History invades Niagara for bicentennial celebrations

Posted April 14, 2014  by Bullet News Source

NIAGARA – The War of 1812 ended 200 years ago but the historic conflict will continue to be celebrated for the next few months.

At a ceremony on Monday morning, the War of 1812 Legacy Council announced its scheduled events for the upcoming year.

The series of celebrations will start at Fort Niagara in Youngstown, N.Y. With ‘The Honouring,’ a performance from a dance theatre that tells the story of native allies through movement, rhythm, sound and video – inside the walls of the fort at dusk. This will be held on June 28 and 29.

The second commemorative event will be the Battle of Chippawa on July 5 and 6.

The conflict will be brought back to life on what the Legacy Council calls “one of Canada’s most pristine battlefields,” with re-enactments and demonstrations throughout the weekend.

The Battle of Lundy’s Lane will take place on July 25, starting with a commemorative service at 7: 30 p.m.

Later in the evening, a participatory event will be offered from two points in Niagara Falls. Particpants will walk 2.5 kilometres through the streets and converge onto the former Battlefield School.

The Siege of Fort Erie will be re-enacted on Aug. 9 and 10 for its 28th consecutive year at the Old Fort.

There will be a battle on Saturday night where the fort is “blown up” by pyrotechnics,” said the Old Fort’s manager Heather Gorman.

Janice Thomson, chair of the Niagara Parks Commission, said the involvement of multiple groups, agencies and area municipalities is what has made the 1812 celebrations a success over the last three years.

“It’s been great to see all the community groups working together,” said Thomson.

On NPC property, many of the historic sites from the War of 1812 have been marked with plaques and signage to commemorate the various conflicts – many of them just recently added.

“It’s great to see the other spots filled in and the whole story has been told,” said Thomson.

Jarrod Cunliffe, 25, of St. Catharines, says he has been involved in the War of 1812 experience since he started working at Fort George in 2009.


Cunliffe is a Public Relations program student at Niagara College and is doing his placement with the Niagara 1812 Legacy Council.

He was dressed as one of American Brigadier General Winfield Scott’s “Grey Jackets.”

Scott and his men played important roles in the Battle of Chippawa and the Battle of Lundy’s Lane.

“So many people live their entire lives without knowing the significance of what happened around them,” says Cunliffe, adding, “They are shocked.”