Niagara Gazette

War of 1812

September 29, 2012

Preparing for a big battle in Lewiston

Niagara Gazette — LEWISTON — It's shaping up as one of the biggest historical events held on the Niagara Frontier, an all-out and carefully planned re-enactment of the Battle of Queenston Heights.

"We're sure there will be nothing to match it," says Lee Simonson of Lewiston, a former longtime county lawmaker and a prime mover in the three-day bicentennial commemoration of the battle fought Oct. 12, 1812. 

"It will be largest such bi-national observance anywhere in the U.S.," Simonson predicted.

The free three-days of activities will include "The War of 1812 Songs and Stories from New York and Beyond," at 2:45 p.m. Oct. 12 in Academy Park, Lewiston. An "Off to War Cannon Procession" will begin at 4 p.m. on Center Street, from Portage Road to Fourth Street. 

Simonson said that 7 p.m. re-enactors will be staging the largest 1812-period cannon bombardment ever assembled, along the Lewiston riverfront on Water Street. In addition, special fireworks and music will be featured. Spectators also will hear at 6:50 p.m. President James Madison's speech urging the American troops to victory.

On Oct. 13, the pageantry from noon to 1 p.m. will relive, in a limited and imaginary way, the British troops harassing and ransacking Lewiston merchants on Center Street. Other activities that day will include a New York State Honor Guard Ceremony at the Veterans Memorial in Academy Park, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.; an 1812 Fashion Show, 2:30 p.m.; and a Cannon Bombardment of Canada, from the Artpark upper parking lot and Amphitheater area, at 3 p.m. A number of 1812 themed tents will offer an informative look at life in those earlier days. 

On the final day, Oct. 13, re-enactors will be marching as well as conducting drills and demonstrations, from 9 a.m. until noon. Also, various interpretive program stations will be open to the public.

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War of 1812
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