Battle of Lexington reenactment kicks off a soggy, windy Patriots Day

Check out the Lexington Minutemen in action — in case you opted to stay indoors this morning.

His Majesty's Regulars take one last round against local militia company from Lexington during the reenactment of the “Battle of Lexington” on the Lexington Common to commemorate the 243rd Anniversary of the first day of the American Revolutionary War. Joanne Rathe / Globe staff

An annual Lexington tradition kicked off Patriots Day at the crack of dawn this morning, 243 years after the first battle of the Revolutionary War.

Every year on the third Monday in April, reenactors gather on the Lexington Green to recreate the Battle of Lexington, which was fought on April, 19, 1775.

As the British Redcoats made their way into Lexington, the town’s militia men, or Minutemen, began to fight them on the Lexington Green.

A shot rang out as the Redcoats approached, and to this day, no one knows which side fired it. The Lexington militia men were outmatched: 700 Redcoats and only 77 Minutemen. Eight Minutemen died during the battle.


“The reenactment of the first shot: that to me is the essence of Patriots Day,” said Thomas Whalen, historian, author, and associate professor of social sciences at Boston University. “To me that still sends chills up my spine, when you’re on Lexington Green or the Old North Bridge. I don’t think there’s anything that can compare to it.”

The Redcoats continued into Concord after the skirmish in Lexington. They fought more Minutemen and ended up retreating back to Boston.

In case you didn’t wake up in time to see it (or didn’t feel like braving the weather), here’s what this year’s reenactment looked like:

Two newest members of the Lexington minutemen, twin brothers Dan and Dave Gibson, who are participating in their first reenactment wait for the battle to begin.

It was a dark, misty, rainy morning as reenactors await on the Lexington Green.

battle of lexington reenactment

Local militia company from Lexington confronts the King’s Regulars during the reenactment of the Battle of Lexington.

Many members of the Lexington militia lay wounded and dead as they battle with the King’s Regulars.


Kristi Palma contributed reporting.