Patriots' Day highlights revolutionary New York

Re-enactors give orders to a few new "recruits" during a 2018 event at Old Fort Niagara in Youngstown. (Photo by Wayne Peters)

Most Americans are familiar with the events of April 1775 in the Massachusetts villages of Lexington and Concord. It was then that British soldiers and Massachusetts militia clashed and began the American War for Independence.

What is not as well known is how the events of April 1775 impacted the New York frontier. On Saturday, Old Fort Niagara will host a day of living history programming honoring veterans and recalling how New Yorkers reacted to the news of armed conflict in the Boston area.

Visitors to the fort will experience presentations about how New York prepared for war with Great Britain, what Fort Niagara looked like in 1775 and how the Revolution divided New Yorkers politically.

Reenactors portraying British and American forces will demonstrate muskets and cannons typical of the period and at 2 p.m. will conduct a ceremony honoring veterans.

Other living history programs include demonstrations of 18th century period cooking, women’s roles in a military garrison, military engineering, storytelling and fife and drum music.

Veterans and active duty military with identification are admitted free.

Visitors are asked to please wear a facial covering and practice social distancing. More information is available at

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