Date Of Event: December 31, 2018
Location: Amelia Park, 21 Broad St, Westfield, MA
Handicapped Accessible: Yes
Dog Friendly: Yes, although it’s not stated specifically on the website for the event, I saw a few dogs there
Highlights: ice sculptures, ice skating, family friendly, parade, campfires with smores and marshmallow roasting
Summary: the city of Westfield, MA celebrated its 350th birthday with their first “First Night.” The first night celebration included a variety of family friendly events and activities on New Year’s Eve.
Website: Westfield 350
“Party like it’s 1669.” That was the theme of the first night in Westfield, MA.
Yes, in 2019, well now, Westfield MA is celebrating its 350th anniversary. There will be sure to be other commemorative events. But, the kick off celebration was actually in 2018 albeit on New Year’s Eve.
It was the first first night in the city of Westfield and they pulled out all the stops.
The free event featured a juggler, ice sculptures and ice skating.
I particularly liked how the the lighting around the ice sculptures changed colors. the 350 on some of the sculptures signified the 350 years of the city of Westfield.
Guests were able to skate for free (some better than others). I’m always impressed whenever I see someone do something that requires a special skill, particularly skating. I never learned. But, maybe some day. It’s also inspiring and fun watching people try.
This activity was a little different. I’m not sure what it’s called. But it looks fun and the kids enjoyed rolling around in the balls.
The Witches Of Whip City were also at the event. “Whip City” is a reference to Westfield’s nickname which is a reference to their past. During the 19th century, Westfild was a leader in the buggy whip industry. Things have changed and there is currently only one whip business in the area (Westfield Whip https://www.westfieldwhip.com/). But, the city has retained this title. It is why you may see some businesses with the name “Whip City” attached to it (Whip City Music, Whip City Brewing, etc). I will delve into this and other historic New England historical factoids later in a new feature to my Facebook page that I will discuss on that page later.
Unfortunately (and of course), it began to rain during the event, proving the old New England weather cliche to be true (“don’t like the weather? just wait a minute”). So I was unable to photograph some of the other attractions there such as a multi layered cake that was, unfortunately, made out of wood. There was also campfires for toasting marshmallows and Smores which, obviously, weren’t very useful during the rain.
It’s unclear whether the city will continue this festivity in the future. But, based on the turnout and the fun had by all I would say it is likely. And I’ll be there. Maybe I’ll bring my skates this year!
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