If you’re heading to Boston in April, use this playbook to the Boston Patriots Day celebrations. From the lantern lighting on the eve of Patriots Day, to the parade that kicks off the commemorative celebration of The Revolutionary War on the 3rd Monday in April, this post covers the details of the exciting events in the area.
The Revolutionary War comes to life every year in Boston, Massachusetts, on Patriots Day. Celebrated on the third Monday in April — with festivities starting the preceding weekend — Patriots Day commemorates the first Revolutionary War battles. The fun festivities include special events and reenactments throughout the city at historic sites like Old North Bridge. The Patriots Day Parade kicks off at City Hall Plaza and ends at Paul Revere Mall with a reenactment of Paul Revere’s midnight ride. Here is how to take it all in during your visit.
Patriots Day Boston
The Annual Lantern Lighting takes place at the Old North Church, Boston’s oldest surviving church, on the eve of Patriots Day. The ceremony commemorates the two signal lanterns placed in the church’s bell tower by patriots Robert Newman and Captain John Pulling Jr. on April 18, 1775, to warn the colonists that the British troops were crossing the Charles River on the way to Lexington and Concord.
The parade starts at 9 a.m. at City Hall Plaza and ends about 10 a.m. at Paul Revere Mall. The National Lancers, a ceremonial cavalry troop of the Massachusetts Organized Militia, bring the parade to an exciting close with their reenactment of Paul Revere’s midnight ride in front of the Old North Church and Historic Site.
Patriots Day Lexington
A trip to Boston for Patriots Day isn’t complete without side trips to nearby Lexington and Concord, both about a half-hour’s drive away. After all, the holiday commemorates the Revolutionary War’s first battles in those two towns.
Early risers can watch Lexington’s Battle Road Demonstration, a reenactment of the Lexington Battle on Lexington Green, at 5:30 a.m. on Patriots Day. Members of the historically recreated Lexington Minute Man Company and His Majesty’s Tenth Regiment of Foot perform the reenactment in uniform.
Patriots Day Concord
Concord’s Meriam’s Corner Exercise — complete with cannon and musket firing — takes place in Minute Man National Historical Park on the Saturday before Patriots Day. Area volunteer fife and drum corps and minute troops pay homage to the April 19, 1775 running battle, when the British withdrew from the North Bridge and retreated from Concord.
The Commemoration of the North Bridge Fight kicks off on Patriots Day at Concord’s North Bridge at 8:45 a.m. with a battle demonstration featuring British and Colonial reenactors who pay tribute to “The shot heard ’round the world.” It’s followed by the Concord Patriots Day Parade, which begins around 9:30 a.m.
Visitors should plan for road closures related to Patriots Day celebrations. In Boston, it’s best to park in parking garages near the North End. Public lots and metered spaces are available in Lexington and Concord, and “No Parking” signs are strictly enforced.
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