'Flames Through Lewiston' highlights British attack during the War of 1812
In one of the most unusual displays Western New Yorkers will witness, the second annual "Flames Through Lewiston" event will be held on Saturday, Dec. 17, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Center Street. The event is free and the public is welcome to attend.
A special 20-minute performance by the "Spirits of 1812" will be presented on the steps of the Frontier House at 6 p.m., just prior to the main event.
Ten large fires will blaze down the middle of the street, while more than three-dozen volunteer re-enactors will "run for their lives" trying to escape British soldiers and natives depicting the invasion of the U.S. during the War of 1812. Center Street, from Fourth to Fifth streets, will be closed to traffic and no parking will be allowed on the street at that time.
Thousands of spectators are expected to witness the retreat of American troops, overwhelmed by the British force. However, re-enactors from the Tuscarora Nation will save the day when they stop the attack, buying precious moments for dozens of American citizens to get out of harm's way.
The confrontation is noted as a rare moment in history when Native Americans rescued white settlers from a foreign attack. Lewiston was burned to the ground and about dozen citizens were killed during the raid, which occurred on Dec. 19, 1813.
The event is organized by the Historical Association of Lewiston and is part of the War of 1812 bicentennial commemoration. Wendt's Propane is the primary sponsor and donates crews and equipment to create the large fires that light up the street.
The Historical Association of Lewiston will sell 1812 flags with the 15-stars and 15-stripes ($15 and $25), along with other 1812 books that detail the attack and historic rescue. The Historical Association's 2012 calendar will also be available. Items can be purchased at Ashker's, at 463 Center St., directly across the street from the Frontier House.