by Marwa Eltagouri
The Town of Lewiston has been awarded $340,000 in Greenway funding in order to enhance the Niagara Greenway corridor, by creating new town projects and improving upon existing ones. The Lewiston Council on the Arts received $15,000 toward this year's Lewiston Jazz Festival, and $325,000 will be used toward the War of 1812 bicentennial commemoration.
Plans for the jazz festival include putting together a bigger and better performance than usual to honor the festival's 10th year anniversary. As one of the region's top summer music events, the festival draws in more than 30,000 people, resulting not only in a large economic boost for Lewiston, but in an opportunity for people to experience the River Region, as well. Visitors, while in town for the festival, often go on to explore the local wine trails and Niagara River attractions.
"It's an absolutely great thing to do," Town Supervisor Steve Reiter said. "Part of the Niagara Greenway Commission's goal is involvement, and we're bringing more people in, exposing them to the Greenway. It's great for the town, great for business, and I'm pleased to be a part of it."
Two main projects are planned in order to recognize the War of 1812's 200th anniversary next year, and further attract people to the River Region: a re-enactment of the historic Battle of Queenston Heights, and the building of a bronze monument honoring the Tuscarora Nation, which rescued settlers during the British invasion.
"The Tuscarora's allowed Lewiston to escape," said Lee Simonson, 1812 bicentennial director. "It was the single greatest act of heroism in American history, and the only example of Native Americans saving white settlers from foreign attack."
Greenway funding of $25,000 will be put toward the Battle of Queenston Heights re-enactment, which also includes funding by the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission as well as other sponsors. The re-enactment commemorates Lewiston's first major frontline battle, of which soldiers were sent to invade Canada. The event will include participants from both sides of the border, with Americans stationed in Academy Park and Canadians in Queenston Heights Park.
The re-enactment will take place on Oct.12-14, 2012.
The Tuscarora Heroes monument will be unveiled on Dec. 19, 2012, exactly 200 years since the invasion. Greenway funds totaling $300,000 will be put toward the building of it, with additional funding from KeyBank and other sponsors.
"I'm proud of Supervisor Steve Reiter and the town and village board for their leadership," Simonson said. "They're doing more in Lewiston for the War of 1812 bicentennial than any other community in the state."