Swansea City secured the first major trophy in their 101-year history as League Two Bradford City were thrashed in the Capital One Cup final at Wembley.
The Bantams had beaten Premier League trio Wigan Athletic, Arsenal and Aston Villa on the way to becoming the first side from English football's fourth tier to reach this final since 1962.
But Swansea proved a step too far and there was to be no storybook ending to this remarkable campaign as Bradford were taken apart by Michael Laudrup's side en route to the biggest win in the final of this competition.
The Bantams were swiftly out of their depth and goals from Nathan Dyer and Michu gave Swansea a comfortable half-time lead that was no more than their ordered passing game merited.
Dyer's second goal just after half-time removed any remaining doubt about the destination of the trophy and a thoroughly chastening experience for Bradford was encapsulated by Swansea's fourth on the hour. Goalkeeper Matt Duke, a hero of the run to Wembley, was sent off for bringing down Jonathan de Guzman, who scored from the spot.
De Guzman added his own second in stoppage time - not that this stopped Bradford's supporters rising to acclaim the team that has given them and their city so much to be proud of as they went up to collect their runners-up medals.
The victory capped a fine first season in south Wales for Laudrup after he succeeded Brendan Rodgers in the summer. The Dane, along with chairman Huw Jenkins, can now plan for a campaign in next season's Europa League.
It is back to the business of reaching the League Two play-offs for Parkinson and Bradford - but they can still reflect on this achievement with great satisfaction after illuminating the season with one its most heart-warming stories.
Wembley was awash with colour before kick-off, especially the claret and amber of the West Yorkshire contingent as they savoured the sort of occasion that was surely beyond their wildest dreams at the start of the season.
It soon became clear, however, that Swansea were in no mood to suffer a similar fate to Bradford's previous Premier League victims as they passed through and picked off opponents swiftly condemned to 90 minutes of desperate ball-chasing.
The Swans dominated possession and were ahead after just over quarter of an hour. Duke could only push out Michu's shot and Dyer reacted first to score from an acute angle.
Bradford offered nothing as an attacking force, taking until three minutes from time for Gary Jones to bring a save from Gerhard Tremmel, and were never in a position to utilise the expertise at set-pieces that so unsettled Villa over two legs in the semi-final.
Manager Parkinson would have been delighted and relieved to reach the interval only one behind but it was not to be as Swansea went further ahead with a goal superbly created and finished. The outstanding Pablo Hernandez played in Michu, who used Carl McHugh as a shield before passing the ball through the defender's legs and beyond Duke with wonderful precision.
And the contest was finished off two minutes after the restart when Dyer played the ball into Wayne Routledge before taking the return and finishing powerfully past Duke. Even the normally ice-cool Laudrup recognised the significance of the moment with a dance of air-punching delight in his technical area.
Swansea's fourth actually brought the only moment of dissent in what was an otherwise smooth and uninterrupted path to glory.
Referee Kevin Friend had no alternative but to send Duke off for tripping De Guzman as the Dutchman went round the grounded keeper. In the background Dyer, who wanted to take the penalty for his hat-trick, was involved in a furious exchange with designated penalty taker De Guzman, an argument only settled when Michu returned from the technical area with instructions from Laudrup.
De Guzman stayed calm to beat substitute keeper Jon McLaughlin - and he rounded off the perfect afternoon for Swansea with his second and their fifth by bundling in from close range.
The celebrations of the Swansea fans had started long before then and they moved into top gear once the final whistle blew on an outstanding, thoroughly professional performance as captain on the day Ashley Williams and club captain Garry Monk lifted the trophy.