Video: Fans celebrate as Celtics roll through Boston

Staff reports

Mark Ahearn was born in 1986, the last year -- until this one -- that the Boston Celtics won an NBA championship.

Needless to say, he doesn't remember Larry Bird and company taking that first title. But recent championships from the Boston Red Sox and New England Patriots are fresh in his mind, and he's glad to welcome the Celtics to the party.

"It's definitely exciting to see the Celtics pick up the slack," the 22-year-old Whitman resident said. "No one likes being the ugliest house on the street."

Ahearn was among the tens of thousands of fans who flocked to downtown Boston on Thursday to watch the newly minted NBA champions roll through the city.

Players, Celtic legends and team executives rolled through the city in 16 World War II-era amphibious “duck boats,” much to the delight of the many fans decked out in green -- with face paint, hair dye as well as on their clothes.

Paul Pierce, toting the NBA finals MVP trophy, was the first player to roll through -- with "MVP! MVP!" chants breaking out as he went by. Ray Allen, another member with Kevin Garnett of the "Big Three," followed shortly thereafter and started a "Let's go Boston!" cry that fans quickly picked up.

Red Line trains were packed throughout the morning, with about 70 percent of the passengers clearly decked out to toast the region's latest pro sports champion, the Boston Celtics. The Celtics defeated the Los Angeles Lakers earlier this week to capture the franchise's 17th NBA championship, the most in the league's history.

Upon coming above ground, the fans arose to near picture-perfect skies and a sea of green. Many fans sported Celtic jerseys, from stars past-and-present like Garnett and Larry Bird to less celebrated former team members, like Vin Baker and Xavier McDaniel.

The parade started shortly after 11 a.m. after a ceremony at the TD Banknorth Garden. The boats wound past City Hall and Boston Common before ending at Copley Square in the city’s Back Bay neighborhood.

The city has held five other championship parades since 2002 — three when the New England Patriots won the Super Bowl and two when the Boston Red Sox won the World Series. The last one was on Oct. 30, after the Red Sox swept the Colorado Rockies.

But Celtics fans haven’t had much to cheer about since 1986, the final time Larry Bird and Boston won the NBA championship. That all changed Tuesday night, when Pierce, Garnett and Allen secured the franchise’s 17th championship.

The Patriot Ledger