WESTFIELD- The City of Westfield is knocking on the door of its 350th birthday and there are a number of events and activities to celebrate the city throughout the weekend.
The festivities will kick-off Friday with a proclamation ceremony at 3:30 p.m. in City Council Chambers at City Hall. Mayor Brian P. Sullivan and City Council President Ralph J. Figy are hosting the ceremony in which the city will receive gifts from the Friend’s of the Westfield 350 presented by Harry Rock. A mural by Westfield artist Pat Cronan will be unveiled during the ceremony.
A time capsule containing items that represent the city today will also be filled and locked in a vault in City Clerk Karen Fanion’s office. The capsule will be opened on the city’s 400th anniversary in 2069. Westfield Community Television Channel 15 will broadcast live from the event. Viewers can also watch online at cityofwestfield.org.
“As we inch closer to the celebration of the city’s 350th birthday, I remain in awe of the level of activities being planned,” Sullivan said, “The proclamation ceremony will appropriately mark the occasion of this birthday with speeches, a celebration of our past, and be punctuated by our excitement for the future. But we are mindful that people are less interested in what we say than they are in celebrating this special occasion with their friends and families.”
Those scheduled to speak include Sullivan and Figy, state Sen. Donald F. Humason Jr., and state Rep. John Velis.
The Run Westfield Fitness Expo takes place Friday from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Those running in the Run Westfield 5k on Saturday can go to the Race Headquarters at 16 North Elm St. to pick up their official t-shirts and numbered bibs.
At 5 p.m., ArtWalk Westfield will feature the work of local artists throughout the Gaslight District. Aartists will be on-hand and most works are available for purchase. T
On Saturday the festivities begin at 7:30 a.m. with Yoga by the River at Wojtkiewcz Park near the Great River Bridge, hosted by the Friends of the Columbia Greenway Rail Trail. Beginning at the same time is the Community Pancake Breakfast at Westfield Middle School, organized by the city’s boy scout troops. Cost $3 for children and $6 for adults. An additional $2 will get you an upgrade of whipped cream and berries on you pancakes.
Next on the list for Saturday is the Columbia Greenway Children’s Bike Rodeo in the rear parking lot of the YMCA at 9 a.m.. This event will be used to promote safe biking for children and encourage them to wear helmets. Participants will have the opportunity to decorate their bikes at this event.
At 10 a.m. there will be a Utility Box Mural Painting Project event. Westfield on Weekends (WOW) gave a call to artists to apply to paint a mural on a utility box downtown. The artists will be painting the boxes between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m..
Following the Children’s Bike Rodeo will be the Columbia Greenway Rail Trail Quest, which begins at the finish line of the Run Westfield 5k on Elm Street. Kids will be able to take their decorated bikes on the Rail Trail and take part in a treasure hunt of sorts.
At 1 p.m. the Run Westfield 5k will begin at Westfield State University. Awaiting the runners at the end of the race on Elm Street there will be a block party with live music. The restaurants in the area will be open and there will be vendors available for people to buy from.
Beginning at 2 p.m. is the Musical Matinee of the Westfield Theater Group’s “Time in Westfield” play at the Westfield Women’s Club. The script for the musical was written by Kathleen Palmer and the music was written by Marion Dunk. The show takes the audience through significant events in Westfield’s history through the lens of time travel. The remaining showings of the musical are on May 16 at 7:30 p.m., and May 18 at 2p.m. General admission for the show is $15. Admission for students, senior citizens, and military members is $12.
At 5:30 the festivities will move over to the area of Amelia Park and Westfield Middle School. There will be carnival games set up for the families and a hot dog roast for those hungry after a long day of celebrating. At 7 p.m. there will be a performance by the Beach Boys tribute band, The Driftwoods in the fields behind the Boys and Girls Club. Finally, at 9 p.m. there will be a firework show at the Westfield Middle School and Amelia Park area. As a reminder, this firework show is in lieu of the normal Fourth of July fireworks due to the significance of the weekend for the city.
On Sunday, May 19, the actual day of Westfield’s incorporation, the primary focus will be the city parade. Those participating in the parade can begin staging at Stanley Park and Westfield State University’s Horace Mann Center at 11 a.m. The parade steps-off at 1 p.m.. Spectators can view the parade on the side of the road along the route or at the end of the route near the Westfield Athenaeum. The route will take marchers and floats from Western Avenue at Kensington Avenue down through Court Street and towards the Athenaeum and a closed off section of Elm Street. At the end of the parade, when the final participants have made it, there will be a performance by the Mummers Woodland String Band on the Park Square Green. There will be cupcakes served from the Westfield Technical Academy student and Hoodsie Cups provided by Hood Ice Cream.
Many of these events, especially the parade, the 5K, and the fireworks will bring increased foot and vehicle traffic to their respective areas and routes. One can view a full traffic and parking advisory in today’s edition of The Westfield News or online at thewestfieldnews.com.