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Boston Spring Events
Boston’s a great place to visit in springtime. Tap into largest Irish populations in America and grab something green in March, just in time for St. Patrick’s Day. Or strap on some running shoes and take on the Boston Marathon on Patriot’s Day in April. Be sure to catch a historical reenactment of Paul Revere’s midnight ride.
St. Patrick’s Day in Boston
Every March brings a sea of green to the city of Boston as the Irish community comes to life celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. The first American St. Patrick’s Day celebration was held in Boston in 1737. There’s a lot going on in Boston during the entire month for the holiday, not several celebrations of St. Patrick’s Day itself. Most of the activity happens in South Boston, the central hub of Boston’s Irish community.
Your best bet to experience all things Irish on St. Patrick’s Day is to head towards the main attraction, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. The parade dates back to 1901, the 125th anniversary of when Boston became free of British rule, thanks to George Washington and the Continental Army. Getting there is easy, just hop off the T at the Broadway station where the parade starts, or grab a seat at Andrew Square where the parade wraps things up.
Be sure to also walk along the three-mile Irish Heritage Trail that takes you through Boston’s Irish history from the colonial era to modern day. Or stop by one of many Irish pubs in South Boston for an Irish beer. The John F. Kennedy Library and Museum typically puts on special exhibits in honor of America’s 35th president, John F. Kennedy, a major Irish American figure.
Patriot’s Day in Boston
If you’re in Boston at the end of April, be sure to stay for Patriot’s Day that commemorates the Battles of Lexington and Concord, the first battles of the American Revolutionary War that took place on April 19, 1775. Patriot’s Day was first observed in 1894, and is now held on the third Monday in April.
Many historical reenactments take place on this day, typically depicted Paul Revere’s and William Dawes’ famous ride to Lexington warning citizens of the impending arrival of British troops.
Another Patriot’s Day tradition is watching the Boston Red Sox play at Fenway Park every year since 1959. Oftentimes, the game coincides with the Boston Marathon, and runners can be seen passing through Kenmore Square during game time.
The Boston Marathon falls on Patriot’s Day, which is how the nickname “Marathon Monday” came about. Inspired by the 1896 Summer Olympics, the Boston Marathon began a year later in 1897 with just 18 participants. That’s a huge leap from the 20,000 that participate these days, and the half a million people who come to watch.
The marathon has passed several milestones since then, opening its doors officially to women in 1972 and to disabled athletes in 1975. All participants must meet qualifying standards which get increasingly restrictive each year due to growing popularity of the marathon. The Boston Marathon is 26.22 miles long, and starts on Main Street in Hopkinton and ends in Copley Square, next to the Boston Public Library. Up until the 1980s, winners were crowned with an olive branch wreath. However, in an effort to draw professional racers, corporate sponsors awarded cash prizes beginning in 1986.