Patriots' Day observances at Old Sturbridge will resound with the peal of bells, the stirring beat of drums and the thrilling call of the fife, as the Sturbridge Militia musters in the countryside on Monday, April 17th. Special programs and activities throughout the day will invite visitors to experience the sights and sounds of our colonial ancestors, reacting with hasty alarm to action at Lexington and Concord.
Through military drills and maneuvers, musket demonstrations, and more, the members for the Sturbridge Militia will bring to life the stories of the men who hastened from their farms, homes and families to march to the aid of those already engaged in the initial battle of the American Revolution against King George's tyranny. Young visitors are invited to take part, wielding muskets and swords, learning to drill and march in the manner of the boys of '76. "Muskets" are provided for this ever-popular exercise in leadership, bravery, and derring-do for small patriots. Witness the making of real musket balls in the Blacksmith Shop. Also joining us for the day will be the martial band and the visiting surgeon from the USS Constitution . Cannon demonstrations will be held in the morning and afternoon.
Not all Americans fought against the British crown; many sided with and pledged their allegiance to the king. They called themselves loyalists; to them, our patriots were rebels. On Monday meet one of those loyalists; he will tell you of his side of the conflict, oft times at the cost of hardship and heartache to him and his family.
And, as ever, the life of our village swirls and eddies about us. The sheep, pigs, cows and oxen, the chickens and turkeys go about their busy work and play throughout the village, offering occasional photo ops, as do youngsters enjoying the games of yesteryear. Important business is conducted among tradesmen and craftsmen. Textiles and fashions and clothing offer a history lesson of their own. Enjoy the harmony of historic purpose and achievement in our splendid springtime nineteenth century setting.
How did the news of Lexington and Concord affect a small New England community? For a day of history, entertainment and discovery, visit Old Sturbridge Village on April 17th as we celebrate our nation's beginning and continuing perseverance, in war and in peace.