Exactly 250 years after British soldiers landed in Boston Harbor for the first time, Bostonians this weekend will once again be able to yell, “The Redcoats are coming!”
A troupe of about 150 Redcoat reenactors will land at Long Wharf Saturday morning and march into downtown Boston to commemorate the sestercentennial anniversary of when the red-clad British nationals first arrived in the city in October of 1768.
The reproduction of the soldiers’ arrival and the march that will follow it comprise “Boston Occupied: An Insolent Parade” — the signature event organized by Revolution 250, a group of organizations, including the Massachusetts Historical Society, working together to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the events that eventually culminated in the colonies’ independence from Britain.
“These seminal and catalytic events underscore that Boston was indeed the epicenter of patriotic dissent that ultimately led to independence,” said David O’Donnell, spokesman for the Greater Boston Conventions and Visitors Bureau.
The Redcoats will land at the Harbor in a clipper ship and several long boats around 9:15 a.m. From there, they will march to the Boston Common, where they will settle down in an encampment and do drills and demonstrations starting around 1 p.m., according to the Greater Boston Conventions and Visitors Bureau.
On their way to the Common, the lobsterbacks — as they were mockingly called by rebellious colonists — will make stops at the Old State House and the Downtown Crossing reviewing stand. At 2 p.m., they will convene at Roche Bros. Supermarket on Summer Street for an Afternoon Regimental Tea, where the public can take photos with the reenactors.
The Redcoats will be marching throughout Downtown Crossing for the rest of the afternoon, and at 8 p.m., there will be a reading of the Riot Act at Democracy Brewing on Temple Place. Boston Occupied will continue Sunday morning with more drill demonstrations.
The Redcoats occupied Boston for seven years after the British government sent them to the North American colonies to mollify the growing unrest among colonists, according to the Greater Boston Conventions and Visitors Bureau. But the arrival of the Redcoats angered many colonists and led to more tension, which reached a peak with the Boston Massacre in 1770. Just a few years after that, the colonies declared their independence from British rule.