To cheer on the Bruins as they began the Stanley Cup finals on Memorial Day, Monday, May 27, the Esplanade Association, nonprofit steward of the 3.3-mile Charles River Esplanade in Boston, collaborated with the Boston Bruins, the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), and local company Heritage Flag Co. for a monumental tribute: a 17-foot in circumference replica hockey helmet atop the Arthur Fiedler statue in the park. In addition to a park service day with Bruins staff last Thursday, May 23, that added a newly planted “black-and-gold” flower garden to the Esplanade, the groups are readying Boston fans to root for the Bruins’ seventh Stanley Cup with a series victory over the St. Louis Blues next week.
The Bruins are no strangers to the Esplanade as the long-time sponsors of both the Esplanade Association’s Children in the Park (ChiP) program and the organization’s annual Moondance Gala. The CHiP program is a partnership with the Bruins Foundation, Highland Street Foundation, and others to bring children from urban day camps throughout Greater Boston to the Esplanade for a hockey clinic and other park activities while the Moondance Gala is the Esplanade Association’s largest source of funds and addresses the yearly financial cost of taking care of the 64-acre park.
“The Bruins have been long-time supporters of the Esplanade Association, and we’re delighted to back our friends in ‘black and gold’ with a monumental tribute to a successful season as they get ready for the Stanley Cup Final,” said Michael Nichols, executive director of the Esplanade Association. “We invite the public to head down to the Esplanade to take and share photos with Mr. Fiedler as he once again readies a Boston team for a championship.”
The oversized Bruins helmet is a continuation of a tradition begun in 2018 as the Esplanade Association paired with local knitwear company STIKto adorn the Fiedler sculpture with an oversize Red Sox knit cap ahead of the team’s eventual World Series triumph over the Los Angeles Dodgers. Having gone one-for-one in delivering championships, the tradition now lives on with the Bruins and this year’s partnership. This year’s headwear was fabricated and installed by Allston-based Heritage Flag Co. and involved using five different layers of material to ensure the beloved Fiedler sculpture was protected and the irregularly shaped hockey helmet would stay snugly in place on the monument.
Fiedler, beloved long-time conductor of the Boston Pops, is honored with this statue for the role he played in bringing outdoor music to the Esplanade—a legacy that lives on today at the annual Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular, which attracts an estimated half-million people to the park each year, the summer Boston Landmarks Orchestra concerts, and the Esplanade Association’s own GroundBeat: the Esplanade’s Free Riverfront Music Series. The statue is located a short walk from the Hatch Shell Oval. “If it helps the Bruins win the Stanley Cup, I’m sure my father would be all in favor or putting a B’s helmet on his statue!” said Peter Fiedler, son of legendary Boston Pops conductor Arthur Fiedler.