Eight-year-old Genesis Calderon lost count of the number of plastic frogs she scooped out of the newly reopened frog pond Thursday morning on Boston Common.
Calderon said her favorite parts of the reopening ceremony, which featured music, LEGO bricks, and free ice cream, were “the frogs and the water.”
Frogs, she said, are her favorite animals.
And, she said, “It’s fun because I get to get wet.”
The frog pond, which was closed last summer because of the COVID-19 pandemic, opened to the public Thursday morning. Acting Mayor Kim Janey delivered brief remarks at the reopening ceremony before heading into the pond herself to splash around.
“It is a wonderful day here in our city, particularly now, after we’ve had such a difficult time dealing with COVID-19. We’ve done a good job making sure our residents here in Boston are vaccinated,” Janey said. “We still have work to do in terms of the vaccine, [but] it is because of that good work, though, that we’re able to be out here experiencing this wonderful day and having our city experiencing joy and a reopening and a renewal.”
Janey said she has a personal connection to the frog pond.
“I am particularly excited to be here. I played in [the] frog pond as a kid in the 1970s. I brought my daughter here, as a young single mom, to play and to cool off in the hot summer months, and I bring my grandchildren here, to [the] frog pond so it has been at least four generations of my family, who have experienced” being there, she said.
As Boston Parks Commissioner Ryan Woods counted down from 10 to signal the pond’s reopening, Janey shed her heels and headed into the water. She posed for pictures with smiling children and adults before departing.
Boston police officers handed out free ice cream to residents, while music blared. A person dressed in a frog suit, nicknamed “Freddy the Frog,” walked around to take pictures with children, who were grinning from ear to ear. At one point, Freddy stopped and performed the macarena.
Freddy was a favorite among the children, including 9-year-old Kai Anderson.
When asked what his favorite part was, Anderson said the music — “and Freddy.”
Rafaella Rocha, who came from Burlington to visit the pond, was sitting on a park bench eating lunch with her 5-year-old twins, Pedro and Enzo.
“After this whole year and a half, we feel more blessed to be around friends,” she said. “The kids are so happy to be back.”
Pedro said he enjoyed splashing around.
His favorite part of the pond, he said, was “being in the sprinkler.”
But there was a close runner-up.
“I like all the pops” he added, of the ice cream handed out at the event.
Cherylann Flores and her sister Jolene Tranfaglia, were there with Flores’ 2-year-old daughter, Angelica.
Tranfaglia said that her mother had brought her and Flores to the pond when they were children. And their mother had been brought to the pond by her mother — making Angelica a fourth-generation pond attendee.
“It’s very joyful, very bright, very exciting, and very overwhelming” to be back at the frog pond, Tranfaglia said.
“It was heartbreaking” not to be able to visit the pond last year, Flores said.
The frog pond is a place to make “priceless memories for the rest of your life,” Tranfaglia said.