The Patriots' Day schedule includes dozens of major re-enactments of the first day of the American Revolution as local Militia and Minute Men companies commemorate the events of April 19, 1775 in Boston, Lexington, Lincoln, Arlington, Bedford, and Concord.
You'll be surprised by how realistic the reenactments feel.
You may even forget you're in 21st century Boston as you relive the thrilling beginning of the Patriots' fight for freedom from British rule.
Although Massachusetts officially observes Patriots' Day on the 3rd Monday in April (April 18 in 2016), commemorative ceremonies and re-enactments take place throughout the month.
Thousands of members of local minute men companies, militias, and historical societies participate in the re-enactments in Boston, the Minute Man National Historical Park, Concord's Old North Bridge, Lexington's Battle Green, and other historic sites in the Boston area.
The following Patriots' Day schedule highlights over 60 key events. Many additional local events, parades, and ceremonies take place in and around Boston on Patriots' Day weekend.
Please note: We do our best to make sure that all dates, times, and locations on this page are accurate, but last minute changes do occur.
Before heading out to any of these events, please be sure to use the links to information sources in the Essentials section to confirm dates/times.
Events preceded by "x" are still being confirmed for 2016.
If you belong to one of the participating groups and see information on this page that needs updating or correcting, please let me know! Here's a BIG "Thanks!!!" to those of you who send me updates from time to time!
Our Patriots' Day schedule lists events based on the day and time when they take place during the reenactment - which is not necessarily the same as the original sequence.
Lots of different organizations and communities stage the reenactments in a variety of locations including Boston, Cambridge, Arlington, Medford, Lexington, Concord, and Lincoln, plus a few others.
10:30am, Bedford Parade and Pole Capping - Location: 99 School Way, Bedford - The Stow Minute Men, the Bedford Minuteman Company, and other Minute Men from throughout New England gather on Town Common and march while playing fifes and drums down The Great Road to Wilson Mill Park, where a Minute Man will proclaim freedom by shinnying up a 25-foot pole and putting a red cap on top of it in defiance of King George. You make get to see Redcoats attempt to arrest the pole climber - but chances are good they won't succeed! The parade ends about 11:30.
11am - 2pm, Meriam House Tours - Location: Meriam's Corner on Lexington Road, Concord
1pm, Meriam's Corner Exercise - Location: Meriam's Corner on Lexington Road, Concord - Minute Men from area minute companies commemorate the fight at Meriam's Corner that began the Redcoats' 6-hour frantic running retreat back to Boston as they endured heavy fire from enraged Colonists along the way. Back in 1775, the British withdrew from the North Bridge in Concord where they had skirmished with over 400 Minutemen, but by the time they arrived here at about 12:30pm, more than 1,100 Minutemen from over a dozen towns had gathered in the vicinity, ambushing the British along the way. By the end of that first day, 49 Colonials and 73 British had been killed, with 173 wounded and missing.
2pm, Dress Rehearsal of the Lexington Skirmish on April 19, 1775 - Location: Battle Green, Lexington Center - The Lexington Minute Men hold their dress rehearsal for the Patriots Day (Monday, April 20) reenactment of the April 19, 1775 skirmish. Good day to come if you want to see some action but avoid the bigger crowds. Plus, the actual event on Patriots Day takes place at 5am - so opt for the dress rehearsal if you prefer to relive the experience at a more civilized hour. Rain date: April 12 at 2pm. - to be confirmed
3pm, Paul Revere Capture Ceremony - Location: Paul Revere Capture Site on Rt 2A, Minute Man National Historical Park (MMNHP), Lincoln - The Lincoln Minute Men will march down Battle Road and do a dramatic reading of the events of the night of April 19, 1775, when British troops captured Paul Revere in Lincoln, using the participants' own words. Reenactors portray Revere, Samuel Prescott, William Dawes, Mary Hartwell, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
Other reenactment units usually commemorate the event with fife and drum music, and a musket fire salute.
7am - Tough Ruck - Military personnel in partnership with the Boston Athletic Association (Boston Marathon organizers) will march for 26 miles along the Battle Road Trail in memory of our fallen soldiers. Step off is at the Old Manse field, next to the North Bridge. Come out and support them! Captain David Brown's Company of Minute Men will fire a musket salute at the start of the march, followed by a program about the Minute Men of 1775.
7am - 11:30pm - Living History Event: "Armed as According to Law" - presentation by Minute Men NHP and Concord Museum, featuring Captain David Brown's Company at North Bridge in Concord - see a near-full-strength minute company of about 40 men demonstrate drills and musket firing. You can also stop by the Concord Museum (1pm-5pm) to see actual artifacts from 1775.
9am-4pm - Battle Green Guided Tours, Lexington Green (Mass Ave, across from Town Library) - Guides in Colonial clothing provided informal tours and information; check out the war memorial on the Green where 7 of the 8 Militia who died in battle on April 19th, 1775 are buried.
10am, Parker's Revenge - Lexington Minutemen Gather on Lexington Green - Location: Lexington Green. - In this reenactment of an event that took place AFTER the Battle of Lexington was fought on the morning of April 19, 1775, Captain Parker calls the Lexington Minutemen to arms at on Lexington Green and talks with Reverend Jonas Clarke, at whose house Samuel Adams and John Hancock had been hiding (more about that). The Minutemen then march to the Parker's Revenge site on Route 2A in the Minute Man National Park for a wreath laying and musket salute that begins around 1:30pm-2pm near Fiske Hill in Lexington (see below).
The Minute Man National Historical Park hosts some of the biggest events of the weekend, including the Hartwell Tavern tours, Smith House demonstrations, and Bloody Angle demonstration activities listed below. There's plenty of well-marked parking in lots around the park, but wear sturdy walking shoes or boots.
9:30am - 12 noon, Hartwell Tavern and Captain William Smith House, "Life on the Battle Road - See where the Patriots spent their leisure time, and get a glimpse of what life was like in Massachusetts at the beginning of the American Revolution. Both the tavern and the house date back to before 1775.
10am-1pm, Whittemore House (Behind Minute Man Visitor Center, Route 2A, Lexington) - Costumed park volunteers will show you what life was like in 1775.
10am - 4pm, Tours of historic Lexington sites:
Buckman Tavern (1 Bedford Street; every half hour), Hancock Clarke House (36 Hancock St; every hour), and Munroe Tavern (1332 Mass Ave, every hour). Small admission fees apply; tickets available at each site. Hours may vary slightly at each site.
x10am-3pm, Patriot Fife and Drum at Paul Revere's House, 19 North Square, North End, Boston - Enjoy a lively musical concert of colonial music. Small admission fee applies. See the Paul Revere House website for more events during school vacation week.
10:30am - Explore Bloody Angle with Edmund Foster, Reading Massachusetts Volunteer - This reenactment includes a tour to this key battle site from 1775.
1pm-4pm, Jason Russell House Tours - Location: 7 Jason Street (at Mass Ave), Arlington - Children's activities and refreshments served on the lawn. The Menotomy Minutemen will demonstrate drilling and musketry, and discuss their gear. The house will be open for tours (donation requested).
1:00pm, Parker's Revenge Battle Reenactment - Location: Battle Road Trail behind the Minute Man Visitor Center on Route 2A, Lexington; best place to park is at Minuteman Regional High School - After Captain Parker calls the Lexington Minutemen to arms earlier in the day on Lexington Green (see above), they march to the battle site for a salute near Fiske Hill (Lexington) at 1:30pm. At 2pm, Captain Parker's Lexington militia will recreate their ambush on a British column conducted in revenge for their members who the British killed and wounded during the Battle on Lexington Green on the morning of April 19, 1775 (the photos on this page of reenactors on horseback are from this stirring event).
"Seeing how the Minute Men hid behind a hill and ambushed the British brought this moment in history to life! The British reenactors looked totally scared. They tried to shoot back - and then they ran for their lives! Our photos in this article will give you a small glimpse of this exciting event."
~ Olivia, Boston Discovery Guide
4pm-5pm, Tower Park Battle Demonstrations - Location: Munroe Tavern and Tower Park, Mass Ave (opposite Pelham Road), Lexington - The Lexington Minute Men and Tenth Regiment of Foot reenactors demonstrate American Revolution battle techniques, tactics, and weapons in the amphitheater area.
Essentials: Patriots Day Logistics & Schedule
- Boston events - Parking garages near the North End - Better option: take the T to Haymarket
- Concord, Lincoln, Lexington events - Parking areas are clearly marked near most of the major events. If you're staying in Boston, you will need a car to get to these events - check out my recommendations for where to rent a car in Boston by the day or for just a few hours
Where to stay:
Boston (close to North End events):
- Fairmont Battery Wharf Hotel - Stay right in the North End
- Millennium Bostonian Hotel - A 5-minute walk to Boston's North End
- Marriott Long Wharf - Next to the North End, and a big favorite with families
- Colonial Inn - 48 Monument Square, Concord Center
- Concord Best Western - 740 Elm Street - couple of miles from Concord Center
- Lexington Hotels
Patriots' Day schedule sources- Confirm dates/times on these participants' websites:
- Minute Man National History Park reenactments - Comprehensive list of Minute Man Park events, plus others in Concord and Lexington: http://www.nps.gov/mima/patriots-day.htm
- Paul Revere House events - Many interesting demonstrations, story telling sessions, and reenactments
- Lexington events - Information from the Lexington Historical Society about events taking place in Lexington
- Concord events - Information from the Concord Chamber of Commerce
- Battle Road Events - Good source of Patriots' Day schedule information around Lexington and Concord - plus, if you need information, perhaps for a school project, about authentic British or Colonial uniforms and other clothing worn at the time of the Revolutionary War, this website links to some excellent sources
- Paul Revere's ride re-enactment - Times and routes for the re-enactment of Paul Revere's ride by the National Lancers 1836
- Arlington events - Partial list of Patriots' Day events in Arlington, MA: www.arlingtonma.gov/parade
- Jason Russell House (Arlington) events: http://www.arlingtonhistorical.org
- Stow Minutemen - If you want to learn about what Minutemen companies do, or find out about becoming a Minuteman (or Minutewoman), joining the fife and drum corps, or becoming a reenactor, check out this interesting website!
- Acton Historical Society - Information about the Spirit of Acton 1775 & 1861 events and trolley
- Tough Ruck - Information about the Tough Ruck march along Battle Road
3:45am (Wayland Center) and 5:30am (Sudbury Center), March to Concord from Wayland Reenactment - The Sudbury Companies of Militia and Minute reenact the historic march on April 19, 1775, from Wayland (which used to be called Sudbury) and then from Sudbury to Old North Bridge in Concord, where they arrive at approximately 11:30am and then fire a musket salute from the bridge. They welcome you to join them or just watch them - but do note the times; also please note that you cannot fire your musket from North Bridge unless you've previously been vetted. For more information, check the Sudbury Minute Men website.
x6:00am, Dawn Salute at the North Bridge - Location: North Bridge, Monument Street, Concord - The Concord Minute Men and Concord Independent Battery give a 21-gun musket and cannon salute to honor the opening battle of the American Revolutionary War. The fife and drum corps of the 4th Battalion, 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, "The Old Guard," will be joining in the commemoration.
9am-4pm - Battle Green Guided Tours, Lexington Green (Mass Ave, across from Town Library) - See description for Saturday, April 19th.
10am - 4pm, Tours of historic Lexington sites:
Buckman Tavern (1 Bedford Street; every half hour), Hancock Clarke House (36 Hancock St; every hour), and Munroe Tavern (1332 Mass Ave, every hour). Small admission fees apply; tickets available at each site.
Noon-approximately 2pm - Battle at Jason Russell House - Location: 7 Jason Street (at Mass Ave), Arlington - The Menotomy Minutemen, the Danvers Alarum Company and Gardner's Regiment, and the Acton Minutemen will reenact the Jason Russell House battle at historic Jason Russell House, built in 1740 and the site of the bloodiest fight of the first day of the American Revolution after the retreating Redcoats tried to ransack the house on their way back to Boston. A dozen Colonials, including 59-year-old Jason Russell, and two British were killed during the ensuing battle. You can still see bullet holes throughout the house.
2pm-4pm, Jason Russell House Tours - Location: 7 Jason Street, Arlington - Tour the home of Jason Russell (now a museum; donation appreciated).
2pm - Arlington Patriots Day Parade - Starts at Mass Ave and Brattle Street, and marches east along Mass Ave to Walgreens in East Arlington - Bands, fire engines, and many community groups march in the parade.
1pm-4pm, War Preparations at the Barrett Farm - How did the Colonists begin to prepare for war against the British? In this fascinating glimpse into Colonel James Barrett's home, you'll be transported back to 1775 as you see the intense preparations as Colonel Barrett fulfilled his duties in safeguarding all of Concord's military supplies, even though the Redcoats searched his house. Sit in on a Committee of Safety meeting, make some artillery cartridges, practice a new military exercise, and share your concerns with other local citizens. Location: 448 Barrett's Mill Road, Concord.
1:45pm-3:30pm, Concert of 18th Century Fife and Drum Music and the Lincoln Salute - Hosted by the Lincoln Minute Men, the concert includes performances of 18th century folk tunes from all over Europe and works by major composers of that time period, with performances by a variety of fife and drum groups. Location: Pierce Park, Lincoln
7pm - 8pm, Alarm and Muster of Lincoln Minute Men - Location: White Church on Bedford Road across from the town library in Lincoln Center - The Lincoln Company of Minute Men reenact events that happened just after midnight in the early morning of April 19, 1775, including the arrival of Captain William Smith by horseback to ring the bell in the White Church to warn the Colonists that the British Regulars are coming. The event includes historical explanations, period music, a musket salute, and of course, the reenactment.
8pm (ceremony), Lantern Lighting Service at Old North Church - Location: Old North Church, Boston's North End - The Lantern Ceremony commemorates the hanging of lanterns to signal the British route to Concord, and includes a reading of Longfellow's poem Paul Revere's Ride, a recitation of Paul Revere's own account of the ride, fife and drum music, a Color Guard from the USS Constitution, and the commemorative hanging of two lanterns in the Old North Steeple. Ticket and sponsorship information: http://oldnorth.com, 617-523-6676 x105
8pm - "In their Own Words" - a Dramatic Reading - Pilgrim Congregational Church, 55 Coolidge Ave, Lincoln - Costumed reenactors present readings by lantern light from documents written by people who were present for the events of April 18th and 19th, 1775. Information and tickets ($10 adults, $5 children): call 781-862-1703.
8:30pm - Old North Church, Boston - National Lancer Troops, Paul Revere, and William Dawes arrive at the church for the Lantern Lighting Ceremony, and then begin their "midnight Journey" to Lexington and Concord.
10pm - Paul Revere, William Dawes, and National Lancers arrive in Lexington for the Hancock-Clarke House reenactment at 11:30
11:30pm - Paul Revere's Ride Reenactment - Hancock-Clarke House, 35 Hancock St, Lexington - Reenactment of Paul Revere's arrival at midnight at the Hancock-Clarke House, where John Hancock and Samuel Adams were hiding, and the dramatic reactions of the occupants when being warned that the British were coming. Reenacted by the Lexington Minute Men and the National Lancers.
Check out Boston Discovery Guide's articles about events leading up to the Revolutionary War:
4:15am, March to Concord from Stow Reenactment - The Stow Minute Men gather at Stow Shopping Plaza at 4:15 and then march from Stow Lower Common to Old North Bridge, firing muskets and playing fifes and drums along the way to awaken the townsfolk, arriving in Concord about 9am and then joining the parade. More about the Stow Minutemen
4:45am, Colonel John Robinson Trail March Reenactment - The Westford Colonial Minutemen reenact the 10-mile march made by the Westford militia and minute companies from Westford Town Common to Old North Bridge, where they join the Patriots' Day Parade. They invite the public to join them for the walk, which reaches Concord at about 8am-9am. If you decide to do this, make sure you have a ride back, bring plenty of water and snacks, and wear appropriate clothing (does not have to be colonial), as this march occurs rain (except perhaps during torrential downpours) or shine. Check the Westford Colonial Minutemen website for possible updates, especially in the case of heavy rain.
5:30am, "The Alarm" at the Old Belfry (Mass Ave and Clarke Street next to Battle Green, Lexington) - The Belfry that you can see today is an exact replica of the one that stood on Lexington Common in 1775 and that was rung at dawn on April 19 to alert to Minute Men to come to the Common because British troops were heading toward Concord. Come ring the bell yourself to call the Minute Men from Buckman Tavern where they spent the night after hearing Paul Revere's warning about the approaching British. This marks the start of Lexington's historic Patriots' Day reenactment each year.
5:30am, Battle on Lexington Green - Reenactment of the battle on Lexington Green (near Lexington Center) as the British Regulars passed through on their way to Concord, leaving dead and wounded behind on this first day of the American Revolution. Eight members of the Colonial militia were killed on the Battle Green during the "skirmish," as the British called it. Features the Lexington Militia and British regulars. Note: The actual battle on April 19, 1775 started at 4:30 pm, but the reenactment is pushed back by an hour. Arrive early (4pm-5pm) to get a good viewing location. Please note: If you attend this event, the Lexington Police Department requests that you use clear or mesh bags to carry large personal items, and limit the use of backpacks and large containers.
At 5:45am on the Green, the Lexington Minute Men Company provides a 10-minute explanation about what you'll see as the battle unfolds.
At 6am, you'll begin to hear the Redcoats coming from the east side of the Green, and the Patriots coming from Buckman Tavern (that's the yellow building across the street from the Green). Basically, the Patriots, led by Captain John Parker, block the path of the British. Major Pitcairn, leader of the British troops, swings his sword and says, "Lay down your arms, you damned rebels" - and the war begins with the "shot heard 'round the world," - and many more following it, leaving 8 Minute Men dead and 10 wounded. The British continue on toward Concord.
x5:30am, Acton Minutemen March to Old North Bridge - The Acton Minutemen start their annual reenactment march from the Isaac Davis homestead at 39 Hayward Road in Acton to Concord's Old North Bridge, where the British troops shot and killed Acton Minutemen members Isaac Davis, Abner Hosmer, and company fifer Luther Blanchard on April 19, 1775. The Minutemen will fire muskets at 6:30am as part of a ceremony at the Isaac Davis Monument across from Acton Town Hall, and then join other Minutemen companies and Militias in the 7-mile march to North Bridge, arriving about 9am for the battle reenactment. More about the Acton Minutemen
6am-10am - Pancake Breakfasts in Lexington - Locations: St Brigid's Church (2001 Mass Ave), First Baptist Church (1580 Mass Ave), Church of Our Redeemer (6 Meriam St) - Like all important events in New England, the Battle of Lexington Reenactment will be followed by delicious reasonably-priced pancake breakfasts. Whether you are a visitor or local, do not miss this quintessential New England experience!
6am - 5pm - Lexington Visitor's Center (1875 Mass Ave, across from the town Library) will be open if you need a tour brochure, map, or directions to historical sites and events. Public restrooms.
6am - 8am, Buckman Tavern Walk-Through Tours - (1 Bedford St, Lexington) - Small admission fee.
6:45am - 8am, Lincoln Minute Men March to Concord - The Lincoln Minute Men, who were the first company to come to the aid of Concord back in 1775, will meet at the Town Cemetery on Old Lexington Road in Lincoln, fire a musket salute to honor the Patriots buried there, and then begin their march along Sandy Pond Road to Concord. They'll play music and fire their muskets along the way. More about the Lincoln Minute Men
7:30am - Sunrise Youth Parade - Mass Ave in Lexington, from Munroe Cemetery through Lexington Center to Battle Green (near the town Library).
x7:30am - North Bridge in Concord - Wreath-Laying Ceremony and historical speeches.
8am - First Shot! The Day the Revolution Began - Location: 13 Depot Square, Lexington - Orientation film about the Battle of Lexington, followed by Q&A session with reenactors. Tickets sold at door - $3 adults/$1 child
Between 8am and 8:45am onward - Commemoration of the Battle at North Bridge, Concord - British and Colonial reenactors from Acton and other local companies, park rangers, and volunteers commemorate the battle of April 19, 1775. Expect to hear plenty of musket fire! (please note - different sources give different start times for this event - so to be safe, be there at 8am)
8am - 2pm - Tours of other historic Lexington sites:
Buckman Tavern (1 Bedford Street; every half hour), Hancock Clarke House (36 Hancock St; every hour), and Munroe Tavern (1332 Mass Ave, every hour). Small admission fees apply; tickets available at each site.
At 8:15am, Patriots Day Ceremonies are held on Battle Green - Mass Ave at Bedford Street.
8:30am (approximately), British Mourn Arms Ceremony - Location: Old North Bridge, Concord - British reenactors representing British Regulars will conduct a moving "mourn arms" ceremony to commemorate the British soldiers from the King's Own 4th Regiment of Foot who died in the skirmish at Old North Bridge. The Acton Minutemen and other local companies will join them for a special commemoration with musket salutes, and at around 9:30, the Concord Parade will arrive at Old North Bridge.
8:30am - Concord - Vehicle traffic is banned on all roads in Concord Center.
8:45am - 9:25am - Battle at the Old North Bridge Reenactment - Old North Bridge, Minuteman National Historic Park in Concord - Reenactors will conduct the battle between the British and Provincial forces at Old North Bridge, followed by ceremonial volleys from 80+ muskets.
9:00am, Concord's Patriots' Day Parade - Concord Center - Huge parade includes all the Minute Men and Militias from Concord, Wayland, Acton, Westford, Sudbury, Lincoln, and many other communities west of Boston that converged on Concord in 1775. It also includes musicians, color guards, and visiting local, state, U.S., and foreign dignitaries with ties to Concord. The parade covers about 2.5 miles total, and occurs regardless of how bad the weather might be. Begins in Concord Center, passes over North Bridge at about 9:30, and then heads back into town. Times are always approximate.
9:30am, Paul Revere's Ride - Hanover Street (North End of Boston) - Paul Revere, portrayed by a member of the National Lancers, a cavalry troop of the Massachusetts Militia dating back to 1836, arrives in the North End at 9:30, and then leaves (around 10:30am) on his horseback ride across the countryside to warn Samuel Adams and others that the British troops were on their way, stopping along the way at Charlestown's City Square (10:35am), Somerville's Foss Park (11:20am), and Gaffery's Funeral Home on Route 60 in Medford (12 noon) to warn "Colonists" that the British are coming. He arrives at Arlington Town Hall at 12:05pm. He arrives at Lexington Battle Green (Mass Ave) at about 1pm, and the troops depart.
2016 marks the 239th Reenactment of the rides of Paul Revere and William Dawes, and the 241st anniversary of the actual event.
Read Longfellow's famous poem about Paul Revere's ride.
9:30am, William Dawes' Ride - Eliot Square, Roxbury - William Dawes, also portrayed by a Royal Lancer, arrives at 9:30am and then leaves at 10:30am from John Eliot Square in Roxbury on his own ride to warn the Colonists, stopping in Roxbury's Mission Hill Church at 9:40am, crosses Comm Ave (and the Marathon Route) at 10am), arrives at Brookline's Devotion School (10:05am), Hill Memorial Church in Allston at 10:45am, arrives in Cambridge at 11:05am, and Arlington Town Hall on Mass Ave (11:55pm); arrives at Lexington Green at about 12:45pm. The Troop leaves at 1pm.
Source for Paul Revere and William Dawes ride reenactments: National Lancers website - please note that times may vary slightly due to conditions along the way, so be at your destination a bit early.
1pm, Paul Revere's Arrival at Lexington Green - Lexington Battle Green - Another Lexington appearance by Paul Revere on horseback.
2pm, Town of Lexington Patriot's Day Parade - Location: Starts at Massachusetts Avenue and Maple Street in East Lexington, proceeds through Lexington Center, and ends on Worthen Road by the town swimming pool parking lot.
These events take place each year on April 19, regardless of the day of the week on which it falls, in commemoration of the events that occurred on April 19, 1775 - the first day of the American Revolution.
6:00am, Dawn Salute at the North Bridge - Location: North Bridge, Monument Street, Concord - The Concord Minute Men and Concord Independent Battery give a 21-gun musket and cannon salute to honor the opening battle of the American Revolutionary War.
11:30am (approximately) - Arrival of the Sudbury Militia and Minutemen which make their annual march to North Bridge from the Town of Sudbury. Once they arrive at North Bridge, they will fire 3 musket volleys as a soldierly salute in honor of their townsmen of 1775 who made a similar march on April 19.
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