PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Hundreds of Boston Bruins fans hit Monument Square Saturday afternoon to enjoy the Bruins Fan Fest Tour.
The tour is the first-ever seven-city tour, covering each state in New England with the goal of growing the game of hockey.
Fans participated in skills challenges also got autographs from Bruins broadcaster Andy Brickley, and defenseman Brandon Carlo, who also held a question-and-answer session. Carlo said he enjoyed seeing Bruins fans outside of Boston.
"It's fun for me to see. I've never really been on the East Coast too much so I love it bery much and I've had a blast this summer, but I'm ready to quit the touristy aspect and get back to work and go to the big cities playing hockey," said Carlo.
Brickley, a former Maine Mariner, said he would prefer for Portland's new hockey team to be named the Mariners, and also appreciated traveling to other major New England cities to meet Bruins fans.
"The Bruins travel well. The Bruins travel real well across the league but having spent three separate occasions of my hockey career in this town, I know the passion for the Bruins around here," said Brickley.
During the tour, the Bruins expect to outfit over 4,000 kids (ages 4-9) who have signed up for the Bruins Academy Learn to Play program in brand new CCM hockey gear valued at $500 (retail value) per player for a total of $2,000,000 (retail value) worth of equipment dispersed to local communities.
"It's nice that they pay service to the towns that aren't in Massachusetts or not just Boston and realize they havea big fanbase spread out through New England and make the effort to bring the experience to them," said Eric Thurgood, whose son, Drew, was participating in the program.
Admission to each tour stop is FREE and fans are welcome and encouraged to participate in all of the event’s festivities.
Below is the full schedule for the tour (please note times & locations are subject to change):
Saturday, August 26
Portland, ME at Monument Square, 12- 6pm (456 Congress St, Portland, ME 04101)
Sunday, August 27
Manchester, NH at Arms Park, 12-6pm (10 Arms St, Manchester, NH 03101)
Monday, August 28
Burlington, VT at Burlington International Airport, 2-7pm (1200 Airport Dr, South Burlington, VT 05403)
Tuesday, August 29
Springfield, MA at Forest Park, 2-7pm (200 Trafton Rd, Springfield, MA 01108)
Wednesday, August 30
Hartford, CT at Bushnell Park, 2-7pm (60 Elm St, Hartford, CT 06106)
Thursday, August 31
Providence, RI at ALEX AND ANI City Center, 2-7pm (2 Kennedy Plaza, Providence, RI 02903)
The final stop for the Boston Bruins Fan Fest Tour will take place in September during Boston Bruins Training Camp presented by AT&T.