Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Patriot's Day Weekend Events

The battles at Lexington and Concord lit the fire of the American Revolution that gave us all the freedom we enjoy today. And every year in Massachusetts it gives us one extra freedom-- the freedom to not go to work on an April Monday.

Monday is Patriot's Day, a state holiday in Massachusetts (and in Maine, which was part of Massachusetts during the time of the Revolution), and there are historical reenactments and sporting events all weekend long. Here are some of the highlights of the weekend:

Saturday, April 19 (actual anniversary of the battles at Lexington and Concord)
6:00 AM Dawn salute at the North Bridge at Concord. Wake up, sleepy head.

8:30 AM Commemoration of the Concord Conflict. Reenactment of the battle in Concord that occurred on the morning of April 19, 1775. It includes a commemoration of the British soldiers who were killed and buried at the bridge.

11:00 AM Reenactment of the British retreat along the Battle Road. Most of the action takes place around the Hartwell Tavern along Route 2A in Lincoln. There are also drill and musket demonstrations. I went to this last year.

Sunday, April 20
8:00 AM 2008 Womens Olympic Marathon Trial. In addition to the Boston Marathon, the Hub will play host this year to the women competing for a spot on the Olympics team. The women will not be running the route of the Boston Marathon, although they will use the same finish line. They will be running a much flatter course through the city streets of Boston and Cambridge. Unfortunately, the route will not be filled with smog to truly give a test of what to expect in Beijing.

7:00 PM Paul Revere Row Reenactment. Revere's row across Boston Harbor will be recreated. I believe his horse did not make this leg of the journey. There will be festivities at the Charlestown Navy Yard where Revere will be welcomed.

8:00 PM. Annual Lantern Ceremony. One if by land, two if by sea. And it was by sea! Two lanterns will be hung in the Old North Church.

Monday, April 21
5:00 AM Lexington Green battle reenactment. Grab some coffee and stop yawning. The musket fire of the reenactment of the first shots of the Revolution will wake you up if you're still sleepy.

9:25 AM Start of the Boston Marathon. The 112th running of the Boston Marathon begins in Hopkinton with the start of the wheelchair race. That is quickly followed by the start of the elite women. Elite men start at 10 AM.

11:05 AM Red Sox-Rangers first pitch at Fenway. Grab a beer and stop yawning.

All weekend long, there will also be special events at the Paul Revere House to celebrate its 100th anniversary as a museum. If you really want to get in the spirit, the Paul Revere House has directions that allow you to follow Revere's route on his midnight ride. Safe bet, though, that Revere didn't have to worry about the rotaries that are now included in the route.

For information on additional events, visit the web site of the Minute Man National Historical Park and The Freedom Trail Foundation.

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