The following events usually occur every year.
Usually the weekend before Patriotís Day.† We assemble about 10am on a Saturday in the parking lot next to the high school in Bedford, and march to the site of the Pole, at the intersection of Routes 225 and 62. Then we watch an energetic rebel climb a very tall pole for the purpose of putting a knit red cap on top of it.† This is in remembrance of a communication system employed by the colonial rebels.†† Often the Redcoats come around to complain, but they are soon silenced.† We listen to speeches.† No musket salutes are required, but some are usually offered. A lunch is offered to all participants afterwards. Before and during the luncheon merchants hawk their 18th century wares. This is an excellent opportunity to pick up a† few new items for upcoming events.
This event falls on the same day as the Bedford Pole capping, stepping off at 1:30pm from the Ripley School at 120 Meriam Road, Concord. The event meshes perfectly with the Pole capping, allowing a leisurely lunch in Bedford, a little bartering with the merchants, and then a short 10 minute drive down Rte. 62 to Concord.† The assembled parade marches the Ĺ mile to Meriamís Corner (intersection of Bedford Rd. and Lexington Rd.) where a brief ceremony is performed by the National Park Service, followed by fife and drum music performances by Concord Minutemen, 4H Fife and Drum, and Middlesex County Volunteers, and finally the return march.
On or near April 19th.† After the flag raising ceremony in the town center at 7am, we march to the Old North Bridge via the Estabrook Trail, the same route taken by our forebears (see above) in 1775.† Buttons or medals are awarded to all marchers completing the course through the end of the Estabrook Trail.† After a rest stop at the Buttrick Mansion, we join the Concord parade before the Old North Bridge and continue to march through Concord Center (see Pictures), and get a free sandwich and a drink at the end.† The total trip is about seven miles, but there are frequent rest stops.
On or near May 30th.† The flag is raised to half-staff at the town center at 9:30am.† We then march to the school and hear the speeches and band numbers in the auditorium.† We then proceed to the grave of recently interred veterans and several war memorials to honor veterans of conflicts dating back to the Revolution.† More musket salutes than any other Carlisle event, closing with a salute to the flag at the end of the ceremonies.
On or near July 4th.† A musket salute is offered at the flag raising at 9:30 am.† We listen to speeches on the town common, where the Most Honored Citizen is announced.† We march in a parade along with the Scouts, fire trucks and citizen floats and generally have a good time.† A booth is maintained to recruit new members. †
Date is variable, depending on everyoneís schedule.† We dress in 18th Century garb and show up at a restaurant, like the Colonial Inn, where the other patrons try not to stare as we proceed to our function room.† General Business is conducted and we have a great dinner.
The following events occur when we are invited and accept the invitation.† Usually a small contingent of the entire troop shows up for these activities, based on the interests and schedules of the participants.
On or near April 19th.† Since the year 2000 commemorated the 225th anniversary of the original event, it was a very big deal.† Hundreds of reenactors camped out in Lexington from all over the country.† Army trucks moved companies of militia to the locations where they were required, starting before dawn.† Recreations of battles from Lexington to Concord and back to Lexington were performed in the original locations, sometimes firing in the city streets.† It is rumored that this event on a much smaller scale will take place every 2 years.
On or near June 25th.†† Volunteer troops get together at someoneís house a week or so before to make cartridges the old fashioned way, by hand.† Once about a hundred rounds or so for each participant have been made, which takes about an evening, they are wrapped up in aluminum foil for safetyís sake in lots of fifty for transport to the battle zone.† In 2001, over 170 colonials and 160 British troops registered for four battles in Durham, New Hampshire on a hill with a redoubt specially constructed for this event.† See Links.
In 2003 it occurred on Saturday, July 5th.† We gathered at the Carlisle School at 10:30AM and took two vehicles to the VFW in Pepperell.† The VFW building is on the left hand side when going towards Pepperell center from Dunstable on Route 113.† It has several flags out front, so it is easy to spot.† We board a school bus for a ride to the Town Hall, backwards along the parade route.† The Parade starts promptly at 12:30PM and proceeds for about an hour from the Town Hall back to the VFW, a distance of about three miles, but itís all down hill.† Periodically the Captain of the Middlesex 6th calls out ďPRIME AND LOAD!Ē† which we do while marching, followed by a quick stop to fire.† The noise is quite loud when everyone fires together.† This year I went through 19 cartridges, and most of them fired.† At least the flint didnít loosen up in the middle of† the parade, like last year.† This is an excellent opportunity to learn how to fire your musket by doing it repeatedly.† Drinks are on the Captain after the parade.
Time varies.† This year we led a group of folks walking to raise money for cancer.† Went from the Sunbridge parking lot near Route 2 in Concord to the North Bridge, and then back to town again.† It took about a quarter of a mile before the faster walkers passed us in their zeal to complete their commitment in the face of rain clouds overhead.