Downtown Westfield will be glowing this March with a “Glo Downtown” initiative poised to shed some light and joy in this dark winter.
Look for colorful shop windows and glow-themed specials around town. The highlight of the season is Impulse, an international art installation of fifteen giant, illuminated, sound-producing seesaws that up to four people can ride at one time. The Impulse seesaws are coming to the North Avenue Westfield Train Station from Friday, March 5 through Sunday, March 21, and will be open for public use from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., following a 5:30 p.m. opening ceremony on March 4.
Initially launched in Montréal, and created but Lateral Office and CS Design, the dynamic public art installation has visited Australia, London, Boston, and New York City — among other major stops — and will be arriving in Westfield during a particularly slow time for retailers and restaurants.
Downtown Westfield is betting that people who come to ride the seesaws will stay for Glo Downtown self-directed Chocolate Tour Weekends, Pie in the Sky Pizza Challenge, dining specials and hot shopping deals — available only while the Impulse seesaw installation is open.
“The ultimate goal of the Impulse seesaw installation is to draw people into town during a traditionally slow time of year while providing families from around the region a fun winter activity,” said Bob Zuckerman, Executive Director of Downtown Westfield Corporation (DWC). “While residents and visitors are in Town riding the seesaws, we want them to play, shop and dine and enjoy the amazing offerings of our local businesses.”
According to Creos, the tour producer, cities that have hosted Impulse have reported business increases in the millions to their local economies. “We are a smaller market, but we are confident that this joyful installation will provide a shot in the arm to downtown Westfield’s economy, too,” explains Zuckerman.
The Impulse seesaws are part of the Glo Downtown experience throughout March 21, offering a wide variety of seasonal specials from Downtown Westfield’s businesses. These specials will include:
- Professional photo sessions on the seesaws with framing packages;
- The Chocolate Tour each of the three weekends;
- A Pie in the Sky Pizza Challenge on March 13 and 14; and
- Exciting Glo Downtown retail deals, in addition to Glo Downtown dining specials and cocktails in select restaurants.
Details on each of these specials, with others to be announced, will be accessible through WestfieldToday.com and on Downtown Westfield social media.
“We know that this antidote for seasonal blues will enable everyone to have a good time and our businesses to generate much-needed revenue,” said Councilwoman Dawn Mackey.
The idea to bring a large-scale lighted art installation to Westfield was the brainchild of Erin Ben-Hayon, Chairperson of Downtown Westfield’s Promotion Committee and local realtor with David Realty Group. Councilwoman Mackey immediately saw the merit and — working with Bob Zuckerman and the team at the Downtown Westfield Corporation, as well as the Westfield Public Art Commission — they set out to bring the project to fruition.
“The seesaws bring a carefree feeling of playfulness in what has been a heavy year,” said Ben-Hayon. “During these short winter days, the Westfield Train Station will be transformed into an outdoor playground of LED lights and sounds. But it’s the sounds of laughter that I’m looking forward to the most.”
The seesaws are made of polycarbonate, not the icy metal of your childhood teeter-totter, and are set on thick foam mats. Adults and kids of all ages are invited to play for free in 10-minute increments and to enjoy shopping, dining, and downtown Westfield activities. Visitors are reminded to wear masks and maintain social distancing when visiting the seesaws, and sanitizing wipes will be provided.
The costs of the Impulse seesaws are fully funded by grants and sponsorships, namely by Main Street New Jersey, Columbia Bank (www.ColumbiaBankOnline.com) and Wonder (www.wonder.com), a brand new home dining experience in Westfield where dishes from the country’s best restaurants are prepared right outside your home. Harmony Design Group, Landscape Architecture & Construction (www.hdglandscape.com), has been a valued partner sponsoring the setup of the Glo Downtown installation.
Impulse is owned and managed by Quartier des Spectacles Partnership.
Creation and execution: Lateral Office and CS Design; Structural design: EGP Group; Sound design: Mitchell Akiyama; Mechanical design and fabrication: Generique Design; Electronic design and fabrication: Robocut; Production: Quartier des Spectacles Partnership, Montreal, Canada.