BOSTON (CBS/AP) – The Boston Bruins made their celebratory trip through city streets with hundreds of thousands of fans crowding the sidewalks to see them — and the Stanley Cup — in a rolling rally honoring the NHL champions Saturday.

They left the Garden in 18 duck boats, led by captain Zdeno Chara who raised the Cup over his head then passed it to playoff MVP Tim Thomas, who held it up,  smiled and waved to the fans.

After they took turns raising the Cup, security took it from one slow-moving duck boat after another so all the players had a chance to hold it.

Chara even climbed down to the street so fans could touch it.

Crowds were so deep on the sidewalks that many fans might not have been able to see the players.

Photos: Bruins Stanley Cup Parade

The exact size of the crowd is still not known, but many people believe it’s the largest parade in the city since the 2004 Red Sox rolling rally.

“I believe it,” said Brad Marchand from his Duck Boat.

“It seems like every person in Boston is here. It’s unbelievable.”

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Bernice Corpuz reports

One fan told WBZ NewsRadio 1030 he came to the 1972 celebration, but this crowd was “ten times as big.”

Watch Parade Highlights From WBZ-TV

“I can’t believe how many people are here right now,” said Patrice Bergeron mid-parade. “It proves that Boston is a hockey town, a sports town, and the best fans in the world. Thank you.”

WBZ-TV’s Dan Roche reports

“It’s awesome to be sharing it with everybody. This is the day you look forward to,” said Conn Smythe winning goaltender Tim Thomas.

Related: Jacobs’ Joke About Neely Falls Flat

“I knew it would be crazy, but I didn’t expect it to be this crazy,” team president Cam Neely said.

“It’s insane!”

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Carl Stevens reports

As the nearly two-hour rolling rally neared its end Saturday afternoon, Andrew Ference raised one finger, then two, then three, orchestrating a familiar chant.

“Let’s Go Bruins,” the fans responded. “Let’s Go Bruins.”

WBZ-TV’s Alana Gomez reports

There were no reports of major trouble.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Doug Cope reports

Boston police said they arrested nine people, most for public drinking and disorderly conduct.

One person was taken out of Copley Square after having passed out, apparently from heat exhaustion.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments (14)
  1. curious says:

    Who paid for the parade – the Bruins or the taxpayers?

    1. Bostonite says:

      Neither the Bruins or the taxpayers paid for it. Something called “sponsors” stepped up and offered to pay the bill.

  2. Italo says:

    I think this is one where the taxpayers wouldn’t have minded participating towards the Rally happening. Boston has had so many things going sour last few years–big political corruption, many stories in the news of young people being struck down or in trouble for whatever reasons, the Big Dig fiasco, adults making fools of themselves and doing wrong, etc.–we needed something good, and what better time than right at the start of the tourist season and summer. The Bruins, more than all the other Boston teams, reflect Boston’s hard-work and pumped-up work and life ethic. These players seem the most like gentleman and respectful than others of the Boston teams overall. It’s a great inspiration for kids in the Boston area to aspire to–one of being respectful, working hard, and achieving your successes if you keep at it, that this younger generation really needs, more than ever right now. Today was really up there with historic moments in Boston history overall, not just in its sports history. The Boston fans are not just like fans, they are like extensions of the team in the way that students are of school teams. I’m really proud of the good example that the Bruins have shown not just in winning, but in the way they (and the fans, too!) have comported themselves.

    Go Bruins, and Bruins Fans! ;)

  3. Ellen says:

    It was beautiful. The weather was great, The celebration was family orientated, and the players and fans having a great time. I could have seen this all day long. A great day for all.

  4. Theresa Mitchell Mather says:

    It was a great day and finally the last of the New England teams won…..Go Bruins!!!!!!!

    It’s pretty funny how some people are just that pessimistic, I suppose if it were a Reichtie rally they wouldn’t mind the Taxpayer paying for it……Just like the Taxpayer is paying for the Tax Cuts for the Rich and Corporations!!!!

    Just like the Taxpayer paid for 12 Million Dollars to be shipped over to Iraq without a paper trail and then turned up missing……

    Just like the wasted trillions that was spent on the invasion of Iraq, as well as Gitmo……But you never hear a peep out of a Reichtie over that, I guess it is because it is different……..

    Btw Reichties, where are those WMD’s????????

    1. rolf says:

      wmd he had them oh he must have used them up on his own people, he had them moved them to syria its sheep like you thjat the bad wolf will get, sheep like you question everything our gov does for our protection its sheep like you that will hide when your freedom is in jeopordy do me a favor put a mexican under your each of your arms and get the hell to mexico i truly hope the big bad wolf gets ya and dont even think i would protect you

  5. t says:

    The mbta was sooo wrong today.they told all of Boston “take the train” people in Wilmington stood there and watched the train drive by 3 times.@ 8 am.We all waited and watched for 2.5 hours til 10.30. And 100’s of us walked away.With the 93 repairs we missed a once in a life time event.shame on them. People of Wilmington :(

    1. italo says:

      t, that’s too bad–sorry to hear that happened to you guyz. That’s what’s difficult for people to wrap themselves around with regards to Beantown…they want you to go there, get there, use it, enjoy it, but they don’t always organize things in the best way to help make it easier for folks to do that. I heard this morning about a “near rush-hour” schedule today for the T……for this once-in-lifetime-almost event, why not make is a full rush-hour schedule? Not much common sense with the people that run the city.

  6. anna says:

    absolutly great abc coverage was at home , i work all night but stayed up to watch the rolling parade in it entirenty, remember the cam neelly error as if it was yesterday, so happy for him too enjoy all of this ! we are so proud of the bruins, and the fans… I have been smiling constantlly !!!!!!!

  7. P.T. Mcgrath says:

    Great time, great city, wonderful fans, I am 72 and rember the last one. This one was way better, what a team. GO BRUINS KEEP THE CUP

  8. Justin says:

    Gotta be the greatest celeberatio nof ny victory never seen so many ppl in one area of my life the energy was crazy this team has got some serious mutual chemistry between players and fans. Like Bergeron said WE GOT THE CUP WE GOT THE CUP WE GOT THE CUP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. Justin says:

    Gotta be the greatest celeberatio nof ny victory never seen so many ppl in one area of my life the energy was crazy this team has got some serious mutual chemistry between players and fans. Chara running down the street with secruity chasing after him while he lets all fans touch the cup once and a life time experience. Like Bergeron said WE GOT THE CUP WE GOT THE CUP WE GOT THE CUP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 39 yers

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