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Swan Boats Will Not Operate This Year For First Time In Its History

The dock at the side of the lagoon in the Boston Public Garden will remain empty until next spring. The Paget family formally announced they will not operate the swan boats this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
The dock at the side of the lagoon in the Boston Public Garden will remain empty until next spring. The Paget family formally announced they will not operate the swan boats this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

The iconic swan boats of Boston will remain closed for the rest of 2020, marking the attraction's first extended closure ever in its 143-year-old history.

The Paget family, which has owned and operated the boats since 1877, said in a statement that it has decided not opening is the best move for the health and safety of staffers and the public due to the coronavirus.

The swans that are normally mounted atop pontoons to float on the lagoon in the Public Garden in Boston will be kept in storage longer than expected this year. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
The swans that are normally mounted atop pontoons to float on the lagoon in the Public Garden in Boston will be kept in storage longer than expected this year. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

"Our business is a small and intimate environment that brings people together in a memorable way. As a result, we face some unique challenges in our operation that make it difficult to assure the level of safety we are committed to providing," the family wrote in the statement.

Neveah Walsh, 7, throws potato chips into the water while feeding the birds off the dock of the Public Garden lagoon. She was visiting from Plymouth with her uncle Brian McPhee in hopes they would be able to ride on the swan boats. It was announced Wednesday they will not operate this year. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Neveah Walsh, 7, throws potato chips into the water while feeding the birds off the dock of the Public Garden lagoon. She was visiting from Plymouth with her uncle Brian McPhee in hopes they would be able to ride on the swan boats. It was announced Wednesday they will not operate this year. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

The family had first postponed pulling out its pedal-powered fleet in April, around the time of the pandemic's surge in Massachusetts. Now, the Pagets say the boats won't glide across the Public Garden lagoon again until an unspecified date in 2021.

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