|Patriots Day in Massachusetts|
|On April 19, 1775, the American Revolutionary War began with the battles at Lexington and Concord between British "redcoats" and colonial Minutemen.|
Patriots Day is commemorated with dramatic battle re-enactments, parades and ceremonies, each year on the third Monday in April. It's also the name of a movie (2016) about the Boston Marathon of April 15, 2013, and the terrorist bombings at the finish line.
Patriots Day is a public holiday in Massachusetts and Maine. All Massachusetts state, county and town government offices, libraries, and some local businesses close, though federal government offices, post offices, and offices of large interstate and international companies remain open.
When is Patriots Day? Here are the dates (all Mondays):
April 17, 2017, April 16, 2018, April 22, 2019, April 20, 2020.
The headline events are the battle re-enactments in Lexington and Concord, and the Boston Marathon from Hopkinton MA to Boston. These are the events for which you must plan: transportation, parking, crowds.
Here's a list of events and locations.
Among the better-known commemorative events on Patriots' Day is the Boston Marathon, which has been run now for over a century.
The re-enactment of the battle on Lexington Green starts at dawn, but crowds of spectators begin to gather by 4 am. If you don't get there at least two hours early, you won't be able to find any good vantage point for the "battle."
Some people believe that to get the best views, you must stake out your spot three, four or even five hours before. (In other words, you spend the night there.)
About 5:30 am you will hear the redcoats marching along Battle Road as they approach Lexington Green.
Patriots Day events in nearby Concord are a bit nicer to your sleep-time. A 9:00 am parade with lots of fife-and-drum bands and groups of Minutemen from surrounding towns and as far away as Michigan is followed by a re-enactment of the battle at Old North Bridge, commemorative ceremonies, and the repeated firing of brass cannons by the Concord Independent Battery.
Several church halls open to provide pancake breakfasts to the multitude.
—by Tom Brosnahan