Westfield Celebrates 350th Birthday

Morgan Thayer, Staff Writer

On May 19, 2019, the city of Westfield has a huge reason to celebrate, Westfield as it turns 350 years old. Westfield was founded in 1669 and has been an amazing place for families since. This year a group of citizens working with the Mayor’s office to plan events in celebration of the 350th anniversary.

The first event, called the “First Night” was on December 31, 2018. This event was a family-friendly New Year’s Eve gathering for free, that anyone in Westfield was able to attend. From 4:00 p.m.-7:30 p.m. there was free ice skating, free admission to the Children’s museum, and free admission to the Boys and Girls Club. This event was to bring the community together to show and enjoy some of the great entertainment facilities Westfield has been blessed with over the years.

Additional events for Westfield’s 350th is the ongoing 2019 350th Race Series. This is an event that has many running races or walking races over the course of the year. The first race was called “Gordy’s First Race,” a 5k or a 10k which took place on January 1.

“The race series is a twofold; encourage more people to exercise by creating a prize incentive for participation. Secondly, promoting the celebration for Westfield’s 350th birthday,” Westfield News owner and President Patrick Berry said.

Other races include;“Indoor Track Comers meet” on February 10, “Old Colony Marathon” on May 16,“Run Westfield”on May 18, “Westfield Half Marathon” on June 22, and “Empire One Running Club Monday Nights at Stanley Park” April 22-August 26. These races are a great way to bring the community together with exercise and sun.

Everyone is Westfield is able to get involved with the planning of this event. Local Companies, the mayor, and his office, City Council, schools, and citizens of Westfield are able to jump in and get involved.

“As Westfield only local news owner, I was asked to participate so that a consistent and continual awareness of celebratory activities surrounding the occasion were properly publicized to the community. I am a member of the executive board as well as on the marketing sub-committee,” Berry said.

Another event for the Westfield 350th is the “Tree – Mendous Tree Project” for which Westfield residents can submit a picture and description of their favorite tree in Westfield and a panel of judges will go around pick the tree that is either historic, beautiful, has a deep personal story, or is young. This activity is fun for everyone!

“The goal has been to make the planned activities family friendly so that all Westfield citizens can participate,” Berry said.

The parade is the biggest part of this event. Floats will be on the streets, there will be food, music, bands and much more. May 19 is going to be one to remember considering it is on Westfield’s official birthday.

“The parade’s theme is to celebrate the heroes of Westfield. We will highlight the City’s military service members, police and fire personnel, as well as our Olympian Kacey Bellamy. We will have national, state and local dignitaries marching with various floats, groups from the businesses and schools, service organizations, and any other Westfield resident would like to join in on the fun. It will be capped off with a 350-person Westfield High School band consisting of present and alumnae band member,” Berry said.     

“As we enter this home stretch of activities, we have met our goals of making this fun, family friendly, and an educational experience. We hope that as the ensuing years pass people will look back on the fond memories, as they did previous celebrations,” Berry said.