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PHOTOS: Swans Return to the Public Garden Lagoon for Spring

The pair, named Romeo and Juliet (even though they are both female), wintered at the Franklin Park Zoo.

In what Mayor Thomas Menino called the real beginning of the season, the Public Garden's famous swans, Romeo and Juliet, were released back into the lagoon after a small ceremony on a picture-perfect Monday morning. 

"Romeo and Juliet being released today is really the sign of spring. I don't care what the calendar says," Menino said today just before opening one of the two glass cages that the swans were transported in from the Franklin Park Zoo, where they stay during colder months. 

Liz Vizza, the executive director of the Friends of the Public Garden said that this annual event is one of Boston's iconic moments.

"This is one of those amazing traditions that mean so much to the city," Vizza told Patch. "This thing really holds in your memory – the simple act of releasing the swans. It makes everyone happy. Such a simple thing, so unvarnished."

The swans were released just after a short parade, that included a brass band, from the corner of Charles and Boylston streets to the Boylston side of the lagoon.

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