Patriots’ Day 2017
Patriots’ Day, a unique Massachusetts event, marks the events of April 19, 1775 at Lexington and Concord that touched off a revolution. Minute Man National Historical Park scheduled numerous events over three consecutive weekends, which together are known as “Patriots’ Weekend.” Along with National Park Week, Patriots’ Weekend kicks off the park season.
“Tough Ruck” took place April 15. Over one thousand National Guard members ran and walked 26.2 miles, emulating the distance of the Boston Marathon from the North Bridge and along the Battle Road Battlefield. Members of Captain David Brown's Company presented a volley musket fire to the participants as they crossed over North Bridge to begin their annual ruck, which is sanctioned by the Boston Athletic Association as an official marathon event.
Living history activities continued at Hartwell Tavern, Smith House and the Whittemore House. The three key features along the Battle Road were staffed by members of the Lincoln Minute Men, Guild of Historic Interpreters and park volunteers who turned out to interpret life in the 1770s to visitors. Minute Man Visitor Center was the center of activity. More than 100 new junior rangers was sworn in throughout Junior Ranger Day. The First Michigan Volunteers were on hand to perform colonial music to visitors waiting for the afternoon tactical demonstration at the Parker’s Revenge area along Battle Road.
At 2:00 pm, more than 100 volunteer reenactors took to the field as colonial minutemen and British Army regulars. The tactical demonstration presented visitors with the sights and sounds of what this area of the park, a third mile of the Battle Road battlefield, may have been like for all involved.
On Easter Sunday, the popular program “Revolutionary Dogs: Paws for the Cause” brought dog owners out for a fun look at dogs, history and some canine socializing. Later, that afternoon, the Barrett Farm was open for interested visitors to view the house. Hundreds of visitors took the opportunity to view the house which is, presently, only open for special events.
April 19—the anniversary of the beginning of armed conflict between the British Army and colonial militias, began with a morning salute by the Concord Minutemen and Concord Independent Battery, who fired 21 guns for reflection and commemoration of the event. The Molly Cutthroats, a group of women reenactors presented “Remembering the Ladies” [a play or skit? A presentation? A lecture?] which honored the contributions of women on April 19, 1775. The Sudbury Militia arrived on schedule at North Bridge about 11:30 am and fired a salute.