niagara-1812.jpgFrom tall ship visits to battle re-enactments, events will celebrate two centuries of peace in a big way Buffalo, N.Y. - It's easy to take America's strong, friendly relationship with Canada for granted, but 200 years ago, the two countries were at odds in the War of 1812, a war that lasted three years. In 1813, American and British/Canadian forces faced off on the waters of Lake Erie and in battles on both sides of the border, with Buffalo getting burned to the ground by British troops in retaliation for the American burning of present-day Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. Throughout 2013, our countries will commemorate these events and celebrate the two centuries of peace that have followed. Officials from the Niagara 1812 Bicentennial Legacy Council, Erie County, Niagara County, Visit Buffalo Niagara and local attractions have announced an exciting schedule of 2013 events - from tall ship visits to battle re-enactments. "We are thrilled to launch these events and raise awareness that the commemorations for the War of 1812 bicentennial are in full swing," said Brian Merrett, CEO of the Niagara 1812 Bicentennial Legacy Council. "Our cannons are still loaded for 2013 and will be until the end of 2014, bringing history alive for people on both sides of the peaceful border that is a result of the conflict 200 years ago." "While the War of 1812 was a constant presence on the Niagara Frontier, no year affected the residents of our area like 1813," said Erie County Historian Doug Kohler. "For two weeks in December, everyone was directly impacted by the British reprisal for the burning of Newark (current Niagara-on-the-Lake). Settlers stood to defend their villages, watched as their homes burned and gave shelter to those displaced throughout that winter. The burning of the Niagara Frontier is one of the few events in our history with such a wide-ranging impact on our region." Said Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz, "Though not many locals may know it, 2013 marks the bicentennial of Buffalo being burned to the ground by the British during the War of 1812. The bicentennial events throughout 2013 provide an excellent opportunity to learn more about how our region was two centuries ago, as America and Canada began to take their place as neighbors and players on the international stage. In those 200 years, our countries have moved from bitter adversaries to vigorous trade partners, with deep economic ties that strengthen our relationship to this day. I encourage everyone to take part in this exciting schedule of bicentennial events to understand more about how the War of 1812 helped to create the world we now live in." "The promise of more amazing historic events commemorating the War of 1812 during this bicentennial will generate more interest in a war that occurred in our backyard," said William L. Ross, Chair of the Niagara County Legislature. "The successful events of this three-year commemoration will help us to remember the almost ‘Forgotten War' that did so much to shape the history of the United States and Canada. Be prepared for the amazing upcoming events celebrating the War of 1812 Bicentennial." "Today, Buffalo's relationship with our Canadian neighbors is as strong as it's ever been and we are proud to join our friends across the river in celebrating 200 years of peace between our two countries," said Visit Buffalo Niagara President & CEO Dottie Gallagher-Cohen. "We look forward to welcoming visitors from both sides of the border to commemorate the bicentennials of events that shaped the history of our region." "Celebrating 200 years of peace gives us a chance to highlight our region's rich history and culture," said Niagara Tourism & Convention Corporation President & CEO John Percy. "We are looking forward to another busy season and will encourage guests to attend the many events that are happening, including the War of 1812 Encampment at Old Fort Niagara, named a Top 100 event for 2013 by the American Bus Association." The following is a list of commemorative events in 2013 on the American side of the Niagara Frontier. For a list that includes both these and dozens of additional Canadian events, please go to Event: Lecture: The War of 1812, Buffalo, and the TR Inaugural Site Date and Time: April 30, 5:30 p.m. Location: Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site Description: Special Lecture by Forest Lawn Historian Patrick Kavanagh, who explores how the War of 1812 affected Western New York, a crucial but too often overlooked aspect of our region's history. Admission: $5, and free for TR Site members, reservations required. Phone # and Website: 716.884.0095,   Event: Monthly 1812 Lecture Series Date & Time: Generally the third Wednesday of the month, 6 p.m. Location: Buffalo History Museum, One Museum Court, Buffalo, NY Description: Various community experts discuss an aspect of the War of 1812. Phone # and website: 716. 873.9644; http://www.buffalohistory.or/ g Event: Wine Wars I Date & Time: May 3, 6 p.m. Location: Lafayette Hotel, 391 Washington St, Buffalo, NY; 716. 853.1505 Description: 1812 themed wine tasting with Canadian and U.S. Niagara Frontier wineries, silent auction and 1812 artifact display. Fund Raiser for Buffalo History Museum. Phone # and website: Buffalo History Museum, 716. 873.9644;   Event: Opening Ceremony for 53rd Annual Western New York Armed Forces Week Date & Time: May 5, 12:45 p.m. Location: Erie Canal Harbor, Buffalo & Erie County Naval & Military Park, 1 Naval Park Cove, Buffalo NY Description: Music by the American Legion Band of the Tonawanda's, Color Guards from throughout Western New York, antique military vehicles and military salutes, honoring the Veterans Housing Coalition. Phone # and website: 716.825.3025, or Marina Woolcock, email: Event: WNY Armed Forces Luncheon Date & Time: May 9, 11 a.m. Location: Historic Connecticut Street Armory, 184 Connecticut St., Buffalo, NY Description: 1812 Guest speaker Robin Graf, Rear Admiral. Tickets: $30 per person Phone # and website: 716.825.3025, or Marina Woolcock, email:   Event: WNY Armed Forces Military Ball Date & Time: May 11, 6 p.m. Location: Historic Connecticut Street Armory, 184 Connecticut Street, Buffalo, NY Description: Military Ball honoring local military members with awards and recognizing the War of 1812. This event begins at 6 p.m. with a cash bar followed at 7 p.m. with a sit down dinner and dancing. Tickets: $35.00 per person. Phone # and website 716.825.3025, or Marina Woolcock, email:   Event: Blue Coats Along the Niagara Date & Time: Daily living history program; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; July & August: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Location: Old Fort Niagara, Fort Niagara State Park, Youngstown, NY Description: The program provides three tiers of high quality living history programs designed to educate regional residents and visitors about life along the American side of the Niagara River during the War of 1812. Programs include daily interpretive activities that bring history alive through costumed portrayal of people who lived at the Fort during the conflict. Through a dramatic series of musket and artillery demonstrations, cooking programs, military ceremonies, blacksmithing and woodworking demonstrations and hands-on activities for visitors, Old Fort Niagara brings the War of 1812 to life for over 94,000 people annually. Phone # and website: 716.745.7611;   Event: 1812 Themed Cemetery Tours Date & Time: Weekly, Fridays, June to September; 2 p.m. Location: Forest Lawn Cemetery, 1411 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo, NY Description: Forest Lawn Historian Patrick Kavanagh will share the many fascinating stories connecting Forest Lawn to this historic time on the Niagara Frontier. Learn about Margaret St. John; Red Jacket; Franklin Square and the Granger family's role in the War of 1812 and more. Phone # and website: 716. 885.1600;   Event: Heritage Arts Fair Date & Time: June 22 & 23, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Location: Hull Family Home & Farmstead, 5976 Genesee Street, Lancaster, NY Description: Celebrating the crafts and music of the early 19th Century! Textile arts demonstrations, sheep shearing, live music all day, vendors, house tours, period kids' activities. Admission: $5 adults, $2 children/students age 10-18, free for children under age 10. Refreshments available for purchase. Phone # and Website: 716.868.1423;   Event: War of 1812 Candlelight Tours Date & Time: July 18, 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Location: Hull Family Home & Farmstead, 5976 Genesee Street, Lancaster, NY Description: The Hull Family was greatly impacted by their proximity to this early conflict across the Niagara Frontier. Timed tours include theatrical presentations throughout the house and grounds based on factual events. Reservations required as space is limited: 741-7032. Admission: $12 per person. Not recommended for very small children. Phone # and Website: 716.868.1423;   Event: Empire Sandy Visit Tentative Date: August 5, 6 & 7 Location: Buffalo & Erie County Naval & Military Park, One Naval Park Cove, Buffalo, NY Description: Reprise of the terrifically successful 2012 visit of 200 foot, three-masted schooner Empire Sandy to Buffalo's waterfront, which created great enthusiasm and interest in touring the ship. Phone # and website: 716. 847.1773,   Event: WNY Premier of the PBS film "Anthem" Date & Time: August 28, 6 p.m.; August 29, 6 p.m. Location: Old Fort Niagara; WNED-TV Studios, respectively Description: "Anthem" tells the story behind Francis Scott Key's creation of "The Star-Spangled Banner" and explores the role of music and patriotism during the War of 1812. Featuring musical performances and interviews with historians and music experts from the United States and Great Britain, this one-hour documentary delves into the people, songs and events that influenced Key to write what would become the National Anthem of the United States of America. Lecture & performance will accompany film. Month-long maritime art show at the WNED-TV studios in conjunction with Anthem. Phone # and website: 1812 Legacy Council, 716.745.3391;   Event: War of 1812 Encampment Date & Time: Aug. 31 & Sept. 1, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Location: Old Fort Niagara, Fort Niagara State Park, Youngstown, NY Description: Encampment of British, US and Native warriors throughout the park, 1812 programming including musket firings, children's programs, cannon firings, music demonstrations, educational activities and the Saturday evening reenactment of the Night Battle of Dec. 18, 1813. Named one of the top 100 events in North America by the American Bus Association. Phone # and Website: 716.745.7611;   Event: By Fire and Sword: War in the Niagara Theatre, 1812-1814 Exhibit Opening Date & Time: Sept. 12, 6 p.m. Location: Buffalo History Museum, One Museum Court, Buffalo, NY Description: Museum treasures including Peter Porter's ceremonial sword; material related to Commodore Perry such as his wine chest and mess table; commemorative material from Buffalo's Centennial Commemoration of the War of 1812; firearms of the era; and ship subscription examples. Phone # and Website: 716. 873.9644;   Event: 1812 Battle of Lake Erie Civic Luncheon Date & Time: Sept. 13, noon Location: Buffalo Yacht Club Description: A civic luncheon to be hosted by a variety of community groups, commemorating the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Lake Erie and Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry's naval victory. Proceeds to benefit the USS Trippe, the replica War of 1812 sloop now under construction by the Buffalo Maritime Center in Black Rock. Also a wreath will be laid at the Statue of Commodore Perry in Front Park. Phone # and website: 716.881.0111;; Contact Person: Marina Woolcock,   Tentative Event: Visit of the tall ship Lynx Date: Sept. 13 & 14 Location: Buffalo Water Front, Buffalo & Erie County Naval & Military Park Description: It is hoped that the Lynx, which is a replica of an 1812 schooner and whose mission is to provide education about the War of 1812, will visit Buffalo's waterfront. Phone # and Website: 716.847.1773,   Event: 1812 Regency Night at Knox Farm Date & Time: Oct. 25, 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Location: Knox Farm State Park, East Aurora, 5976 Genesee Street, Lancaster, NY Description: A leap back in time! New fundraising event at Knox Farm's spacious main house features music, hors d'oeuvres, live auction, and 1812 period-representative activities. Creative period dress optional. Advance reservations required. $60 per person, 21 and over only. Phone # and Website: Hull Family Home & Farmstead, 716.868.1423;   Event: Burning of Buffalo Commemoration Date: Dec. 7, 6 p.m. Location: Squaw Island, just northwest of the Peace Bridge Description: The Black Rock Militia will build a huge bonfire of wood pallets with a wooden replica of the Village of Black Rock to commemorate the burning of Buffalo, which visually infuses meaning into the historical significance of the burning of Buffalo and Black Rock in December 1813. The bonfire is held in sync with the Canadian side at Fort Erie Park Phone # & Website:   Event Name: Tuscarora Heroes Monument Unveiling Date: Dec. 19, 6:30 p.m. Location: Historical Association of Lewiston, 469 Plain Street, Lewiston, NY Description: The spectacular unveiling of a monument to commemorate a small band of Tuscarora men who bravely halted the British attack on Lewiston and enabled dozens of Lewiston citizens to escape, 200 years, to the day, after it happened. An abbreviated Burning of the Town of Lewiston will be part of the commemoration. Phone # & Website: 716-754-4214;   Event: 200th Anniversary Commemoration of the Capture of Fort Niagara Date & Time: Dec. 19, 2013, 3 a.m. Location: Old Fort Niagara, Fort Niagara State Park, Youngstown, NY Description: Proposed to recreate as closely as possible, the events as they happened in "real" time; including a possible early morning boat landing and march from Four Mile Meadow to the Fort, followed by the daybreak capture of the fort and its garrison and concluding with a brief memorial ceremony. Phone # and Website: 716.745.7611;   The Niagara 1812 Bicentennial Legacy Council is a bi-national not-for-profit organization established to commemorate the War of 1812 and celebrate the 200 years of peace between Canada and the United States. Visit Buffalo Niagara sells and markets our assets and attractions to visitors outside of the Buffalo Niagara region as a convention, tourism and leisure destination for the economic benefit of the community.

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Contact: Peter Burakowski Communications Manager Visit Buffalo Niagara 716-218-2922