CONCORD -- Several days of Patriots Day events are coming to Minute Man National Historical Park, and the whole stretch will be new territory for Park Superintendent BJ Dunn.
Dunn took over Minute Man Park in January following the retirement of former Superintendent Nancy Nelson. Despite his years of experience in other national historical parks, he has never been a part of Patriots Day at Minute Man.
"For me, this year, I'm new to all of this, so I'm experiencing this like visitors to the park," he said. "I'm experiencing this for the first time myself. It's exciting."
For seven years before joining Minute Man, Dunn served as deputy superintendent at Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia. That site also manages the Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site, Thaddeus Kosciuszko National Monument, and Gloria Dei (Old Swedes) Church National Historic Site. Altogether, Independence draws about 5 million visitors annually.
Dunn now leads a park that typically brings in 1 million annual visitors -- and one with more open, green spaces. He described his first few months in charge of Minute Man as "fantastic."
"The site here, Minute Man, is just kind of a pivotal piece in that story of the American Revolution and what took place here," he said.
Dunn hopes to be at the park for its next steps, including the 250th anniversary of the 1775 battles.
"One of the things that really excites me about being here at this park is thinking about 2025 and what's coming up for the 250th. I think that's exciting to work with the communities and the parks."