NewEnglandTravelPlanner.com Where to Go Tours & Routes FAQ Search

Patriots Day in Massachusetts

Patriots Day means Revolutionary War battle re-enactments, muskets, cannons, Minuteman parades, fife-and-drum bands in Lexington and Concord and the Boston Marathon in Boston.

King's 10th Regiment of Foot ready for inspection, Patriots Day, Lexington MA
His Majesty's 10th Regiment of Foot ready for inspection, Patriots Day, Lexington MA

Patriots Day, commemorating the start of the American Revolutionary War on April 19, 1775, is celebrated as a state holiday in Massachusetts and Maine (which was part of Massachusetts in 1775), so state offices and schools in those states close on the third Monday in April, giving inhabitants a three-day weekend.

In 2024, the official Patriots Day holiday is Monday, April 15th. On that day, Minutemen and Redcoat reenactors will meet at dawn (5:30am) on Lexington Battle Green, hurl insults at one another, and after the musket smoke clears, eight Minutemen will lie "dead" on the green as the Redcoats march off to Concord.

In Concord at 8:30am Minutemen will muster on Punkatasset Hill above the Old North Bridge, and will attack Redcoats returning from Barrett's farm, the first American victory in the Revolutionary War.

But that's just on Patriots Day. Commemorations and observances begin on April 6th, 2024, and continue to April 19th, all listed below by date.

Patriots Day Map

Minute Man National Historical Park also publishes maps here.

Saturday, April 6, 2024

Meriam House

Nathan Meriam House, Open House, 751 Lexington Road, corner of Old Bedford Road, Concord (map), 11:00 am to 2:00 pm; costumed National Park Service interpreters explain what Nathan Meriam witnessed on April 19th, 1775, at the beginning of "Battle Road." More...

Nathan Meriam House, Concord MA
Nathan Meriam House, at the western trailhead of the Battle Road Trail, Concord MA.

Bedford Liberty Pole Capping

Willson Park, 2 Concord Road, Bedford MA (map), 10:30 am to 12:00 noon; echoing the custom of Bostonians to gather at the town's Liberty Tree when a red flag was raised from it, the Bedford Minutemen and those from nearby towns march to Willson Park and raise poles topped with red Liberty Caps to the music of fife-and-drum bands and the noise of muskets firing. More...

Sunday, April 7, 2024

The Search of Barrett Farm (Cancelled! Flooding...)

The Search of Barrett Farm, Colonel James Barrett House, 448 Barrett's Mill Road, Concord (map), 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm.

Rebekah Barrett confronts Redcoats demanding they search the Barrett farm for illegal weapons, Concord MA
Rebeckah Barrett confronts Redcoats wanting to search the Barrett farm for illegal weapons

On April 19th, 1775, a troop of about 120 Redcoats marched over the North Bridge to Barrett’s farm in search of colonial military arms and supplies. They found nothing except Mrs Barrett, who gave them a piece of her mind. (Muskets were buried in the fields and other weapons taken farther away.) Reenactors will stage the encounter, and you can explore the interior of this restored three-century-old home.

Saturday, April 13, 2024

Lexington Events

The Town of Lexington has a full-day schedule of events on Saturday, April 13th, including tours of Battle Green and Revolutionary-era buildings and sites including Buckman Tavern, Hancock-Clarke House and Munroe Tavern; and performances by fife-and-drum bands.

Civilian Evacuation & Elm Brook Hill

Civilian evacuation, Patriots Day
Civilians fleeing the impending battle along Battle Road.

Hartwell Tavern and Elm Brook Hill on the Battle Road Trail in Minute Man National Historical Park (map) are the sites of events at 11:30am as hundreds of volunteers demonstrate Minuteman and militia battle tactics along with British Regulars. More...

Battle Reenactments

Battle reenactment, Patriots Day
British Regulars fight to clear the road of Minutemen and militia.
(Note the local militia behind the stone wall in the background.)

The most exciting and popular of Patriots Day events are the reenactments of battles between the Redcoats and local Mintemen and militia:

Hartwell Tavern (11:30 am)

hartwell tavern battle reenactment, Patriots Day
The Redcoats encounter the Minutemen and militia at Hartwell Tavern.

Hartwell Tavern, a preserved colonial building on the Battle Road Trail, is the site of the day's first reenactments. The parking lot will fill up early; alternate parking is at Minuteman High School, 758 Marrett Road; map).

Parker's Revenge (1:00 pm)

Lexington militia fire at the Redcoats in Parker's Revenge, Patriots Day
Minutemen and militia fire at the retreating Redcoats at Parker's Revenge, Patriots Day

Parker's Revenge Tactical Demonstration, 1:00 pm, Parker's Revenge Battle Site (on the Battle Road Trail just north of the Battle Road Visitor Center). Hundreds of volunteer reenactors replay the tactics used by colonial militia and British Regulars along the Battle Road on April 19, 1775.

By 1:00 pm, the Redcoats retreating along the Battle Road from Hartwell Tavern reach the site of Parker's Revenge behind the Battle Road Visitor Center of Minute Man National Historical Park, 210 N Great Rd, Lincoln MA (map). Captain John Parker of the Lexington militia resolved to take revenge for the deaths of his men at the fight on Lexington Green earlier that morning. Park at the Visitor Center lot, or at the Paul Revere Capture Site, 180 N Great Road, Lincoln MA; additional parking is across the street at Minuteman High School, 758 Marrett Road; map)

Tower Park

The day's last reenactment is at Lexington's Tower Park (4:00 pm; map) off Massachusetts Avenue across from the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum and Library, 33 Marrett Road.

Hartwell Tavern

Hartwell Tavern Open House, 9:30 am- 11:30 am, 112 North Great Road, Lincoln MA (map). Explore the interior of Hartwell Tavern and talk with living history interpreters. Learn about the experiences of the Hartwell Family on April 19, 1775.

Hartwell Tavern, Minute Man National Historical Park
Hartwell Tavern on the Battle Road Trail.

Captain William Smith House

Captain William Smith House, Open House, 9:30 am- 11:30 am; off Lexington Road (map). Explore the interior of the William Smith House and learn about the experiences of civilians caught in the storm of war on April 19, 1775.

Captain William Smith House, Minute Man National Historical Park, Concord MA
Captain William Smith House.

Sunday, April 14, 2024

Paul Revere's Ride Re-enactment

Lexington Historical Society sponsors a re-enactment of Paul Revere's Ride at 11:30pm on Sunday, at Hancock-Clarke House, 36 Hancock Street, Lexington (map).

Monday, April 15, 2024 (Patriots Day Holiday)

Lexington Battle Reenactment

Redcoats fire at Minutemen on Lexington Green
Seven hundred Redcoats open fire on 77 Minutemen on Lexington Green.

Lexington Battle Re-enactment, 5:30 - 7:30 am, Battle Green, 1625 Massachusetts Avenue (map); pre-dawn start to this dramatic reenactment of the fight between a superior force of professional soldiers and a smaller number of militia-farmers. Arrive very early (an hour or two at least) to claim a good vantage point. In good weather, the crowd is usually very large.

North Bridge Fight Commemoration (Cancelled!)

Redcoats respond to Minutemen's fire
Redcoats fire across the North Bridge ...

Minutemen fire at the Redcoats across Concord North Bridge ...at Minutemen, who fire back.

Scheduled to be held at Old North Bridge, 280 Monument Street, Concord MA (map), at 8:30am, the 2024 reenactment was cancelled by Minute Man National Historical Park due to river flooding of the path between the bridge and Buttrick Mansion (the North Bridge Visitor Center). The reenactment requires redcoated Regulars and Minutemen to walk along the the path. Flooding prevents this.

Commemoration ceremonies will be held at the bridge, and Concord's Patriots Day parade will take place as scheduled, but the route will be modified to avoid the flooded path.

Note that Monument Street and other streets in Concord Center will be closed to traffic early in the morning. Plan your visit accordingly. The distance from Monument Square in Concord Center to the North Bridge is 7/10 of a mile (1.1 km), a 16-minute walk along Monument Street.

The history: Returning from the weapons search at Colonel Barrett's farm, the Redcoats are confronted with a much superior force of Minutemen and colonial militia at the North Bridge. Battle commences, and ends in the first American victory of the Revolutionary War, what Emerson called "the shot heard round the world." Re-enactors recreate the dramatic events of the battle.

Concord Patriots Day Parade

Patriots day parade, Concord MA
Patriots Day Parade, Concord MA.

The parade is scheduled to step off from Hunt Gym at 9:00am on Monday, April 15th, rain or shine. The 2.5-mile route takes the march along Main Street, the Milldam, and Monument Square, up Lowell Road and Liberty Street to the North Bridge Visitor Center of Minute Man National Historical Park, then along Monument Street back to Main Street (map).

Battle Road Anniversary Hike

Redcoat column retreats to Boston
Redcoats, wary of a colonial militia ambush, retreat cautiously toward Boston.

National Park Rangers lead a 4-mile (6.5-km) hike along the Battle Road Trail from Meriam's Corner to Fiske Hill (map), following in the footsteps of the ill-fated British column retreating to Boston. Advance registration is required for this hike. More...

Boston Marathon

The 128th annual Boston Marathon road-running race is scheduled for April 15th, starting in Hopkinton MA, ending at Copley Square, Boston. More...

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Patriot Vigil

Patriot Vigil, North Bridge Visitor Center, 174 Liberty St, Concord, MA (map). Lantern-light procession, poetry, recitation of names, music. Luminaria light the path from the North Bridge Visitor Center (Buttrick Mansion) to Old North Bridge (7:30 to 9:00pm), with a commemoration ceremony at 7:45 to 8:30pm. Bring your own enclosed candle lantern (no flashlights).

Friday, April 19, 2024

Dawn Salute

Dawn Salute at North Bridge, Concord MA, on Patriots Day Minutemen fire the dawn salute at Concord's North Bridge on April 19th.

Old North Bridge, 174 Liberty Street, Concord MA (map). The Concord Minutemen's Dawn Salute always takes place on April 19th, the day itself, beginning at 5:30am. At 5:45 am the church bell in the First Parish meetinghouse sounds the alarm and Minutemen assemble on the hillside between the North Bridge and Buttrick Mansion (North Bridge Visitor Center; map).

Hartwell Tavern Open House

Hartwell Tavern Open House, 10:00 am- 4:30 pm, 112 North Great Road, Lincoln MA (map). Explore the interior of Hartwell Tavern and talk with living history interpreters. Learn about the experiences of the Hartwell Family on April 19, 1775.

Additional Information

Minute Man National Historical Park

Friends of Minute Man National Park

Lexington Minute Men

His Majesty's Tenth Regiment of Foot