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By Scott Roberto / November 20, 12:00 AM
Big Tea Anniversary


On the night of December 16, 1773, an angry group of Bostonians converged on the waterfront in one of the most famous protests in American history. In honor of this seminal moment that helped precipitate the American Revolution, the entire year leading up to the 250th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party has been filled with special events and commemorations. It all culminates this December 16 in the traditional reenactment of the momentous meeting about unfair taxes that spurred a march to the sea, where colonists dumped crates of British tea into Boston Harbor. The evening of activities is divided into four parts this year, beginning with a sold-out presentation on the history of the Boston Tea Party at Faneuil Hall from 4–5:30 p.m. that is live-streamed to the general public on a screen outside the packed building. The celebration then moves to the Old South Meeting House for a re-creation of the “Meeting of the Body of the People” from 6:15–7:15 p.m. that was concluded by a signal from Samuel Adams to march on the three tea-laden ships at the waterfront. Those who can’t get seats inside can enjoy a simultaneous “Patriots and Loyalists” gathering at Downtown Crossing that features costumed speakers discussing the ramifications of the words being spoken nearby. Part Three is the walk to the former site of Griffin’s Wharf, where the original act of disobedience took place, all led by a fife and drum corps. The Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum hosts the final piece of the puzzle from 8–8:30 p.m., which sees the Sons of Liberty storming the docks to board replicas of the Eleanor and the Beaver and upend tea donated from all 50 states and all over the world into the swirling sea. For the expected crowds, bleachers are set up so that thousands of citizens can bear witness to what is sure to once again be a historic night.

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