston — will carry the team along Boylston Street, past the Common and onto City Hall.
"We'll make sure the duck boats get through the snow," Walsh said. "We'll probably have plows in front of them, behind them, beside then, next to them, under them."
Associated Press writers Mark Pratt and Steve LeBlanc in Boston, Denise Lavoie in Whitman, Mass., Pat Eaton-Robb in Coventry, Conn., and Steve Singer in Hartford, Conn., contributed to this report.