Patriots’ Day events start April 6

  • Published
  • By Capt. Adam Livermore
  • 66th Air Base Group Public Affairs

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. -- Patriots' Day is a special Massachusetts holiday commemorating the opening battle of the American Revolutionary War on April 19, 1775.

For those here at Hanscom Air Force Base, it’s an opportunity to participate in local community events to remember the rich history of this area and witness the unique, historical reenactments depicting those major events that led to the independence of the United States.

This year the holiday will be officially observed on April 15, but celebrations take place throughout the month.

"Patriots' Day is important to the Town of Lexington, because it signifies the beginning of the American Revolution," said Lorain Marquis, Lexington Town Celebrations Committee member. "We are still benefiting from the bravery of these men by the freedom we all share today."

Col. Taona Enriquez, installation commander, Chief Master Sgt. Charles Desaulniers, acting installation command chief, and other Hanscom leaders are anticipated to take part in some area ceremonies.

The following are a sampling of events taking place around the area. For further information, please visit the Minute Man National Historical Park website, the Bedford Minutemen website, the Lexington Town website, the Town of Concord website or visit the Concord website at Patriot’s Day Events April 2024- Visit Concord.

Saturday, April 6

Bedford Liberty Pole Capping

The Bedford Liberty Pole Capping will take place at 10:30 a.m. at Willson Park. Minutemen from throughout New England will convene on the town common and march to Willson Park to watch the official pole capping tradition. A minuteman will proclaim freedom by climbing up a 25-foot pole and placing a red cap atop it, signifying defiance of King George. Following, Maj. Gen. Anthony Genatempo, program executive officer for Command, Control, Communications, Intelligence and Networks, and Enriquez will join past Bedford minute man company captains in laying a wreath in remembrance of Captain Willson, who was killed on April 19, 1775.

Meriam's Corner Exercise

The town of Concord, joined by area minute men companies, will commemorate the fight at Meriam's Corner that began the Redcoat's six-hour frantic retreat back to Boston. Meriam's Corner is on Lexington Road, one mile east of Concord Center. The event begins at 1 p.m. In addition, the Meriam House will be open to tour from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Paul Revere Capture Ceremony

The Lincoln Minute Men will march down Battle Road and narrate the story of Paul Revere's capture at the actual site, on Route 2A, in Lincoln at 3 p.m. Observe the historic capture with fife and drum music, a theatrical performance, and a musket fire salute.

Saturday, April 13

Parker's Revenge Reenactment

At 9 a.m., Lexington minute men gather on the Battle Green to reenact the second call to arms from Captain John Parker, which took place on the afternoon of April 19, 1775, with additional dialogue from Rev. Jonas Clarke. Following this event, the minute men will march up Massachusetts Avenue to Fiske Hill before continuing on to the Parker’s Revenge site in the Minute Man National Park for a skirmish reenactment at 1 p.m.

Monday, April 15

Capt. Parker orders Lt. Tidd to drill some of the company- New Event

Historically, Lt. William Tidd was drilling the Lexington militia near his house the night before the Battle of Lexington. This reenactment takes place near Harrington Road toward the Northeast corner of the Battle Green at 5:05 a.m.

Evacuation of the citizens of Lexington – New Event

At 5:15 a.m., the civilian evacuation audio begins, followed by the reenactment of the evacuation of the citizens of Lexington across the Battle Green and exiting across Harrington Road. Hearing that a patrol of the British Regular Army was approaching the town, the women and children - as well as some men - of Lexington left their homes seeking safer places to wait when the British column marched through town.

Battle of Lexington Reenactment

This is the central event of Patriots’ Day weekend. Lexington will celebrate the start of the American Revolution with a reenactment of the early morning engagement between the town's militia and the British regulars. The event will begin at 5:30 a.m. on the Lexington Battle Green. Be aware that road closures and detours will be in place.

Sunrise Youth Parade

The parade starts at 7:30 a.m. at Cary Memorial Building driveway, proceeding west along Massachusetts Ave through Lexington center onto the Battle Green.

Ceremony on the Green

At 8 a.m., the Town of Lexington’s annual awards are presented for active citizenship and service in a ceremony on the Lexington Green. Awards include the White Tricorne Hat award presented by the Lions Club; the Minuteman Cane award; the Youth Commission awards; and others.  The ceremony is held on Massachusetts Ave. at Belford St.

Concord Patriots' Day Parade

Beginning at 9 a.m., the parade features participants representing military, musical and patriotic groups from across New England, including Hanscom AFB. The parade begins on Main Street and proceeds through Concord Center to the Old North Bridge, where a brief ceremony commemorates the events of April 19, 1775. The parade returns through Concord Center by way of Monument Street and Main Street at approximately 10:15 a.m. where each unit is officially acknowledged at a reviewing stand on Main Street and Keyes Road. The parade covers about 3.5 miles total and occurs regardless of weather conditions.

Paul Revere’s Arrival

Assemble at 12:30 p.m. to greet Paul Revere at the Battle Green. Boston Mayor Michelle Wu will deliver a Patriots’ Day message.

Lexington Afternoon Parade

Lexington's annual Patriots' Day parade will take place at 2 p.m. The parade participants consist of reenactors and military groups, including Hanscom AFB. It begins at Massachusetts Avenue and Maple Street in East Lexington and proceeds west along Massachusetts Avenue through Lexington Center. Parking for the event is extremely limited and road closures and detours will be in place. 

Tuesday, April 18

Patriot Vigil

As darkness descends upon the North Bridge battlefield in the Minute Man National Historic Park, a candlelight vigil is held. The National Park Service invites all to come and reflect on the events of April 19, 1775, and the meaning of liberty. The evening ceremony will feature a lantern-light procession, poetry, music, and a recitation of the names of the soldiers who gave their lives on that “ever-memorable” 19th of April. The path from the North Bridge Visitor Center to the North Bridge will be lighted with 122 luminaries to honor those who lost their lives in the battle. The ceremony takes place from 7:45 to 8:45 p.m.

Friday, April 19

Dawn Salute

The Concord Minute Men, Acton Minutemen and the Concord Independent Battery will observe the opening battle of the American Revolution with a 21-gun musket and cannon salute, firing several volleys from the field at the Old Manse, to honor the opening battle of the American Revolutionary War. The event will take place at the North Bridge in Concord at 6 a.m., followed by a wreath-laying ceremony.