Patriots’ Day at Historic Deerfield 

Daylong celebration set for Saturday

  • The Patriots’ Day Revolutionary Muster and Parade at Historic Deerfield on April 16 will feature a cannon-firing demonstration and other spectacles. Submitted photo

For the Gazette
Tuesday, April 12, 2016

DEERFIELD — No one knows for sure who fired the “shot heard ’round the world” and started the American Revolution, but Historic Deerfield is bringing it back to the safety and convenience of Franklin County for the sixth time.

The Patriots’ Day Revolutionary Muster and Parade will offer a full day of activities, including a Colonial-era encampment, for visitors of all ages throughout the village Saturday.

Laurie Nivison, Historic Deerfield’s director of marketing, said the event started in 2011 to give visitors a richer sense of what life was like in early America.

“It was a way for us to not only celebrate the Patriots’ Day holiday and teach people about the shot heard ’round the world, but also to kick off our season,” she said. Historic Deerfield’s season starts Saturday and ends Dec. 23.

The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., rain or shine. Admission is $14 for anyone over 17 and $5 for those 6 to 17. Deerfield residents, Historic Deerfield members and children under 6 get in free. Food will be available for purchase.

Nivison said the Revolutionary War is said to have started when the first British soldiers were killed at the battles of Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775, which is commemorated on the third Monday in April as Patriots’ Day in Massachusetts. The phrase “shot heard ’round the world” was coined by Ralph Waldo Emerson in his poem “Concord Hymn.”

Nivison said Knowlton’s Rangers and Stephen Buckland’s Artillery, two units of Connecticut-based Nathan Hale Ancient Fifes and Drums, will host a series of activities throughout the day.

Reenactors will camp out on Historic Deerfield property and some will play historical music while others explain the fashion of the time. There will also be a cannon-firing demonstration and a family will detail the art of gunsmithing. Historic Deerfield guides and open hearth cooks will interpret open-hearth cooking and powder horn carving in the 1786 Hall Tavern.

Nivison said the grandest event will feature a rider storming into town to inform people of the start of the Revolutionary War and rallying minutemen (and young willing participants in attendance) to take up arms for the cause.

Visitors can make a flag to wave during the afternoon parade, and then take it home as a memento.

“It’s a great family event,” Nivison said. “The revolution played out in different ways all across our state as people responded to the news.”

For more information, including a detailed schedule of all the day’s activities visit www.historic-deerfield.org, or call 413-775-7214. Group rates are available by advance purchase. For group information and reservations, contact Lillian Miskinis at 413-775-7132.