Compiled by The Bedford Citizen
Anyone who thinks Bedford is a sleepy little town will want to re-think their assessment after Saturday.
The Bedford Minuteman Company’s 53rd annual Pole Capping parade and ceremonial exercises at Willson Park are the capstone of the day, but multiple additional events are also scheduled.
Beginning with with a Pre-Polecapping Pancake Breakfast at First Parish on Bedford Common with tours celebrating the bicentennial of the historic meeting house, the day moves on to the opening of the DPW’s compost center on Carlisle Road; the Friends of the Library’s Spring Book Sale; the Rotary Club’s Meals Packing for Kids event at Middlesex Community College, the Bedford Family Connection’s Spring Egg Hunt in the late afternoon at Davis School; and the final performance of the JGMS spring musical, Disney’s The Lion King, Jr, to complete the day’s festivities.
The Bedford Minuteman Company’s Pole-Capping Parade and Exercises at Willson Park
As a prelude to Massachusetts’ statewide Patriot’s Day ceremonies, the Bedford Minuteman Company has held a parade and Liberty Pole Capping Ceremony earlier in April, since the Company re-gathered in 1964. Colonial reenactors from around the area travel to Bedford. The parade begins on the Common and proceeds to Willson Park (at the intersection of The Great Road, North Road, and Concord Road) accompanied by fifes and drums, the rhythm of marching feet, and the roar of black-powder musket shot.
With the companies ringing the park, a Liberty Pole is raised, a Bedford Minuteman climbs the pole and tops it with the red knit Liberty cap before British regulars from His Majesty’s 10th Regiment of Foot, in full red-back regalia, storm the ceremony and summarily arrest the climber for his seditious act.
Traffic Alert: Cars driving toward Bedford along Concord Road/Rte 62, Carlisle Road/Rtes 4 & 225, North Road, and The Great Road will be diverted beginning around 10 am. The Great Road, between Bedford Common and Willson Park, will be closed to accommodate the parade.
Editor’s Note: After Bedford’s ceremony, Colonial reenactors and the Concord Independent Battery will gather at Meriam’s Corner in Concord. Ceremonies at 1 pm will pay remembrance to the fight at Meriam’s Corner that marked the beginning of the six-hour battle as the British soldiers retreated to Boston. The Meriam House will be open for tours from 11 am.until 2 pm. At 3 pm, the Lincoln Minute Men and the Town of Lincoln, joined by other reenactment units, will observe the historic capture of Paul Revere with fife and drum music and a musket fire salute. Both sites are located within the Minuteman National Park.
Pole-Capping Pancake Breakfast
The morning begins at 8 am with a traditional Pancake Breakfast in the Common Room at First Parish on Bedford Common. Share a table with friends, or a reenactor and enjoy delicious hotcakes, bacon, sausages, juice and coffee.
Tours of Bedford’s Historic Meeting House
Although the Town of Bedford was gathered in 1729, its present meeting house on Bedford Common dates back to 1817. To celebrate the 2017 bicentennial of Bedford’s historic meeting house, docent-led tours of the building will take place before the parade from 9:15 to 10:15 am, and from 11:30 am until 1 pm, after the parade.
The DPW Compost Center on Carlisle Road Opens for the Season
The Bedford Department of Public Works Compost Center at 108 Carlisle Road will open for the season at 8 a.m. This year, the Department of Public Works will offer composted loam, collected in earlier years, to residents for use in their gardens.
Bedford Rotary’s 5th Annual ‘Meals for Kids’ Packing Event
Last year Bedford exceeded a quarter million meals packed and this year we’re looking toward 300,000!
The Friends of the Library’s Spring Book Sale
Choose from fiction and non-fiction books in great condition across all genres. Prices range from $.50 to $2.00 unless otherwise marked. All proceeds benefit the Friends of the Bedford Free Public Library and their support of children, teen and adult programming as well as acquisitions for the Library. The sale is open from 10 am to 4 pm on Saturday, and from 1 to 4 pm on Sunday, April 9.
The Bedford Family Connection’s Spring Egg Hunt
Bedford Family Connection’s Annual Spring Egg Hunt will be bigger than ever, with hundreds of new eggs added this year. With hunting areas for toddlers to age 2, children aged 2 to 4, and also for kids aged 4 and above, everyone leaves with a prize. There will be photo ops with the Easter Bunny, and the lucky kids who find the 3 Golden Eggs will receive special prizes.
The fun begins on the Davis School playground at 4 pm on Saturday afternoon. Participants are urged to dress appropriately for the chilly weather.
The Final Performance of Disney’s The Lion King, Jr., the JGMS Spring Musical
While the remaining performances are sold out, we give a nod to this fabulous performance, starring nearly 100 middle-school students in the cast and crew!