Swan boats closing Saturday due to rally, protest

By: Kacie Yearout

Updated:

BOSTON - The owner of the Boston Public Garden Swan Boats said they will be closed Saturday due to the rallies planned downtown. 

The owner said this may be the first time they will be closed for a non-weather event in the summer. They are closing to help make it easier for police to manage crowds. 

The boats are a classic Boston tourist activity and have been taking people on rides through the Public Garden since the 1960s. The boats operate only half the year, ceremoniously marking the beginning and end of the summer season. 

MORE: Mayor Walsh asks 'free speech' rally to not come to Boston this weekend

On Saturday, a smaller Boston Free Speech rally is planned for the Common and is hosting speakers that include an InfoWars contributor. Despite what some have said, the organizers said they are not connected to hate groups and they are simply advocating the first amendment. 

"Respect our city," said Boston Mayor Marty Walsh to the "Free Speech Rally" attendants. 

MORE: 'Boston Free Speech' rally organizers meet with city, secure permit

A counter protest is planned for the same time, which is expected to draw a much larger crowd. The "Fight Supremacy! Boston Counter-Protest and Resistance Rally" march will be walking from the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center to the Common. 

Police said the main concern is keeping the groups separate. Commissioner William Evans said he expects large crowds downtown Saturday. 

Some small businesses around Boston Common are also closing, including a T-shirt stand. The owner of the T-shirt stand said he expects a huge loss of business. 

Frog Pond on the Common will also be closed

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