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story.lead_photo.caption At left, Skylar Smock, J. Pfenny's kitchen manager, and manager Nikki Langwith do a shot before the expected Super Bowl party rush Sunday. Some fans had their seats at the sports pub more than an hour before the game started. Photo by Gerry Tritz / News Tribune.

Like the tailgaters outside Kansas City's Arrowhead Stadium before Chiefs home games, Jefferson City residents were partying long before the big game started Sunday.

It's been half a century since the Chiefs have won the Super Bowl. For many local fans, Sunday's game warranted a daylong celebration.

At J. Pfenny's Sports Grill & Pub, some fans had their seats more than an hour before the game. The staff was gearing up for a packed crowd.

Manager Nikki Langwith said the business planned to have bus service and a full kitchen crew.

They were selling $3 "Chiefs shots" — Captain Morgan rum, pineapple juice, Cherry Pucker and a dash of Grenadine.

Skylar Smock, the kitchen manager, was sporting a San Francisco 49ers shirt, his team since around 2012. He realized he was outnumbered, but added: "I'll be alright."

There's no way the Chiefs will come back from a deficit, he said, "but I think it's going to be a high-scoring game."

A sea of red jerseys greeted anyone walking into a downtown bar Sunday. And it wasn't just in the bars. Many of the people walking along High Street downtown also sported their favorite red-and-white Chiefs jerseys.

For some area residents, watching their beloved Chiefs on TV wasn't sufficient.

Leah Ann Hilgert, Deanna Sherwood, Kristie Lea and Ann Kampeter are part of a Mid-Missouri group of Chiefs season ticket-holders who made a pact years ago.

"We always said that if the chiefs made it to the Super Bowl, we would be there," Hilgert said. She spoke to a reporter by phone Sunday afternoon from inside Hard Rock Stadium.

They and five others quickly snatched up tickets after the Chiefs won the AFC Championship game, paying four times the tickets' face value on StubHub. CBS Sports reported the average ticket price on StubHub was running $6,414 as of Tuesday.

They got seats on the lower level, around the 20th row, near the Chiefs' 25-yard line.

"We're hoping it's not a once in a lifetime thing, but just in case (we wanted to be there)," Hilgert said.

They flew Saturday morning to Florida and fly back today.

On Saturday night, they went to the NFL Live Experience in Miami, where they got to see former Chiefs players such as Tony Gonzalez. They later partied in a bar and their hotel lobby, where they hung out with other Chiefs fans and offered their condolences to 49ers fans they've come across.

They brought a Chiefs flag and two homemade posters into the stadium Sunday, Hilgert said. One is a photo of Chiefs player Travis Kelce, with the quote he made after the AFC Championship: "You gotta fight for your right to party!!!"

They said 60-70 percent of the people they've encountered have been Chiefs fans, and many people have told them: "We're just glad it's not the Patriots. You all (Chiefs fans) deserve this," Hilgert said.

Their experience so far has been "at least a 10," she said.

Back in Jefferson City, at Big Whiskey's, fans lined up at the bar seats in front of a row of big screen TVs.

One of them, John Goedde, said he and his wife watched the Chiefs come-from-behind AFC Championship win at the bar, so they decided to return to watch the Super Bowl there.

Goedde said he's met Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and tight end Kelce at Springfield events for the Boys & Girls Club.

"He's just a likeable guy," he said of Mahomes.

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