Not much into watching a bunch of skinny folks running the Boston Marathon? Head to Minuteman National Historical Park this Patriots Day weekend to celebrate the "shot heard 'round the world."

The festivities have something for everyone, from battle re-enactments to musicals to engaging tours, all taking place in the place where the American Revolutionary War was born on April 19, 1775.

BJ Dunn, the superintendent of the park, shared the highlights of the upcoming weekend and the appeal in being a part of the celebration.

"It's really exciting ... to get a sense of what was happening on April 19, 1775," Dunn said.

Phil Lupsiewicz, a spokesperson for both Minute Man and Lowell National Historical Park, said authenticity is a big draw for visitors each year.

"We try to give visitors a feel for the battle," he said. "It's a real different thing to see and be a part of."

Kick off the revolutionary fun by visiting the popular Parker's Revenge battle demonstration, which will feature hundred of re-enactors showing the public the events leading up to the ambush of British troops led by Capt. John Parker mere hours after the first battle of the Revolution.

The demonstration begins at 12:45 p.m., but both Dunn and Lupsiewicz recommend visitors arrive earlier to secure good parking because thousands of people flock to the Battle Road trail each year to watch the event.

Dunn said revelers should attend the lower-profile events in addition to the more popular ones like Parker's Revenge.


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He said the park has received two new exhibit items that are debuting this weekend: original musket balls discovered at the site of Parker's Revenge, and the powder horn used by Maj. John Buttrick as he ordered the famed "shot heard 'round the world."

Dog lovers curious to know just how essential pooches were to the rebel cause during the war can bring their four-legged friends to the Revolutionary Dogs tour, which explores Battle Road at 2 p.m., on Sunday starting at the Minute Man Visitors Center.

End your journey back in time to the Revolution era on Thursday night with a vigil commemorating the rebel soldiers who died at the Battle of Lexington and Concord. The program, coordinated by Park Ranger Jim Hollister asks people to bring lanterns to the North Bridge at dusk on Thursday, April 18 -- the eve of the battle's anniversary.

"It becomes this beautiful procession," Dunn said.

Lupsiewicz finds that the popularity of Patriots Weekend stems from local residents' deep appreciation for the rebel heroes of the Colonial era.

"I think people really do appreciate the opportunity to reflect on that period of time," Lupsiewicz said.