Friends of the Public Garden Seeking ‘Duckling Day’ Memories

With its annual “Duckling Day” coming up on Sunday, May 11, the Friends of the Public Garden is seeking personal anecdotes from families who have made the event an annual Mother’s Day tradition, as well as those who have attended it with multiple generations of their kin in the past.

“It seems whenever I talk to people about ‘Duckling Day,’ they always say they brought their kids to the event or attended it themselves as children,” said Eileen Scafidi, communications and outreach director for the Friends group. “We really want to connect with those folks and hear what the day means to them.”

The Friends, in partnership with the Boston Parks and Recreation Department and corporate sponsor the Motor Mart Garage, will open registration for the celebration at the Parkman Bandstand on the Boston Common at 10:45 p.m. The fee is $35 per family in advance and $40 on the day of the event, with proceeds from the event going to support the Friends’ mission to protect and improve the Common, Public Garden and Commonwealth Avenue Mall. Mayor Martin J. Walsh and Liz Vizza, executive director of the Friends group, will greet attendees at 11:45 a.m. before the parade, led by the Harvard Marching Band, begins at noon. More than 1,000 children – many dressed as characters from Robert McCloskey’s classic children’ story “Make Way for Ducklings” – are expected to attend.

In addition to the Wheelock Family Theatre’s traditional post-parade reading of McCloskey’s story in the Public Garden, this year’s “Duckling Day” will feature other activities for children, including a magic show, face-painting and workshop where they can make their own personalized Mother’s Day cards. Moms can also treat themselves to free “mini-massages” at the event.

“It’s a great opportunity to visit our parks and enjoy them with your families,” Scafidi said. “By supporting the Friends of the Public Garden and this event, you’re also supporting our parks.”

To share your “Duckling Day” memories, send them via e-mail to [email protected]. Visit for more information or to register for the event.

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