Abe Lincoln Festival Returns To Westfield June 9-10

Ron Carley playing Abe Lincoln at Westfield’s Lincoln Festival in 2022 riding horse drawn carriage on Main Street. Photo by Shelly Hunt Bowen

WESTFIELD — Abe Lincoln will once again commemorate his meeting with Grace Bedell on June 9-10 as Westfield’s Lincoln Festival returns.

There will be the annual McClurg Gala, a downtown promenade, a best beard contest, a dance and music show, horse drawn carriage rides, Civil War singers, a Civil War encampment, children’s activities and the Westfield Farmer’s Market.

Documented letters from Westfield’s 11-year-old Grace Bedell asking Lincoln to grow a beard prompted his inaugural stop at the Westfield Train Station in 1862, as he desired to meet his little Westfield correspondent.

Lincoln is brought to life by Ron Carley, a preeminent reenactor and educator who has been portraying Lincoln since 2012. He has been featured at many events, colleges, museums and even comic cons across the country. He was almost arrested in Washington, D.C., when he drew a large crowd while visiting the Lincoln Memorial after the park closed.

“Ron makes the persona of Abe Lincoln come to life, not only because he is tall and looks so much like him, but also because he recants Abe’s history, writings, political positions and beliefs with convincing accuracy. You can easily feel as though you are talking to the great man himself. It’s quite amazing,” said Marilyn Hemmer, chairperson of the Lincoln event. “When asked Ron will tell you he enjoys bringing a smile to people’s faces and helping them to respect and learn about our country’s history. Ron’s wife Tina joins her husband in portraying Mary Todd Lincoln. We are thrilled to bring the Lincolns back to Westfield for this year’s celebration.”

Carley will be available for photos and to answer questions.

There will be a reenactment of Lincoln meeting Bedell on the platform of the Westfield Train Station. This is the scene immortalized by the bronze statues at Bedell Park on the corner of routes 394 and 20.

Lincoln merchandise will be on sale at Peaceful Designs Gift Shop on Main Street.

For information and Lincoln’s schedule visit www.WestfieldNY.com or call Marilyn Hemmer (716) 753-6043.


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