5 minute read


Remembering the “Shot Heard ‘Round the World”

Events surrounding the observance of Patriots’ Day are once again being presented live and you won’t want to miss them! After two years of honoring this special time virtually, we once again welcome people from around the world as we remember and celebrate the events that lead to the birth of our nation. Park rangers, docents, historians, reenactors, tour guides, and others have spent months planning and are ready to help you experience and understand the events and people that made history on April 19, 1775.


3:00 PM - The Capture of Paul Revere The Lincoln Minute Men, joined by other reenactment units, will relive the historic capture of Paul Revere with fife and drum music, a theatrical performance, and a musket fire salute. At the Paul Revere Capture Site in Lincoln, MA.


10:30 AM – Explore the Elm Brook Hill (Bloody Angle) Battle Site with Edmund Foster Meet at Hartwell Tavern and join Edmund Foster as you explore the Bloody Angle (Elm Brook Hill) Battle Site. Edmund Foster, a militiaman from Reading, Massachusetts (portrayed by park volunteer Ed Hurley) will lead a tour to this key battle site where he fought on April 19, 1775. He will be joined by Lincoln historian and author Don Hafner.


10:45 AM – 12:45 PM – Caught in the Storm of War: The Civilian Experience of April 19, 1775 If you had to leave your home in a hurry, uncertain of your return, what would you take with you? Learn about the local civilians on April 19, 1775, who struggled to save their families and belongings from the path of war. Meet living history volunteers at the Hartwell Tavern and the Captain William Smith House portraying colonial civilians. Starting at 11:45 am, with the sounds of battle approaching, they will hastily close up the house and head off down the road. Experience the stories of ordinary women and men whose lives were suddenly upended by war.

The civilian evacuation scenario will begin at the Hartwell Tavern at 11:45 am and end near the Parker’s Revenge Site, a distance of nearly two miles. There you will be directed to the viewing area to see the tactical demonstration at 1:00 pm.

12:45 PM - Parker’s Revenge Captain Parker wants revenge for the militiamen killed in Lexington earlier that day, and he shall have it! Witness hundreds of British and colonial reenactors engage in a battle demonstration showing the running fight that took place along this deadly stretch of road on the border of Lincoln and Lexington. After the demonstration you will have the opportunity to get up close and talk with these amazing volunteers and learn more about the British regulars and colonial militiamen who were there that fateful day.



1:30 – 4:30 PM - The Search of the Barrett Farm At 3:00 am on April 19, 1775, Colonel James Barrett was awoken by a messenger shouting for him – the King’s troops were coming to search the town and seize weapons! Colonel Barrett and his wife, Rebecca, raced to hide artillery, musket balls, cartridges, and more. Join costumed park rangers and volunteers at Barrett House (448 Barrett’s Mill Road) and learn more about colonial military preparations. Get ready because around 3:30 pm, British soldiers will arrive and conduct a search of the property, looking for supplies.


8:30 AM – North Bridge Fight Commemoration Commemorate Patriots’ Day with a dramatic battle demonstration involving colonial minutemen, British regulars, and musket fire, marking the “shot heard ‘round the world.”

7:50 – 8:45 PM – Patriot Vigil at the North Bridge As darkness descends upon the North Bridge battlefield, join in the lantern light procession and ceremony as you reflect on the events of April 19, 1775, and the meaning of liberty. The evening ceremony will feature a lanternlight procession, poetry, music, and a recitation of the names of the soldiers who gave their lives on that “ever-memorable” 19th of April. If you would like to participate in the lantern light procession, please bring your own enclosed candle lantern - real candles only, no flashlights or LED lights out of respect for this hallowed ground.


11:30 AM - Arrival of the Sudbury Militia at the North Bridge The Sudbury Companies of Militia and Minute will make their annual march to the North Bridge in honor of their fellow townsmen who made the same march in 1775. They will fire volleys from the North Bridge in soldierly salute.

©Jennifer Schünemann


National Park Service staff will be on hand to help guide you to parking, but please plan well ahead for these enormously popular events.

Dress in layers, wear comfortable shoes, and bring water. Restrooms are available, but could be spaced far apart.

Please stay behind the rope lines. While all reenactors are firing blanks, it is still dangerous to step into an active reenactment site. If park staff see a person cross the ropes, they will stop the entire scene to keep people safe. Please respect the hard work that goes into preparing these events, and abide by the rules.

Muskets and cannon fire are loud. Those with sensitive hearing and small children may be more comfortable watching from a distance. And while your trusted furry friend may THINK he wants to come along, many dogs are frightened by loud noises. They might be more comfortable at home.

The Patriot Vigil allows candle lanterns only. No flashlights or LED lighting please, out of respect for those who passed on this important day in our nation’s history.

For updates on events – including what to do in the event of inclement weather – visit the National Park Service website at nps. gov/mima/planyourvisit/ special-event.htm.