arlington250 Additional activities took place at Whittemore Park, Jason Russell House on Patriots Day

UPDATED April 15: The annual Patriots Day holiday falls this year on Monday, April 15; a wide variety of related activities and events, from battle reenactments to beer halls, have been scheduled to highlight Arlington's pivotal role at the start of the American Revolutionary War in April 1775.

The Arlington250 Committee has organized many activities sponsored by Leader Bank, which began Wednesday, April 10, and are expected to run through Friday, April 19. The entire schedule of events, designed to commemorate what happened nearly 250 years ago, is expected to be the largest one in recent memory.

Costumed performers safely recreated historic skirmish

On April 19, 1775, the dawn of the Revolutionary War, the most lethal battle of the entire day took place in Arlington, then known as Menotomy. This year’s reenactment of the Battle of Menotomy was said to have been largest ever to date. Reenactors portraying British Redcoats enter the Jason Russell House after 'killing' Jason Russell and others. Photo from the 2019 reenactment. /Arlington Historical Society

More than 250 performers recreated a bloodless version of this major historical event along Mass. Ave. at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 14, starting at Grove Street and ending at Medford Street. View the entire route here >> 

Road closures and parking restrictions took place on Mass. Ave. between Mount Vernon Street and Franklin Street, excluding access by adjacent streets, from noon until 5 p.m. Traffic resumed by 3:15 p.m.

Most spectators gathered on the north side of Mass. Ave. as the town had requested, but some were across the street.

Arlington’s own Menotomy Minutemen performed in the reenactments that afternoon. Also taking part were performers in units from Danvers, Stow, Lexington, Medway, Lincoln, Acton, Charlestown, New Hampshire and New York. For those who preferred something tamer, Leader Bank Kids’ Corner, 864 Mass. Ave. scheduled family fun activities that same day from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. including free snacks, face-painting and a bouncy house.

TAVERNS, BEER HALLS, LIVE MUSIC STARTED LAST WEEK

To kick off the celebrations, a "Tavern Week" started Wednesday, April 10.

Participating businesses include Menotomy Grill & Tavern (25 Mass. Ave.), Town Tavern (201 Mass. Ave.), Arlington Brewing Co. and the Roasted Granola Cafe (1346 Mass. Ave.). The proprietors have prepared special menus for the week; learn more here >> 

Guests were able to enjoy Menotomy Grill’s live music series Thursday, April 11. The Roasted Granola Cafe is also the host for live music; Stanley and the Undercovers, played classic rock Friday, April 12. Town Tavern has planned a trivia night for 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 16.

Starting Saturday, April 13, residents could visit “Menotomy Beer Hall” set up in Town Hall (730 Mass. Ave.) from 12:30 to 5:30 p.m. This is a family-friendly event. However, drinks for those 21 and older are being provided by Menotomy Grill & Tavern and by Arlington Brewing Co., according to a town announcement.

The beer hall features live music, including a performance from the brass band Gruvmeiners on April 13.

BUSINESSES PARTICIPATE IN DECORATING THE TOWN

Bob Bowes of Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty wrote in a letter to residents that the 2024 Patriots' Day celebration is expected to be the biggest since before Covid-19. He is encouraging the use of patriotic bunting to display an awareness of Arlington's history and heritage. He provided this list of vendors from which residents can purchase a wide range of bunting:

  • Arlington Flag and Banner Co., 110A Mass. Ave., 781-646-0101: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.;
  • Carrot-Top Industries; call 800-628-3524 or visit their website here >> 
  • The Flag and Banner Co.; call 800-445-0653 or visit their website here >>
  • United States Flag Store with free shipping over $99; call 877-7312-2458 or visit their website here >> 

The letter reminded residents that bunting display usually begins the week before Patriots Day and continues through Memorial Day, Flag Day and Independence Day; bunting display is requested to come down by July 15, 2024.

FREE HISTORIC TOURS SET FOR TODAY AT JASON RUSSELL HOUSE

The Jason Russell House/Arlington Historical Society, 7 Jason St. -- the location was the site of numerous deaths in the running battle between the British and the nascent Americans in April 1775 -- gave free tours of the historic property Saturday and plans to do the same today, Monday, April 15, from noon to 4 p.m. Those who attend can expect to learn in depth about the key role the area played during the Battle of Menotomy in 1775. "It is a thrill to be participating in the 250th celebration of the American Revolution," said Jean Yoder, chair of the Tour Guide Committee of the Jason Russell House, in a recent email. "We have much to learn from our forebears, and we are looking forward to sharing our local historical treasure (the Jason Russell House) with visitors. The Jason Russell House was the site of brutal fighting on April 19, 1775, when the British retreated from Concord and Lexington."

 

The year 2025 will mark the 250th anniversary of the Battle of Menotomy; the town is already planning next year's observances via the the Arlington250 project. Toward that end, a committee made up of members from the Select Board, School Committee, Arts Arlington, Arlington Historical Society and many other groups have started a campaign to raise awareness of the town’s key role in the American Revolution, according to the project website. 

Those interested in becoming involved can join subcommittees or view a list of opportunities here 

The Arlington250 website is expectedly to be updated regularly with additional event information.

OBSERVANCES ON PATRIOTS DAY -- TODAY, MONDAY, APRIL 15

On Monday, April 15, at 10 a.m., the Cyrus Dallin Museum has planned poetry readings at Whittemore Park, Mass. Ave. and Mystic Street. The poems to be read are inspired by Paul Revere: One was written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and the other by Dallin himself. Town Meeting Member Larry Slotnick read Longfellow’s  'Paul Revere’s Ride' during the 2022 celebration.Also scheduled that day are reenactments of the rides of Paul Revere and William Dawe, starting at noon at Town Hall. Before the performers arrive, the Menotomy Welcoming Committee has planned family-friendly activities and is expected to provide light refreshments starting at 11 a.m. 

For additional information about events, click here >> 

Use the links below to see photographs of some previous Patriots Day celebrations:

 1957 parade | 1975 | 1925 | 1896 

See some more recent photographs here >>


Aug. 20, 2013: New museum administrator at historical society

This news announcement was published Tuesday April 9, 2024, based on information from the town website, the Arlington250 website and other sources. It was updated April 10 to clarify that the Menotomy Beer Hall is a family-friendly event; April 11, with information about the reenactor groups from Public Information Officer Joan Roman; and April 12, April 13 April 14 and April 15, for time/date references.