Westfield’s 350th being planned

WESTFIELD–The city is coming up on its 350th anniversary and officials are looking for your help on how to celebrate.

The 350th anniversary steering committee, who is overseeing the production of the celebration, is seeking public opinion through a survey about how to celebrate the anniversary. The committee is being headed by community outreach coordinator Amber Danahey and community development director Peter Miller.

Peter J. Miller

Peter J. Miller

“We’re in the idea phase and we just want to get the opinion from the public about the celebration,” Miller said. “It can be as extensive or compact as the community wants it to be.”

The 350th anniversary is set for 2019, and will celebrate the city’s official incorporation, which occurred on May 19, 1669.

Surveys, which are available online through the city’s website and through hard copy at the Westfield Athenaeum, are requested to be completed and submitted by Jan. 31, 2017. Some surveys will also be available in-person at various city events.

Westfield in 1890.

Westfield in 1890

The survey is a multiple-choice form, with questions that ask what sort of celebration there should be, when should it be and what events can be held around the celebration. Most questions have answers on a range of “most likely” to “least likely,” and there is a comments section at the end of the survey to help guide the committee further.

As for when the celebration will occur, it is currently suggested to be in May when the incorporation happened, in July when the 300th anniversary was celebrated in 1969, or in September when vacations are generally over but weather is still conducive to an outdoor celebration.

Westfield Green, 1930.

Westfield Green in 1930

The committee is made up of members from the Westfield Cultural Council, the Westfield Historic Committee, Rotary Club and public officials.

The survey will also help to find which areas of the celebration have the most interest, which would then help the organizers create subcommittees. These subcommittees would potentially be made up of other members of the public who express interest in helping with the project.

The next meeting of the committee will be on Monday, Jan. 23, 2017, at 6 p.m. at city hall. The public is encouraged to attend.

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