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    Boston Common Frog Pond ice rink marks its earliest ever opening with free skating

    Mary Martha Checketts pushed her son, Thomas, 3 around the ice on the first day of the season.
    John Tlumacki/Globe Staff
    Mary Martha Checketts pushed her son, Thomas, 3 around the ice on the first day of the season.

    The Boston Common Frog Pond opened its ice rink for the first time this season Tuesday morning, the earliest ever opening of the downtown skating fixture thanks to the past week’s chilly weather.

    “I think it’s going very well; we’re excited that we’ve opened earlier than ever,” said Doug Zeghibe, executive director of the Skating Club of Boston, which leases the rink from the city of Boston. “Skating announces the holiday season, so we have a lot of happy campers down there right now.”

    “There’s always a lot of demand,” he said. “Beyond your imagination.”

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    Zeghibe said that while he would “love to open this early every year,” the rink’s opening day depends on the November weather in the city. He always hopes to get the ice settled well ahead of the annual Boston Common tree lighting ceremony, though, to complement the holiday celebration.

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    Recent conditions in Boston made for the perfect transition from the Frog Pond’s fall programming, including a pumpkin float and a carousel, to the winter rink that was set up over the past week, Zeghibe said.

    “We had a nice, smooth turnaround from fall operations,” he said. “It takes a few days to flood the Frog Pond and get a base down, then it’s constantly running the Zamboni to get layers of ice.

    “The weather supported it. It’s tough to build ice if the weather’s on the margin, so to have a cold snap over the weekend was perfect,” he said. “It’s not nice for everyone, but the weather’s nice for the Frog Pond.”

    The rink’s 2017 return was marked with a day of free skating, excluding skate rentals, from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday. Admission is typically $6 and free for children under 4 feet 10 inches tall.

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    The Frog Pond will be open for skating daily through March, weather permitting.

    Later this month, Frog Pond visitors can enjoy a free figure skating show ahead of the city’s tree lighting ceremony on the Common with Mayor Martin J. Walsh on the evening of Nov. 30. More information on the Frog Pond’s hours, admission, and more can be found at bostonfrogpond.com.

    Ben Thompson can be reached at ben.thompson@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @Globe_Thompson.