The North Bridge. Photo by Celeste Katz Marston

Flooding scrubs Patriots Day North Bridge commemoration; parade marches on

April 14, 2024

By Celeste Katz

Concordians and lovers of Revolutionary War history traditionally gather at the North Bridge on April 15. This year, nature isn’t fully cooperating.

“Due to flooding around the North Bridge causeway, the North Bridge Commemoration at 8:30 a.m. on [April 15] is cancelled,” the town said on social media Sunday afternoon.

“The Patriots Day Parade is on but the route will not go through the park and over the North Bridge.”

Image via @TownofConcordMA on

“Event coordinators at Minute Man National Historical Park determined that flooding of the causeway in the North Bridge area of the park has caused maintenance and safety concerns that would be exacerbated by increased foot traffic during the event,” the town said in a web bulletin.

The North Bridge event was to commemorate the legendary “shot heard ’round the world” with a tactical demonstration featuring minutemen, British regulars, and musket fire.

Minute Man National Historical Park and the town said on social media that aside from the parade re-routing and the cancellation of the military commemoration, aspects of the day’s scheduled events would remain intact.

The town specified online that the “Concord’s Patriots’ Day parade is still scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. and will include the wreath ceremony,” while the national park noted “The town of Concord ceremony WILL still take place at the bridge.”

A Minute Man National Historical Park update. Image via Facebook

The traditional “Search of the Barrett Farm” on April 7 was also scratched due to flooding. 

Next year marks the 250th anniversary of the start of the American Revolution.

This week and over the next year, organizers are pulling together both the classic events and an ongoing series of activities and observances leading up to April 2025, when as many as 250,000 people could descend on the town to mark the semiquincentennial

The Concord Minute Men prepare to fire a musket volley during the Meriam’s Corner Parade and Exercise. Photo by Ken McGagh for The Concord Bridge

Today, the town will observe Ellen Garrison Day in honor of the Civil War-era Concordian who championed racial justice and education. 

That celebration, sponsored by The Robbins House, The Umbrella Arts Center and Concord250, is billed as an “afternoon of words, music, art and song” and runs from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Armory, 91 Everett Street. 

On Thursday, the Patriot Vigil is scheduled for 7:45 p.m. at the North Bridge Visitor Center, followed on Friday at 6 a.m. by the traditional Dawn Salute at the bridge.