Patriots' Day Parade in Arlington, Massachusetts

by Melissa McCormick
Patriots' Day is celebrated throughout Massachusetts.

Patriots' Day is celebrated throughout Massachusetts.

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Arlington, Massachusetts is a historic town approximately 8 miles northwest of Boston. It was originally called Menotomy but its name was later changed to Arlington to honor the soldiers buried at Arlington National Cemetery. Founded in 1635, the town played an important role in the first days of the Revolutionary War. Arlington hosts a parade in honor of Patriots' Day, a Massachusetts state holiday officially observed on the third Monday of April.

About the Holiday

The city of Arlington remembers those men who fought in the opening events of the American Revolution. After the skirmishes at Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775, local minutemen ambushed the retreating British in Menotomy. The majority of the casualties during that encounter took place in the area that is now the intersection of Lowell Street and Massachusetts Avenue in the city.

Parade Route

The Patriots' Day Parade in Arlington is held on the Sunday before Patriots' Day. The parade route begins at the intersection of Brattle Street and Massachusetts Avenue and heads east, ending at Massachusetts Avenue at Walgreens in East Arlington. The parade generally starts at 2 p.m.

Parade Features

The Veterans' Services department of the city sponsors the Arlington Patriots' Day parade. Participation is open to any local community group. Popular features of the parade include the Aleppo Shriners, who dress as minutemen and fire off muskets, and the Wells Fargo stage wagon. A variety of bands and reenactment groups also march in the parade.


The parade is not the only festivity that takes place to commemorate Patriots' Day. More than 30 major events take place around the Boston area, including a variety of reenactments in the cities that took part in the first skirmishes, including Boston, Lexington, Lincoln, Arlington, Bedford and Concord. In addition, there are tours of historic homes, displays of fife and drum units and and drill, musket and artillery demonstrations.

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