A state holiday observed on the 3rd Monday in April each year, Patriot’s day is a unique holiday honoring the memory and meaning of the first battle of the American Revolution. Fought on April 19, 1775, the historical significance behind the day is undeniable. As such, the memory of the day is celebrated each year through parades, reenactments and other celebrations and activities throughout the entire weekend.
While many reenactments take place throughout the Patriot’s Day celebration, there are two major types of reenactments that you can expect to see: battles/skirmishes and depictions of 18th century daily life. The reenactments involving battles and skirmishes will include the battles themselves as well as the events leading up to them, including significant historical events such as Paul Revere’s ride and the battles on Lexington Green. The depictions of 18th century daily life, on the other hand, will focus on using actual historical buildings such as Paul Revere’s house in Boston’s North End and the Hartwell Tavern located in Lincoln’s Minuteman National Historical Park. You can also expect to see a number of demonstrations during Patriot’s Day depicting various aspects of the Colonial period.
One reenactment that is particularly popular each year is the staging of the “Bloody Angle Tactical Demonstration at Hartwell Tavern,” which stretches along a half-mile section of Battle Road in Lincoln. As part of this reenactment, you will be able to see different types of muskets and other weapons used during the time. You will also learn more about these weapons while gaining a better appreciation for how they were actually used in battle. The reenactors, which include men, women and children of all ages, stay in character throughout the day-long event.
Key Patriot’s Day Events
With events taking place throughout the weekend, choosing the ones to attend can be tricky. While you are sure to be pleased with any event that you choose, here are some of the most popular:
- Event at Paul Revere’s House, which are particularly enjoyable for children.
- Lantern-lighting ceremony in Old North Church commemorating the first in the chain of events that led to the Battle at Old North Bridge.
- Reenactment by the National Lancers of the start of Paul Revere’s famous ride to Concord to warn about the arrival of British troops.
- Monday morning reenactment of Paul Revere’s departure from the North End on horseback, with stops at Medford, Lexington and other areas along the way.
- Reenactment of the skirmish on Lexingon Green where the “shot heard ‘round the world” was fired.
- Saturday reenactments at Hartwell Tavern, which also offers tours and demonstrations led by hundreds of reenactors.
- The Parker’s Revenge reenactment, which includes demonstrations of how the Minute Men ambushed the British soldiers as they returned from Concord to Boston.
- Reenactment of the Battle at Old North Bridge in Concord.
Most of the reenactments taking place throughout the weekend are made possible with reenactor groups, many of which are local. Among these are “First Foot Guards,” “His Majesty’s Tenth Regiment of Foot,” “Lexington Minutemen and Lexington Training Band,” “Lincoln Minutemen” and “Concord Independent Battery.”