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To claim the city is excited about the Bruins' historic Stanley Cup win would be an understatement.
More like ecstatic.
"We got the Cup!" the crowd chanted outside TD Garden just before 8 a.m. Saturday morning — a good three hours before the Bruins celebratory parade started.
For many fans, like Bill Thomas of Quincy, the parade day started, well, on Friday.
"I waited like 20 hours — all night," Thomas said. "I left my house at 5 to come in here. From 5 until now — 5 p.m."
By 10 a.m., every inch of the parade route was jammed.
And raucous it was, like Stanley Cup celebration meets spring break. Loud music blared, beach balls flew and the midday sun beat down.
Valerie Williams and her mom Annie drove down from North Andover. As they put it, they've spent the last week making a lot of noise.
"We've been watching them games like crazy!" Valerie Williams said.
"We've been screaming," Annie Williams said. "We have a bar across from our house and we were screaming louder than the people in the bar."
"Yep, waking up all the neighbors!" Valerie Williams said.
But beyond the jubilation, there was also a sense of relief.
"It's like 1,000 pounds off my shoulders, so it feels better," said Frank Zabala, from Boston. "It means a lot. I mean, 39 years. Come on. That's a long time. That's a long time for the Bruins. Even though we've won, what, Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics, we wanted one for the Bruins. So it's pretty special."
For fan Rob Rogan, the Stanley Cup's return to Boston brought him to tears.
"It's the greatest day of my life," he said. "The only thing that could have made it better was my dad being here, but he passed away. It's the greatest day of my life."
Like clockwork at 11 a.m., the convoy of 18 duck boats pulled out of the Garden and into a gauntlet of screaming fans.
In the lead boat Bruins captain Zdeno Chara hoisted the Cup high — as if to make the championship official. The roar hit a crescendo.
Hundreds of thousands of people decked out in all manner of Bruins garb pressed up against the metal barriers as black and yellow confetti filled the muggy air.
Fake Stanley Cups — some made of tinfoil, others fashioned out of stove pipes — were scattered throughout the crowd.
Then there were the signs:
"Lord Stanley cometh"
"Tim Thomas for president"
"Canada loves the Bruins"
It was nothing short of a lovefest, one that, in the worst case, could probably sustain Bruins fans for another 39 years.
This program aired on June 19, 2011.
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