Massachusetts planning a revolutionary party

Massachusetts planning a revolutionary party

Massachusetts is to celebrate its pivotal role in the founding of the USA 250 years ago by staging a series of state-wide events. 

“The American Revolution started in the state in late 1773 with the Boston Tea Party and then the Battles of Lexington and Concorde two years later, and we plan to commemorate those momentous events through a number of memorable experiences, culminating in 2026, that will appeal to both domestic and international visitors,” said Kate Fox , Executive Director at the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism (MOTT).

Speaking to Selling Travel at last month’s Discover New England trade show, she said the commemorative events will be both a celebration of Massachusetts’ place in history as the state where the birth of a nation began but will also showcase a modern-day destination that is on the cutting edge of innovation and technology.

“We have 16 distinct regions in the state, six of which we have designated as ‘super regions’, and a little bit of that Revolutionary history and spirit can be found in each of them,” she said. 

“Massachusetts is home to many firsts, serving as the birthplace of our nation and heart of the American Revolution. We also created the first state constitution in 1780, hosted the National Women’s Rights Convention in 1850, and were the first state to legalize same sex marriage.

“Our role in the American Revolution is critical to our nation’s history, and we look forward to putting our state on full display over the next three years to show domestic and international visitors the significant impact Massachusetts has had on this country and how we will carry a revolutionary spirit into the decades to come.”

The calendar of special events will be mapped out in association with municipalities, historical societies, businesses, and non-profit organisations but will include Paul Revere’s ride re-enactment in Lexington, Lafayette’s bicentennial visit in Sturbridge, Revolutionary grave dedication in Ware, Evacuation Day celebration in South Boston.

Revolution 250 is an organisation that has been set up to coordinate celebrations in the Boston area. 

A spokesperson said: “Revolution 250 will explore the history of the American Revolution and the ways that this story still resonates in society today. Culminating in 2026, 250 years since the American colonies declared independence from the British Empire, we will pull together residents, visitors, planners, educators, artists, students, the business community, and politicians to recognize the importance of our culture and values.”

This year will culminate in a grand-scale, live re-enactment of the Boston Tea Party on December 16, 2023.

April 2025 will mark the 250th Anniversary of the Battle of Lexington in April 1775, the first battle of the Revolutionary War which confirmed the antipathy between most colonists and Britain, the ‘mother country’, and roused 16,000 New Englanders into joining the Revolutionary forces. The following March, the Siege of Boston resulted in its evacuation by the British.  

“Lexington is bustling with new activities, events, and preparation for Patriots’ Day in 2025. Several projects and events in 2024 will lead up to the 250th celebration and these preparations are bringing together town residents, leaders and volunteers and invoking the spirits of this town’s ancestors, who had the same sense of pride and camaraderie as they prepared for the ‘regulars’ in 1775,” said Sandhya Iyer, Economic Development Director.

“We unveiled an interactive countdown calendar in our town centre on April 19, which is ticking off the days until the same date next year, she added.”

Visitors can get a taste of what life in colonial Lexington was like at one of the town’s historic house museums or by hopping on a trolley for a guided tour of Lexington and Concord.  

Aside from Revolutionary history, the state has created a series of themed trails that allow visitors to enjoy the state’s produce. These include a wine trail, a cider trail and a cheese trail – and is in the process of setting up an ice cream trail. 

Other state attractions include Tanglewood in Western Massachusetts, an outdoor music venue offering al fresco dining and the beautiful music of Boston Symphony Orchestra and Boston Pops; George’s Island, a historic fort in Boston Harbour with stunning views of the city skyline; and The Cape Cod National Seashore, where visitors can bike for miles alongside nearly 44,000 acres of the majestic, protected Cape Cod coastline and ecosystem.

Last year the state announced a new marketing campaign ‘Take a Moment,’ which encourages visitors to pause from their daily lives and engage in new experiences and sensory moments in Massachusetts.

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