When is Patriots' Day? This uniquely New England holiday, celebrated only in the states of Massachusetts and Maine, is always on the third Monday in April. Wisconsin also observes Patriots' Day as a public school holiday.
Remember the "Shot Heard 'Round the World" from history class? The phrase penned by Ralph Waldo Emerson refers to the first armed engagement between the British and colonial militiamen at the Battles of Lexington and Concord in Massachusetts on April 19, 1775. Patriots' Day commemorates this opening engagement in the American Revolution, and initially, it was celebrated each year on April 19.
In 1969, however, the celebration of Patriots' Day was changed to the third Monday of April: We New Englanders love our three-day weekends! If you're planning ahead, here is a handy guide to Patriots' Day dates for the years ahead.
Patriots' Day Date 2014-2018
Monday, April 21, 2014
Monday, April 20, 2015
Monday, April 18, 2016
Monday, April 17, 2017
Monday, April 16, 2018
There are several major events and many other activities that take place on Patriots' Day in Massachusetts and Maine, which was part of Massachusetts until it achieved independent statehood in 1820. The primary event associated with Patriots' Day is the Boston Marathon, which will be run for the 118th time in 2014. America's second oldest foot race draws both competitive runners and spectators. The eyes of the world will be on Boston on the first anniversary of the tragic bombings that occurred at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon.
Traditionally, a Patriots' Day Parade is held in Lexington, Massachusetts, on Patriots' Day. In 2014, a reenactment of the Battle of Lexington will also be held on Patriots' Day--April 21--at 5:45 a.m.
In Maine, a Patriots' Day Weekend Celebration featuring music, reenactments and more is held each year in Ogunquit. Dates for 2014 are April 11-13 due to the Easter holiday.