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Boston celebrates the Celtics

Rachel Amster
Boston celebrates the Celtics
Celtics fans line the streets along the parade route. PHOTO: COLIN REDD

Boston spirit was high on Friday, June 21, with over one million rowdy fans celebrating Banner 18. It was an environment like no other. The energy, the excitement, the vigor, and the passion from Celtic fans was evident.

As Celtic players made their way through the streets on their duck boats, the crowd electrically chanted for their champions, screaming “Boston,” “Different Here,” “What they gonna say now,” and “Let’s go Celtics!” Coach Joe Mazzulla came in with a bang.

Boston Celtics 2024 NBA Championship parade. PHOTO: COLIN REDD

Surrounded by white and green confetti, he fired up the crowd and ran through the streets hyping everyone up.

The energy continued as Jayson Tatum made way on his duck boat, holding up the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy alongside his son, Deuce. He took his passing skills off the court when he threw a basketball and his shirt, which read “Don’t stop disbelieving,” into the crowd for eager fans to catch. You could feel the anticipation as fans awaited Jaylen Brown’s arrival. As soon as fans saw him holding the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Trophy, everyone got louder and louder, chanting “MVP” from below.

Not only did fans play the part; they looked the part. Some people were covered from head to toe in Celtics merchandise. Others wore bright green wigs, and some held signs. In particular, “Believe in Boston” flags, Banner 18 signs, and signs reading “Kyrie Irving sucks” stuck out in the crowd. Additionally, as a tribute to Al Horford, people wore and draped Dominican Republic flags over the barricade.

PHOTO: COLIN REDD

Although the barricade separated fans from players, it did not prevent fans from getting wet. One tradition players brought with them to the parade was spraying champagne. On Staniford Street, Tatum sprayed champagne onto the crowd, and those standing in front of Hynes Convention Center got a special surprise from Celtics legend Paul Pierce in the form of beer poured on them.

Fans found unique places to sit in hopes of getting a better view of the duck boats. Reckless fans sat on top of Copley Square’s bus station, climbed up traffic lights and light poles, and vandalized Boston firefighters’ vehicles while other small kids merely sat on their parents’ shoulders.

The celebration did not stop after the parade was over; in fact, spirited fans made their way to Hynes Convention Center, singing “I’m Shipping Up to Boston.” The heatwave did not stop fans as young as eight and as old as 80 from commemorating this special milestone.

The slogan “Different Here” was no longer just a tagline, it was a feeling. When the parade ended, instead of people saying goodbye to each other, they said, “See you here, same time next year.”

banner 18, Boston Celtics, Celtics parade, Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy, NBA Champions, Sports