HISTORY TO COME ALIVE WITH WAR OF 1812 EVENTS
(See Schedule of Events here)
The significance of the War of 1812 and its impact will be recognized in this bicentennial anniversary of the war – as well as next year – by a series of local signature events.
On June 18, 1812 war was officially declared in Canada, with British and Mohawk warriors claiming victory on Niagara’s battlefields against U.S. invading troops.
The two-year festivities kick off with an Opening Ceremonies Weekend from June 15 to 18, 2012, followed by Fort Erie’s Grand Parade on June 23.
The Navy of 1812: Sailors on the Lakes event will be held from July 13 to 15, while the Niagara Falls History Museum Reopening is scheduled for July 21.
Watch exciting history unfold at the Siege of Fort Erie Re-enactment on Aug. 11 and 12, followed by the captivating Battle of Queenston Heights Re-enactment on Oct. 13.
Celebrating the anniversary of Laura Secord’s heroic walk (which took place in 1813), all are invited to the long-awaited official opening of the DeCew House Heritage Park at 5:30 p.m. on June 22, 2012.
Restoration of the historic building’s walls have been completed, and Laura Secord –attired in period costume – will make an appearance among them, providing an added dimension by describing what war was like in those days from a woman’s perspective.
The Thorold Reed Band and Thorold Pipe Band have been invited to perform period music, and local dignitaries will speak to mark the momentous occasion.
Ceremonies will continue in Thorold’s Battle of Beaverdams Park on Sunday, June 24 – the actual anniversary of the battle – where actual vivid accounts of what transpired that day, accompanied by music from that era, will bring our history alive at the Bandshell.
According to War of 1812 Committee Chair John Burtniak, “We will lay wreaths at the cairn and obelisk” with the Royal Canadian Legion and Canadian Corps members in attendance. Various members of Thorold’s clergy “will recognize those who fell and suffered, and celebrate the peace that has endured for nearly 200 years, and we will highlight the peace that has prevailed” between Canada and the U.S. ever since.
The cairn in the Battle of Beaverdams Park was originally placed at the battle site in 1923 by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, and moved to the park in 1976 when “there was talk of a fifth canal” being constructed near the original site.
“We want to put a historic boulder” at the southeast corner of Old Thorold Stone Road and Davis Road, explained Burtniak, because “People have forgotten that that area was designated a historic site by the federal government.”
In 2013, a large-scale community commemorative walk is in the works for June 22, organized by the Friends of Laura Secord. People of all ages will be encouraged to walk or wheel from Queenston to DeCew House in honour of our beloved Canadian heroine.
“The highlight will be the arrival of Laura Secord, and she will discuss what it was like to walk the 15 or 20 miles and what she endured” along the way, noted Burtniak.
Buses will be available to transport people from DeCew House to the historic village of Beaverdams, to the Battle of Beaverdams Park and site of the actual battlefield near the Thorold/Niagara Falls border, as well as the site where American forces surrendered to the British.
Since virtually all the fighting on our nation’s behalf was carried out by native warriors, their valiant efforts will be recognized, and the ceremony will include the participation of various veteran units and an array of historical artisans – such as blacksmiths – as well as local historical organizations.
Events are still in the planning stages, but one thing is certain, according to Fred Neale, Vice-Chair of the War of 1812 Committee.
“It will be interesting, exciting and different.”
BUSES WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR THE EVENTS.
PLENTY OF FREE PARKING AT THE NIAGARA REGIONAL HEADQUARTERS BUILDING
CORNER OF ST. DAVID'S ROAD AND MERRITTVILLE HWY. FOR SHUTTLE PICK-UP
CLICK HERE TO SEE BUS ROUTES