Guide to Patriots' Day, with a complete list of activities on Patriots' Day and throughout the month
There is much more to Patriots' Day than the morning reenactment, with dozens of events in the days leading up to Patriots' Day, events throughout the day, and events over the days that follow.
The list of events below is the most comprehensive available, having been compiled from ten different sites and sources.
Of course the annual reenactment of the events that took place on April 19, 1775 in Lexington and Concord is not to be missed. This year it takes place on April 21. Arrive much earlier than the 5:30 a.m. starting time to get a good view, or bring a ladder—a tall ladder—to see over the heads of those crowded around the Green. After the clash on the Green, talk with the reenactors before they march on to North Bridge. Follow them as they march, or catch up with them before they arrive so you'll have a good spot to watch.
Note that the National Park Service, blaming budget cuts, reports that they will not hold the "Battle Road" event, including the Bloody Angle Battle Demonstration, that usually takes place at Hartwell Tavern in Lincoln.
About the reenactment on Lexington Green
Q: Where is a good place to park?
A: Kate Ekrem from Facebook: "For less than $10 you can park at Church of Our Redeemer, right on the Green, and get a yummy pancake breakfast after the re-enactment to benefit the Food Pantry, too! 6 Meriam St, right off of Mass Ave behind Buckman Tavern."
Dan Strand from Facebook: "Park at St. Brigid's Church (2001 Massachusetts Avenue), short walk to green and stand on side closest to street towards bottom of hill, as they will run towards you, so you will see more."
Q: Where is the best place to stand?
A: Michele Peterson from Facebook: "If you face the minuteman statue, go down the right side to the end near Harrington Rd. and Bedford St."
And "stand" is the operative word. There is no bleacher seating or permanent seating. Just as it was then, this is the town Green. A few lucky people may get their early enough to be able to sit in a chair or on a blanket, but the Green isn't that large, and those spaces quickly fill up. As noted above, a tall ladder is a good option. Some folks bring a couple and set up a plank between them, but remember you'll be hauling all of this from a blocks away. And once the reenactment on the Green is over, you'll want to remove any ladders or chairs, which complicates following the reenactors on their march to North Bridge.
Q: What time do you need to arrive?
A: Lexington Green 1775 from Facebook: "Not the easiest thing to suggest which is why we do not it normally. Arrival time it matters how close you want to be. I would suggest things get hopping between 4 and 5 am. But a lot of that has to do with the weather. Parking - again that is tough. My suggestion is to walk in from where you can find a spot. Most people come in off of 128 so being on the Lexington Center side of things might work out best - there is also big parking lots near the high school and recreation center. As far as locations to stand - you can not go wrong with an open spot. But if I had to suggest a location - On the Buckman Tavern lawn facing the Green is what I think is this the best location. There is no one in front of you and it gives a nice open view. You want to be a little West of being directly across from the flag pole. Those are my suggestions but if you ask 10 people you will most likely get 10 answers."
To learn more about what set the stage for the conflict and what happened leading up to the Declaration of Independence, The Coming of the American Revolution, from the Massachusetts Historical Society, covers the years 1774 - 1776 with narrative and original documents. Boston 1775, from writer and historian J. L. Bell, is a lively look at the period.
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