1812 BICENTENNIAL: As many as 1,000 volunteers to participate in recreation of Battle of Queenston Heights
About 1,000 historical re-enactors and volunteers are expected to take part in a recreation of the Battle of Queenston Heights on Oct. 13. It’s one of the major events here in Niagara this year marking the Bicentennial of the War of 1812. Bullet News photo by John Robbins.
JOHN ROBBINS/Bullet News
NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE – As many as 1,000 volunteers and costumed reenactors are expected to take part in a recreation of one of Canada’s most defining moments – the Battle of Queenston Heights.
The battle reenactment is just one of many events planned for the weekend of Oct. 12-14, as Niagara’s War of 1812 Bicentennial celebrations continue.
“The weekend of events planned for Oct. 12-14 will allow us to celebrate a lasting peace between two great countries,” Janice Thomson, chairwoman of the Niagara Parks Commission, said during a press conference, Tuesday afternoon near Brock’s Monument.
“It will also provide us with the opportunity to pay tribute to the sacrifices made by all of the soldiers, and native warriors of both nations who fought here and all along these lands now protected by the Niagara Parks Commission.”
Here’s a full look at the weekend’s events:
10 a.m. to 4 p.m. – Educational Day Events
The Friends of Fort George will be hosting a special educational day commemorating the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Queenston Heights, at Queenston Heights Park. Guided tours of the battlefield will be offered by costumed interpreters on a pre-booked basis only. There will also be historical demonstrations and period merchants on the heights for school groups to visit. School groups have pre-booked and NPC organizers say they are close to capacity. To book a school group call 905-468-6621.
2 p.m. – Twinning Ceremony
The Queenston Residents’ Association will be hosting a twinning ceremony at St. Saviour Major General Sir Isaac Brock Memorial Church in Queenston at 2 p.m. There will be a dedication of a monument celebrating the historical, social and cultural relationship between St. Peter Port, Guernsey (the birthplace of Brock) and Queenston (the place where he fell in battle. A number of Guernsey officials will be speaking at this commemorative event.
Other events on Oct. 12
Throughout the day on Friday, reenactors will be arriving at Fort George and in Lewiston, NY., to set up their encampments. On Friday evening, their will be a bombardment from the shores of the Niagara River in Lewiston, followed by fireworks. The fireworks and the bombardment will be visible from the shore of the Niagara River in Queenston.
9 a.m. – Niagara Parks shuttle buses will start picking up the public at the Butterfly Conservatory, Queenston Heights, Laura Secord Homestead, McFarland House and Fort George.
9:30 a.m. – Reenactors will leave Fort George to make their historic march to Queenston Heights.
10 a.m. – Brock Dead House Dedication. The Queenston Residents Association will be hosting a dedication ceremony at the “Brock Dead House,” located at 20 Queenston St., in the Village of Queenston. This ceremony will mark the site where Brock’s body was taken after he was mortally wounded in battle. Guy St. Denis, the researcher who confirmed the site, will be making a brief presentation of his work.
10:30 a.m. – A commemorative walking tour with Dr. Wesley Turner, author of the book Astonishing General: The Life and Legacy of Major General Sir Isaac Brock, begins. Tickets for this limited space event cost $20 and must be purchased in advance through the Friends of Fort George.
11 a.m. The public is welcome to attend a plaque dedication at Brock’s Monument at 11 a.m. on Oct. 13, where the Historic Sites and Monuments Board will be designating Major General Sir Isaac Brock as a Person of National Significance. Also beginning at 11 a.m., join the Friends of Fort George staff as they take you on a tour of the Queenston Heights battle site. Tours, which cost $5, start at Brock’s Monument. Ian Bell and a group of well-known folk musicians will play early 19th century music at the band shell. Tours and music continue through 3 p.m.
3 p.m. – The re-enactment of the Battle of Queenston Heights
4:30 p.m. – Commemorative Ceremony at Brock’s Monument
5:30 p.m. – A recreation of the procession carrying Brock’s body from the heights in a horse-drawn wagon will take place.
6 p.m. – Guided Tour of the battlefield/More musical entertainment
7:15 p.m. – Fireworks at Queenston Heights
Queenston Heights Park closes following the fireworks display
Recreation of Brock’s Funeral Procession. Niagara-on-the-Lake. At noon, reenactors will form up at Fort George and begin their march down Byron Street to Victoria Street and then along Queen Street. The procession will stop at the Old Court House for a commemoration ceremony. The caskets of Brock and his aide-de-camp Lieutenant Colonel John Macdonell will then be placed on horse-drawn wagons and led to St. Mark’s Church and Fort George.