Red Sox parade expected to be a rollicking time

A duck boat caravan moved along Boylston Street during the Red Sox World Series victory parade in 2004.
Jim Davis/Globe Staff/file
A duck boat caravan moved along Boylston Street during the Red Sox World Series victory parade in 2004.

In what has become a joyous tradition in a home of champions, Boston will hold a rolling rally through city streets Saturday morning to hail the World Series champion Red Sox, bringing a moment of triumph to the scene of the Boston Marathon bombing.

The path down Boylston Street will provide a poignant backdrop to the parade and pay tribute to a team whose stunning success came to symbolize the city’s resilience and resolve in the aftermath of the April 15 Boston Marathon bombings, which killed three people and wounded more than 260.

Outside Sólás, an Irish pub near the finish line, Peter Fiscina, 66, who lost friends in the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center towers, said Thursday evening that he feels that the parade will help the city heal.


“I think it’s good for Boston,” said Fiscina, 66, of of Staten Island, N.Y.

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Sólás manager Kaylee Platt, a Clinton native, said the parade will serve as a rallying cry.

“It’s exciting to have people who are proud to be back in the city,” said Platt, who wore a Red Sox shirt during her shift.

Across the street at Marathon Sports, where mannequins sported Boston Strong shirts in the display window, assistant manager Dana Jamieson said it felt strange to be celebrating in the same area that was a scene of devastation in April, but the parade will “help put a sense of community back for the residents of Boston.”

Michael Parillo, who also works at Marathon Sports, welcomed the celebration and said that in many ways, the team’s victory has made the slogan “Boston Strong” as much about triumph as tragedy.


“It’s becoming more of an icon for the whole city, not just what happened that day,” he said earlier in the day.

Mayor Thomas M. Menino announced the time of the parade Thursday, the morning after the Red Sox defeated the St. Louis Cardinals at Fenway Park, clinching the title at home for the first time since 1918 and thrilling fans across New England.

“The ducks are ready. The fans are ready. Let’s celebrate on Saturday,” Menino posted on Twitter. Over the past decade, the New England Patriots, the Boston Celtics, and the Boston Bruins have also celebrated championships with duck boat rallies.

The victory parade, celebrating the team’s third title in the past 10 seasons, will follow the same route as 2004, starting at Fenway Park, passing the Public Garden and Boston Common, then heading down Tremont Street past City Hall. The rally, which will feature about two dozen duck boats, finishes on the Charles River.

The weather is setting up to match the spirit of the day: forecasts call for mostly sunny skies with highs in the lower 60s.


At a press conference Thursday, Menino said he expects large crowds for the celebration, and he assured fans that law enforcement agencies will be prepared.

“There are always going to be security measures any time you have an event . . . [even] before the Marathon,’’ Menino said. “We have a very resilient Police Department. They will be ready to work on Saturday.’’

Menino said the team embodied the “perseverance and resilience” of the city.

“We love our bearded Red Sox, and on Saturday we’ll show our appreciation and celebrate a very special championship in the city of Boston,” he said.

Red Sox president Larry Lucchino said he expected most of the team to take part, citing players’ close relationship with the fans and city.

“I think the players have a special connection to this town, to the city, to the fan base, to the region,” he said. “I’m very optimistic we are going to get nearly a full boat.’’

And with full beards, apparently. Lucchino said that while the team did not monitor players “shaving patterns” closely, he expects that players will show up with beards intact, an expression of team unity that grew into a scruffy trademark.

“I think they are going to be wearing the beards they’ve been wearing,’’ he said.

Lucchino said he hopes the players and the organization can arrange a way to raise money for charity when the players shave.

Lucchino said the team wants to take advantage of the event to show its appreciation to its fans.

“We think this might be a nice opportunity for us to thank our fans by including them in the event itself,’’ Lucchino said.

City officials said that extra police officers will be on hand throughout the day and that public drinking will not be tolerated.

Backpacks will be subject to random search along the route.

The route will be closed to traffic from 9 a.m. to approximately 1 p.m., and temporary parking restrictions will be in place.

Officials said restrictions will be tightly enforced, and they encouraged fans to use public transportation.

The MBTA said it would be providing extra subway and commuter rail service for the parade. In 2007, when the Red Sox last won the World Series, about 1 million people rode the T the day of the rally.

The Red, Orange, Blue, and Green lines will provide rush-hour service beginning at 7 a.m. The commuter rail is adding inbound trains in the morning and boosting capacity along each line.

Bus service will also be increased. For more details, visit

Contrary to earlier plans to suspend service for the day, the Red Line will run across the Longfellow Bridge to accommodate riders heading to the parade, transportation officials said. It will also run normally on Sunday.

City officials said they are coordinating a location for reserved wheelchair access.

On Thursday night, the restaurant Bangkok Blue near Copley Square had signs that read “Go Sox, Go!” posted on the windows, and owner Pornsri Lawton said she was looking forward to Saturday.

“It’s going to be a joy for everyone,” said Lawton. “It’s going to be happiness.”

Peter Schworm can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @globepete. Travis Andersen can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.