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Lafayette Returns!

September 2 @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm


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On September 2, 1824, most of Lexington turned out to the Battle Green to see an international superstar who’d been drawing ecstatic crowds in state after state that summer. The Marquis de Lafayette had returned to America for a triumphal anniversary visit, 50 years after his crucial assistance in America’s improbable victory not only won the Revolution, but sparked a new era of human liberty. And he took care to include Lexington, a town of just 900, on his tour.

Now, exactly 200 years after that celebration, Lexington will turn out again to celebrate the Marquis, the bicentennial of his remarkable tour, and Lexington’s proud place in the events that established America. A full-scale re-enactment of Lafayette’s Lexington visit is scheduled for Labor Day, Sept. 2, 2024, at 1 p.m. in Lexington Center.

For the Marquis’ appearance in 1824, the Town had prepared a huge banner reading, “Welcome Friend of America to the Birthplace of American Liberty.” It bedecked an arch of flowers and evergreen boughs stretched over the Green. “It was a scene of wild and joyous enthusiasm, the homage of the people to their country’s noble friend and benefactor,” recounted the founder of the Lexington Historical Society years later. Every schoolchild in town marched by the Marquis, strewing flowers at his feet as they passed. Fourteen grizzled veterans of the first battle in the War for Independence, fought on that very spot, hailed the hero and expressed the veneration most Americans felt for Lafayette by the time of his tour.

All those same elements will be recreated and reenacted on the Green this Labor Day, when a member of the American Friends of Lafayette will become the Marquis for the occasion, proceeding under a reproduced arch and banner (the original banner will be on display nearby.) The schoolchildren in white dresses, boys in their Sunday best, will turn out; cannon will boom; devotees of history portraying the 14 veterans of the Battle will hail their hero once more.

We’d like to thank our community partners for the help in putting this event together:
American Friends of Lafayette
John Crane’s Artillery Company
Lexington Minute Men
Town of Lexington
Department of Public Works
Lexington 250 Commission
SNAP – Special Needs Arts Program
William Diamond Fife and Drum Corp
1824 Militia Company

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September 2
1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
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Lexington Historical Society


Lexington Battle Green
1625 Massachusetts Ave.
Lexington, 02420 United States
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