McGillivray tapped to give keynote address at the Annual Old North Church & Historic Site Lantern Ceremony on April 18, 2021


BOSTON, MA – March 24, 2021 – Dave McGillivray, president of DMSE Sports and long-time race director of the B.A.A. Boston Marathon, will be honored at Lantern2021 and he will deliver the keynote address. This is the Old North Church & Historic Site’s re-imagined and virtual Lantern Ceremony that will be held on Sunday, April 18, at 7 p.m.  The annual event commemorates the 246th anniversary of Old North Church’s fateful lantern signals and Paul Revere’s ride. This one-of-a-kind experience is an uplifting and enduring event that supports the Old North Church & Historic Site’s virtual and on-site programs that aim to inspire children and adults alike to consider the ways they can build a more just and equitable world.


Old North Church, built in 1723, is Boston’s oldest standing church and one of the most famous churches in the United States. The iconic fame of the Old North Church began on the evening of April 18, 1775, when church sexton Robert Newman and vestryman Capt. John Pulling, Jr. climbed the steeple and held high two lanterns as a signal from Paul Revere that the British were marching to Lexington and Concord by sea across the Charles River and Revere embarked on his journey. That fateful night ignited the American Revolution. Educational programs, tourism operations, and preservation of Old North Church & Historic Site are managed by the Old North Foundation, a secular 501(c)3 organization; the church is also a mission of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts.


Lantern2021 will be an uplifting evening featuring original music from singer-songwriter Ryan Ahlwardt (formerly of Straight No Chaser). The night will also include a spirited performance of the poem “Paul Revere’s Ride” and reflections on the role of active citizenship in the ongoing struggle for justice and equity. The event concludes with the ceremonial lighting and hanging of the two lanterns in the iconic steeple as a beacon of freedom and justice.


“I’ve received a few awards in my lifetime but this one is really special,” said McGillivray. “Knowing all those who have been a recipient of the award or who have spoken at the ceremony in the past, I am humbled and touched by this true honor.”


Previous recipients of the award include Senator Ed Markey, Governor Charlie Baker, Mayor Marty Walsh and Representative Lori Trahan, among other luminaries.  President Gerald Ford spoke at Old North Church in 1975 for the U.S. Bicentennial Celebration.


“Dave’s tenacious commitment to community building and his lifelong drive to create positive change embody the values of the Old North Church & Historic Site and light the way for others to actively engage in their communities,” said Nikki Stewart, Executive Director of the Old North Foundation. “Whether through art, activism, volunteering, philanthropy – we all have the power to hang lanterns that ignite change.”


Although McGillivray is best known as the race director of the B.A.A. Boston Marathon, he and his company, DMSE Sports have directed many of the country’s most prestigious races. Recently, McGillivray’s unique set of skills and experience led to his appointment managing logistics for mass vaccination sites at Gillette Stadium, Fenway Park, the Reggie Lewis Center and the Hynes Convention Center. Dave is an athlete, businessman, and philanthropist who embodies Old North’s core value of active citizenship. At Lantern2021, Dave will share his personal journey and inspire us to “hang a lantern” in our communities.


Lantern2021 is a virtual family-friendly event that will celebrate the heroic actions of April 18, 1775 and Old North’s legacy of active citizenship.


McGillivray will be introduced as the keynote speaker by Governor Charlie Baker. In his videotaped remarks, Governor Baker said, “Long before the pandemic, and over the course of the last year, Dave McGillivray has proven time and again to be a shining example of the spirit of service to others. Dave is a man of many talents and he’s shared them readily in support of his community and the entire Commonwealth.”