City to promote historic events

JOHNSTOWN – The city’s Tourism/Special Events Committee will be promoting several events again this year, including a weekend-long celebration of the city’s rich colonial heritage in September.

Third Ward Councilwoman Helen Martin, committee chairwoman, confirmed Thursday that the weekend celebration to celebrate the history of Johnstown is slated for Sept. 20 and 21. She said the city isn’t sponsoring the event, but her city committee will be promoting it.

“It’s connected with Johnson Hall and the Johnstown Historical Society,” Martin stated.

The Johnson Hall State Historic Site on Hall Avenue and the society will feature an encampment and a variety of demonstrations, culminating with a re-enactment of the Battle of Johnstown on Sept. 21.

It was one of the last battles in the northern theater of the Revolutionary War, with 1,400 soldiers engaged in Johnstown on Oct. 25, 1781. Local American forces led by Col. Marinus Willett defeated British forces under the command of Major John Ross.

The Sept. 21 re-enactment will showcase the talents of several re-enactors, and involve the Johnson Hall staff, Johnstown Historical Society, Drumm House, Colonial Cemetery and many other local merchants and volunteers.

Martin said there used to be Battle of Johnstown re-enactments done many years ago, and this is an attempt to revive the event.

“They’re doing the whole thing again this year,” she said.

Martin said re-enactors are expected from several states, as well as Canada.

The Tourism/Special Events Committee is just starting to meet and will be working on several other events this year, Martin said. She said the city will again conduct a Harvest Festival, as it did Oct. 26. That event featured a chili cook-off and a lengthy visit downtown by Buddy Valastro, the TLC network’s “Bakery Boss” TV show star. He was in the city assisting Grandma Millie’s Bakery with a makeover that weekend.

“That’s going to be an annual event,” Martin said of the festival.

She said the committee will also promote the annual Vintage Car Show in June, as well as a motorcycle show.

“We’ll have a complete schedule later,” Martin said.