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Stanley Cup Final

Stanley Cup Final postcard: Fanfest

Thousands gather at City Hall Plaza in Boston for concert, Game 1 viewing party

by Tom Gulitti @TomGulittiNHL / NHL.com Staff Writer

The 2019 Stanley Cup Final between the Boston Bruins and St. Louis Blues began in Boston, with Game 1 on Monday. Game 2 is in Boston on Wednesday before the series shifts to St. Louis for Games 3 and 4 on Saturday and Monday, June 3. NHL.com writers covering the series will provide a daily Stanley Cup Final postcard from whatever city they're in. Today, staff writer Tom Gulitti sends his regards from 2019 Stanley Cup Final Party in Boston.

BOSTON -- The crowd streaming towards City Hall Plaza gave away that something big was about to happen there Monday afternoon.

Thousands of fans, many of them clad in the black and gold of the Boston Bruins, gathered for the 2019 Stanley Cup Final Party, a free outdoor concert featuring country music star Chase Rice and rapper Lil Nas X. Many in the crowd were headed next to TD Garden for Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final between the Bruins and the St. Louis Blues.

Those without tickets to the game could stay at City Hall Plaza for a Game 1 viewing party, with the game being shown on the two large video screens on each side of the stage.

Mike Bartlett and Rhiana Shikles, who said they have been Bruins season ticket holders for the past "three-four years," were among the lucky ones who were going to Game 1.

"We're here to get pumped up for the game, have a couple beers and get ready to watch the Bruins win," said Bartlett, who was wearing a Patrice Bergeron home Bruins jersey.

The weather was perfect for an outdoor party with sunny skies and the temperature in the mid-60s. The beer vendors were doing steady business and a DJ helped rev up the crowd.

I'm not familiar with Rice's or Lil Nas X's music, but I vaguely remember Rice from when he was on Survivor: Nicaragua in 2010 and finished second on the long-running reality show.

Before Rice took the stage, Mike Bolt from the Hockey Hall of Fame brought out the guest of honor, the Stanley Cup, to a rousing ovation and placed it on the drum riser. Then Rice opened the show with "Lions", the first track off his album Lambs & Lions.

I had to head back to TD Garden for Game 1 before Lil Nas X played his set, but I'm guessing he was just as popular with his No. 1 hit, "Old Town Road."

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