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Kansas City Fans Celebrate Chiefs Super Bowl Victory

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

While much of the country may have been thinking about impeachment or the Iowa caucus debacle, today in Kansas City, they were having a parade.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHEERING)

KELLY: Tens of thousands of people decked out in red turned out to celebrate the Chiefs' first Super Bowl win in half a century. As Frank Morris of member station KCUR reports, they braved the cold to share a warm moment.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHEERING)

FRANK MORRIS, BYLINE: The parade kicked off just before noon. But like a lot of people, Marvin Shahid got here much earlier.

MARVIN SHAHID: I sure did. I left the house at 4:30. I've been on the parade route since about, I guess, 5:30.

MORRIS: And it's cold, in the 20s. People are lined up along a two-mile route stretching past art deco skyscrapers to the city's hundred-year-old train station. Almost everyone's wearing red, including Shahid, who's been a Chiefs fan since the team moved to Kansas City 60 years ago. He's hung on through a 50-year Super Bowl drought and wasn't about to miss this.

SHAHID: You know, hey, this is my team, man, you know? I can't help it, you know? I'm a Chiefs fan, a diehard.

MORRIS: And you had to be for this parade, according to Wess Barnette.

WESS BARNETTE: Little bit of snow - not bad.

MORRIS: Like lots of people, Stacy Peak brought her family.

STACY PEAK: This is my son. He's 8 - Deandre MacIntosh (ph). He's a diehard Chiefs fan.

DEANDRE MACINTOSH: Go Chiefs.

(CHEERING)

MORRIS: Chiefs players walked the parade route drinking and hamming it up. Clark Hunt, the team owner, rode by, showing off the Vince Lombardi trophy from the top of a double-decker bus. There was lots of red and gold confetti, but it wasn't really all about football. Some folks, like Madison Woods, came to support the city.

MADISON WOODS: I'm seeing a blend of people that I would never see bundled up in this cold weather together; just braving the cold together, showing our supports, meeting new people, seeing old friends - all just come together, and nothing bad has happened right now.

MORRIS: Well, there was a brief car chase on the parade route before it began, and there was definitely some rowdy behavior.

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MORRIS: But as Matthias Bostcick says, it was great to just be able to forget about politics for a few hours.

MATTHIAS BOSTCICK: It's something where we can kind of ignore some of that stuff for a couple of days and enjoy something together and then maybe get back to the business of putting our country back together.

MORRIS: As for Kansas City, lots of people here are optimistic they won't have to wait another 50 years to celebrate a Super Bowl victory.

For NPR News, I'm Frank Morris in Kansas City.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "KANSAS CITY")

THE BEATLES: (Singing) Ah, Kansas City, coming to get my baby back home. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.