A replica of an old ship sits in front of a museum where the Boston Tea Party anniversary will be celebrated in December.

How To Celebrate The 250th Boston Tea Party Anniversary

A pivotal event in American history will be commemorated on December 16, 2023, when the 250th Boston Tea Party anniversary is celebrated.

Maybe not everyone is as excited as I am about the country’s upcoming 250th birthday in 2026, but I see the 250th Boston Tea Party anniversary as a kick-off to the next few years of celebrations.

As one of the nation’s most iconic events, the Boston Tea Party marked a turning point in the struggle for independence, uniting the colonists, and ultimately leading to the American Revolution.

Here’s everything you need to know about the upcoming Boston Tea Party anniversary events.

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Don’t want to read the whole article? Celebrate the 250th Boston Tea Party anniversary with a Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum Tour, or book a Freedom Trail Tour to get the most out of your trip to Boston.

What Is The Boston Tea Party?

The 150th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party is December 16, 2023.

You may remember this historic protest from your earliest history lessons. The Tea Party was when colonists in Massachusetts dumped a large amount of tea into the Boston Harbor to show their opposition to British taxation policies.

The Boston Tea Party anniversary event in December kicks off festivities that will continue into 2026, when we celebrate the 250th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

How Will The Boston Tea Party Be Celebrated?

Celebrations and events will be held in Massachusetts throughout the year to honor this milestone anniversary. Key among them will be the reenactment at the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum.

This immersive experience transports visitors back in time to witness the event that John Adams described as the “most magnificent movement of all.” In addition to the reenactment, an array of activities and programs will allow locals and tourists to delve deeper into this important moment in American history.

One of the things the Boston Tea Party anniversary may do is serve as a reminder of what ordinary citizens can do when they take collective action and stand up for their beliefs. 

The events and commemorative activities planned in Massachusetts, will not only honor this historic moment, but hopefully inspire new generations to learn about and appreciate the foundations of American courage and ingenuity.

Significance of the Boston Tea Party

The Boston Tea Party holds great significance in the history of the United States as a pivotal event leading up to the American Revolution.

On December 16, 1773, this political protest by the Sons of Liberty in Boston, Massachusetts, was a direct response to British taxation policies imposed on the North American colonies.

At the heart of the Boston Tea Party was the issue of taxation without representation. Frustrated and angry with Britain for imposing taxes, American colonists united against what they viewed as an abuse of power by the British government.

Demonstrating their displeasure, they proceeded to dump 342 chests of tea, worth nearly $1.7 million in today’s currency, into the Boston Harbor.

Leaders like Samuel Adams played a crucial role in organizing this act of defiance, which garnered the support of many colonists.

The Boston Tea Party became a powerful symbol of resistance against British rule and oppression, fueling the revolutionary spirit that ultimately led to the Declaration of Independence and the formation of the United States.

A note pinned to a "Liberty Tree" in the Museum of the American Revolution the day after the Boston Tea Party.
A note pinned to a “Liberty Tree” in the Museum of the American Revolution.

In response to the Boston Tea Party, the British government implemented even more severe policies on the Massachusetts colony, known as the Intolerable Acts.

These actions ultimately pushed tensions between the colonies and Britain to the breaking point, culminating in the outbreak of the American Revolution in 1775.

Fun Fact: The Boston Tea Party occurred in 1773, but the term wasn’t used until a newspaper report in 1825. The colonists defined the term “party” as an organized event that is celebrated with friends.

Don’t miss any of the Revolutionary War sites in Boston. Book a Hop-On Hop-Off Trolley Tour Ticket with 14 stops.

Today, the Boston Tea Party is commemorated and celebrated as a critical moment in the fight for America’s independence. The 250th-anniversary reenactment at the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum ensures that the legacy of this historic event lives on.

Boston Tea Party Anniversary

The Boston Tea Party remains one of America’s most iconic moments and a catalyst that propelled the nation down the road to revolution.

The financial hit was a major one, when colonists boarded British ships dressed as Mohawk Indians and dumped 342 chests of tea (roughly 46 tons) into Boston Harbor. The amount of tea dumped today would be over $1,000,000.00.

(That’s about 19 million cups of tea!)

Various events will be held in honor of the 250th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party, including a reenactment at the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum.

A display at the Museum of the American Revolution that reads REVOLUTION: Everything changed in 1776
Everything changed in 1776, but the Boston Tea Party was the spark that lit the flame.

Boston Tea Party Anniversary Reenactment

The Boston Tea Party Reenactment is an event being planned to commemorate the Boston Tea Party 250th anniversary.

Taking place at the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum, the reenactment features actors dressed as colonists and allows attendees to immerse themselves in the events that unfolded on December 16, 1773. 

An entire year of events and activities is in the works to honor this historic occasion. The highlight will be a big reenactment on December 16, 2023.

In addition to the reenactment, visitors can also enjoy the following activities:

  • Historical festivals
  • Theatrical performances
  • Special exhibits, artwork, and public programs
  • Virtual presentations and webinars
  • Community and school outreach
  • Genealogical programs

Looking for some Boston Tea Party Themed Gifts?

Take Part In The Boston Tea Party Anniversary

During the Boston Tea Party reenactment, participants can witness firsthand the iconic scene of colonists throwing tea overboard in Boston Harbor.

Back in 1773, it took the colonists three hours to dump more than 46 tons of tea. Preparations are underway for a grand-scale, live reenactment of the event to honor the 250th anniversary.

The celebration promises to be a memorable experience that brings history to life and highlights the importance of the Boston Tea Party in America’s journey toward independence.

Interesting Fact About The Boston Tea Party

Before the Boston Tea Party, American colonists drank on average of two to three cups of tea per person per day, a habit that came from their British roots.

Even colonists who did not join the Sons of Liberty and toss tea into Boston Harbor, still protested the tax on tea by switching to coffee.

Today, the United States is a nation of coffee drinkers, with tea drinkers as the minority—the exact opposite of England. They say that America’s love affair with coffee can be traced back to the Tea Tax and the Boston Tea Party.

Looking for Boston Tea Party Themed Party Ideas?

Key Locations and Landmarks

The Boston Tea Party had several key locations and landmarks that played a crucial role during the incident. These important sites include the Tea Party Ships, Old South Meeting House, Boston Harbor, and Faneuil Hall.

The Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum are an impressive representation of the vessels used in the historic event. They have a full-scale replica of the 18th-century sailing vessels for visitors to experience.

As part of the tours, you can experience life at sea aboard an 18th-century sailing vessel as you join a Son of Liberty and take part in the “Destruction of the Tea!”

Throw tea into the very same body of water where the Boston Tea Party took place more than 240 years ago.

There’s no better way to see and experience the history of Boston than a Freedom Trail Walking Tour.

The Old South Meeting House is a historically significant building located on the corner of Washington and Milk Streets in Boston. This site was the meeting point for the American patriots before they proceeded to the harbor to commit the act now famously known as the Boston Tea Party.

Today, visitors can visit the Old South Meeting House, which is now a museum, to learn about the event and its importance in American history.

Boston Harbor was the actual site where the tea was dumped during the Boston Tea Party. This body of water played a pivotal role in the Revolutionary War, as the act of defiance by the colonists led to a series of events that ultimately culminated in the independence of the United States.

Visitors to the harbor can still witness the historic site and imagine the events that unfolded that fateful night.

Relax and take a Boston Harbor Sunset Cruise!

Faneuil Hall is another noteworthy historic site in Boston, as it was a common gathering place for the colonists and hosted America’s first Town Meeting. Faneuil Hall played a central role in various political and social events.

Although not directly related to the Boston Tea Party, Faneuil Hall’s connection to the revolutionary spirit and mindset makes it an important landmark for anyone interested in understanding the broader context of the time.

Each site, including the Boston Common, offers an insightful glimpse into the earliest days that shaped the United States.

Pro Tip: If you don’t want to miss anything, take a History and Highlights Boston Walking Tour.

Descendants Program and Grave Markers

The Descendants Program provides research information related to the participants of the Boston Tea Party and their descendants in preparation for the 250th anniversary of the event on December 16, 2023.

The Grave Marker Project, which is part of the 250th Boston Tea Party Anniversary celebrations, focuses on placing commemorative markers at the graves of every known Boston Tea Party participant across the United States.

So far, several markers have already been placed at significant sites. One of the most recent was dedicated on October 15, 2022, in Westford, Massachusetts to honor Tea Party participant Capt. Joseph Read.

Boston is known for its delicious, fresh seafood. Explore Boston’s rich history and eat along the way with a Seafood Lovers Food and History Walking Tour or a Revolutionary War History Tour.

Boston Museum Exhibit

In celebration of the 250th Anniversary of the Boston Tea Party, a new exhibit called Impassioned Destruction: Politics, Vandalism, and the Boston Tea Party opened at the Old State House on July 1, 2023.

This exhibit aims to provide visitors with a comprehensive understanding of the historical event and its impact on American history.

The exhibit focuses on protests throughout American history, starting with the Boston Tea Party and ending with the January 6 gathering in DC. Visitors can learn about the people involved in the protest, their motivations, and the political implications of their actions.

Another noteworthy aspect of the exhibit is its location within the Old State House, a historic building that played a significant role in the early years of America’s struggle for independence.

The Old South Meeting House, where the protesters initially gathered before heading to the harbor, is also nearby. This proximity adds to the immersive experience of the exhibit, transporting visitors back to the times of the American Revolution.

The museum offers exclusive guided tours, providing a deeper understanding of the event and its influence on the development of the United States.

The Boston Tea Party 250th Anniversary exhibit at the Old State House is a must-see attraction for history enthusiasts and those looking to gain insight into this iconic event.

Boston Tea Party Frequently Asked Questions

Where Is The Boston Tea Party Museum?

The Boston Tea Party Museum is located at 306 Congress Street in Boston, Mass.

What Events Are Planned For The Boston Tea Party Anniversary?

A Boston Tea Party reenactment is just one of the many anniversary events planned to honor the 250th milestone.

Plan Your Trip To Boston

If you’re heading to Boston, I recommend these hotels.

Economy: Found Hotel Boston Common European vibe and no frills.

Mid-Range: Boston Omni Parker House is a historic hotel located close to Boston Common.

Luxury: The XV Beacon Hotel is conveniently located downtown. Onsite bar/restaurant and allows pets!

Trivia Question: Name The Boston Tea Party Ships

The protestors raided three ships in Boston Harbor during the Boston Tea Party. They were the Dartmouth, the Eleanor, and the Beaver.

There should have been a fourth ship in the harbor that night, but that ship, the William, ran aground near Cape Cod when it encountered a storm on the way to Boston.

Now if you ever get asked the question about the ships from the Boston Tea Party, you will know the answer!

Learn More About The American Revolution

To learn more about the road leading to the American Revolution, you can visit the The Museum of the American Revolutionary War in Philadelphia, where you view George Washington’s Revolutionary War Tent!

Just down the road is Valley Forge, where General Washington and men camped during the winter of 1777.

Walnut Grove in South Carolina was one of the best plantation tours I’ve ever been on for learning about colonial life and the fight for independence.

Also in South Carolina are homes of signers of the Declaration of Independence that are open for tours, including Hopsewee and Middleton Place Plantation.

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