BOSTON – Scores of elated fans packed the narrow streets of downtown Boston Tuesday morning to see their beloved Patriots lift the Lombardi trophy for a record sixth time since the turn of the millennium. 

More than 1 million people were expected to turn out Tuesday, and they did in droves, buoyed by the unseasonably warm and sunny February day. Many made the trek south from the Merrimack Valley, navigating an overloaded commuter rail system or breaking the trip into pieces: by car, by train, by foot. 

Patriots fans have more than enough to celebrate: Their team tied the Pittsburgh Steelers' franchise record of six Super Bowl victories, and shattered their own superstars' unprecedented full-hand ring display. 

Coady Muniz, 24, said he boarded a train in Haverhill Tuesday morning that filled so quickly, no more passengers could board after the train hit Lawrence. 

"It feels great," he said from Tremont Street about an hour before the start of the parade. "I've been a fan since grade school." 

In Government Center, fans patiently awaited the team's arrival by duck boat. Spectators threw white confetti from the upper floors of the Scollay Building on Court Street. Toddlers sat on adults' shoulders, craning their necks for a view of the boats cresting the hill of Tremont Street. 

Rene' Gaudet of Haverhill watched the parade from Boylston Street with her 15-year-old daughter, Abby, and Abby's friends. 

"This is like a once-in-a-lifetime thing. This era, I don't think a lot of people realize that this era is going to be written into sports books as football history," Gaudet said. 
 
"It's an amazing time to be a Pats fan."
 
As the parade rolled past City Hall, the fans' cries carried backwards through the crowd like a wave. Hundreds of cell phones were held aloft while the team's stars – legendary quarterback Tom Brady, a shirtless Rob Gronkowski, and Super Bowl MVP Julian Edelman – took in the adoration. 
 
Edelman, whose Super Bowl performance solidified his status as one of the playoff greats, hoisted the Lombardi trophy from the front of a duck boat as the parade neared the end. He waved his arms and put a hand to his ear, daring the crowd to get louder. 
 
By 1 p.m., the parade was over and fans began their mass exodus from the city, happily relishing yet another start to a year as defending world champions. 

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