It is something of a tradition, especially if you live near Lexington Green in Massachusetts; you simply cannot help yourself. So wrapped in blankets, in the dead of the night, you dutifully answer the call to stumble out to the Green to watch Paul Revere ride out from Buckman Tavern after previously alerting John Hancock and Samuel Adams that the “Regulars were coming out!”
Don’t bother with coffee because you’ll want to crawl back into your warm bed where you will stay until a little after 5:00 a.m. when you spill back out into the inky night to await the arrival of the British as impatiently as the assembled militia. If you want, you can warm yourself a bit by climbing the nearby hill up to the belfry to take turns ringing the bell to sound the alert that the British were arriving.
Soon thereafter, the British column marching up Mass Ave arrives at the Green, and spotting the militia, forms up into lines of muskets with bayonets affixed.
“Throw down your arms, ye villains, ye rebels,” shouts an unknown British commander. But as the militia starts to disperse weighed down by second thoughts of treason, a shot rings out. No one knows from where but a puff of smoke near Buckman Tavern suggests that someone near there likely tried to regrow a revolutionary backbone by proverbially pouring fuel on the fire. As the British unleash a volley, 17 militiamen fall, eight dead; the rest injured.
As the smoke clears and the newly-minted widows mourn over their fallen husbands’ bodies, the column moves on to Concord to search out the hidden arsenal that had by then already been relocated.
If inclined, you can follow the battle out to Concord and the North Bridge and then back to Tower Park in Lexington for the largest scale reenactment the whole day as the British march through the park harassed by militiamen the entire way.
Say what you will about Civil War reenactments, but there is no squabbling about the Patriot’s Day reenactments. There is only pride. I guess as long as you are not British.