Thousands Flock to the Friends 2014 Duckling Day Event

The non-profit Friends of the Public Garden, in partnership with the City of Boston Parks and Recreation Department, celebrated Mother’s Day with Boston-area families during its annual Duckling Day on Sunday, May 11th. Duckling Day celebrates the children’s classic book Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey.

J.C. Monahan of WCVB’s Channel 5 News and Chronicle was the event’s emcee, and was joined for the festivities by her husband and two daughters. Attendance at the event broke a record with well over 2,000 people gathered to enjoy activities for children, mini massages for moms, and a spirited parade led by the Harvard University Marching Band.

“Duckling Day has been a Boston tradition for more than 30 years and the Friends of the Public Garden has been honored to host it since 2006,” said Elizabeth Vizza, Executive Director of the Friends of the Public Garden. “It is terrific to see families participating in activities on the Common, marching in the parade to the famous Make Way for Ducklings statue in the Public Garden, and coming together to celebrate our public spaces in such a delightful way.”

Family entertainment and activities prior to the parade included face painters, a magician, juggler, puppet show, and an active play area for children led by Knucklebones. Participants eventually nestled on the lawn of the Boston Common in front of the Parkman Bandstand as they waited in anticipation of Wheelock Family Theatre’s dramatic reading of Make Way for Ducklings. Following the reading, Mayor Martin Walsh and Friends Executive Director Vizza thanked the crowd for coming out to the event and kicked-off the parade.

The Motor Mart Garage was the lead sponsor of Duckling Day. Proceeds from the event support the Friends of the Public Garden, a non-profit citizen’s advocacy group formed in 1970 to preserve and enhance the Boston Common, Public Garden and Commonwealth Avenue Mall in collaboration with the Mayor and the Parks and Recreation Department of the City of Boston. A model public-private partnership and the first in the region, the Friends number over 2,500 members and many volunteers.

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