CONCORD -- Muskets and tricorn hats will be in abundance this Patriots Day weekend. Modern-day folks will dress in Colonial clothing to be transported back to 1775, delving into the history of the state that marked the beginning of the nation.

The opening battle of the American Revolutionary War took place on April 19, 1775.

But Patriots Day is observed every year on the third Monday in April. Concord Museum and the Minuteman National Historic Park have tons of events and activities lined up this weekend through Monday.

"It's an opportunity to revisit what is really one of the most important subjects that we address year-round at the Concord Museum," said curator David Wood. "Since everybody else is commemorating it at the same time, it adds emphasis to the story about the founding of the nation."

These family-friendly events can offer a unique and immersive historical experience.

Concord Museum

200 Lexington Road, Concord

All events offered by the museum are free, or free with museum admission. Visitors will be able to do everything from learning to write and make a quill pen to trying on Colonial clothes to creating their own Colonial crafts.

"Everyone celebrates Patriots Day in Boston, but this is the place where it all originated," said Carol Thistle, director of marketing and public relations at the museum. "There are all kinds of activities and gallery talks. Just come to the museum and see some of the artifacts of 1775."


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This year, the museum is bringing back the Patriots Ball, a tradition more than 125 years old that was lost about six years ago. This year, the ball will take place Saturday at the National Guard Armory at 91 Everett St. There will be food, music, a midnight march and a re-enactment of Dr. Samuel Prescott's ride to warn of the British coming to Concord.

"It has been a regular feature in the cultural life of concord," Wood said. "We're retaining a tradition."

The museum is also excited to be able to host open houses at the Wright Tavern to play Colonial games and learn about the history of the tavern, which was constructed in 1747 and was the headquarters for troops.

Of course, the Billerica Minute Men will also be around Sunday to demonstrate the art of musket-firing, soap-making, leather-stitching, baking and more.

"It really is a colorful event with strictly local flavor, and people seem to recognize that," Wood said. "It is a very long tradition."

For more information, visit www.concordmuseum.org or call 978-396-9763.

Minute Man National Historical Park

174 Liberty St., Concord

For the Minute Man National Historical Park, it's more than a weekend. It's a monthlong affair.

At Parker's Revenge, there will be a tactical demonstration with hundreds of volunteer re-enactors. The British Army will march along Battle Road, encountering colonists along the way.

"We try to give folks an idea of what it was like after the British went to Lexington, went to Concord, and then were on their way back to Boston," said Phil Lupsiewicz, director of media and communications for the Minute Man Historical Park. "Folks really get a sense of maybe what it was like for people during that time."

Another popular event is a more solemn one, on Wednesday, April 18, at North Bridge. Visitors will gather for a candlelight procession to commemorate and reflect on all the lives lost in the Revolutionary War.

A new event this year will take place Saturday at the Minute Man Visitors Center, where the Friends of the Minute Man National Historical Park will present a talk on the archeological findings at Parker's Revenge.

For those who want to bring their canine companions, there will be a special dog walk Sunday called Revolutionary Dogs.

And, of course, you can't miss out on the Concord Parade taking place Monday.

Lupsiewicz said it's a great opportunity for families to come and for children to learn and gain an appreciation for the country's history. Lupsiewicz said that history is sometimes taken for granted because it's so close to home. He recommends that people wear comfortable shoes and arrive an hour ahead of the activities to ensure they find parking easily.

"It is such a busy weekend, and it's a lot of fun," Lupsiewicz said. "It's really neat to see the pageantry of our re-enactors, the fight and drum music. I kind of get a chill seeing and hearing that."

For more information, visit www.nps.gov/mima or call 978-396-6993.

Follow Kori Tuitt on Twitter @KoriTuitt.