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Lexington's Patriots' Day Weekend Festivities Get Started Saturday

Reenactments of Parker's Revenge and Tower Park Battle drew large crowds Saturday, April 16.

If revenge is truly a dish best served cold, then this brisk Saturday was the perfect setting for the reenactment of Capt. John Parker's.

The Lexington Minute Men Compnay mustered this morning on the Battle Green before marching a few miles down the Battle Road to the site where their namesakes ambushed the British Regulars as the Redcoats retreated back to Boston.

After marching up Massachusetts Avenue and crossing Rt. 128, the minute men parted ways with their police escort and broke for lunch, just inside Minute Man National Historical Park. While some among the regalia-clad stayed true to their characters and used pocketknives to carve cheese and smoked meats, others lunched on distinctly modern fare, like cold pizza. 

By the time the company fell back into line, it had grown by one. Welcomed aboard was the young recruit Michael Manetti, a 10-year-old from Freeport, Maine.

"I am a history lover," said Michael, who wore a blue coat, tri-corn hat and green wellies that mimicked the knee-high boots of a minute man. "For Christmas, i got a musket, not a Wii or a Nerf gun."

Over the hills and through the woods, to the ambush site they went. Once there, the minute men said a prayer, laid a wreath, fired a volley and then lied in wait. 

Minutes later, the Redcoats came down the road and a brief skirmish ensued.

After the smoke and scent of sulfer cleared from the air, the Minute Men, Redcoats and spectators all headed back toward Lexington, for the full-fledged Tower Park Battle that ended the afternoon. 

At Tower Park, tourists, locals and everyone in between lined the sidewalk and wall along a shut-down Massachusetts Avenue, while the Lexington Minute Men took position, ready to face down the Redcoats in the field below. 

At 4 o'clock, broke out the firefight. As flints flickered flames from muskets, a little girl from North Carolina asked her father where the bullets went. 

"There aren't any bullets, silly," he told her. "They're just shooting blanks."

But, her attention already had turned elsewhere, to the columns of Redcoats marching down Mass Ave, ready to enter the fray.

Soon, cannons boomed in the background as Redcoat reenactors succumbed to the fake musketfire. The Tower Park Battle was ending, and the Lexington Minute Men prepared to fake fight another day. 

JournoGrad April 18, 2011 at 01:42 PM
It's so great how this Lexington community keeps its history as something vital to recognize and celebrate. Thanks for shedding light on this wonderful tradition.

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