Mayor Martin J. Walsh will host the first ride of the season on the popular Boston Swan Boats as they open at the Public Garden lagoon on Saturday, April 14, at 10 a.m.
“This year the Swan Boats celebrate their 142nd season of providing joy and memories to residents and visitors in the Public Garden,” said Mayor Walsh. “We’re ready for spring in Boston and the tradition of joining the Paget family and local children for the first ride around the Public Garden lagoon.”
This annual rite of spring is made possible thanks to the Paget family, owners and operators of the Swan Boats first launched by Irish immigrant and shipbuilder Robert Paget. Mr. Paget designed the Swan Boats after attending the opera Lohengrin in New York City. At the end of the opera, the hero crosses a river in a boat drawn by a swan.
Mayor Walsh will be joined on the first ride of the year with students from Boston Public Schools including the Ellis Mendell Elementary School and the Higginson/Lewis K-8 School, both in Roxbury.
The students are drawing pictures of the Swan Boats in art class and their work will be randomly selected from all the drawings created. All of the artwork chosen will then be on display at Boston City Hall.
2018 marks the 142nd season for the Swan Boats. The oldest and smallest boat in the fleet just celebrated its 107th season, while the newest was launched in 1993. The swan on today’s boats is made from either copper or fiberglass, depending on the age of the boat, and encloses a paddle mechanism that is used to foot propel the boat through the water.
Fully loaded, each Swan Boat weighs three tons and carries up to twenty passengers. The Swan Boats are built on oak framed pontoons sheathed in copper just as they were initially constructed in 1877. After being stored in a safe place for the winter, the boats are returned to the Public Garden Lagoon in the spring with Mayor Walsh and his young guests celebrating the first ride of the season.
For more information, please visit the Swan Boats of Boston online at www.swanboats.com or call (617) 522-1966.