YORKTOWN VICTORY CELEBRATION
October 19-20, 2013
Yorktown Victory Center, Yorktown Battlefield
& Historic Yorktown
The 232nd Anniversary of America's Decisive Revolutionary War Victory
The 232nd anniversary of America’s decisive Revolutionary War victory at Yorktown will be marked with a weekend celebration, beginning with a patriotic parade and commemorative ceremony on Saturday, October 19 – Yorktown Day – in historic Yorktown and at Yorktown Battlefield. A variety of engaging hands-on military interpretive programs and tours continue on Saturday and Sunday, October 19 and 20, at the Yorktown Victory Center and Yorktown Battlefield.
Yorktown Day marks the anniversary of the American-French victory in 1781. In 1781, following a nine-day bombardment, British forces in Yorktown under General Charles Cornwallis requested a cease-fire and then surrendered more than 8,000 soldiers and sailors to the combined American and French armies commanded by General George Washington. This was the last major military action of the American Revolution, effectively securing independence for the American colonies following a six-and-a-half-year military struggle.
YORKTOWN VICTORY CENTER
REVOLUTIONARY WAR PROGRAMS
The Yorktown Victory Center, a state-operated museum of the American Revolution, will feature musket and artillery demonstrations, and hands-on interpretive programs at re-creations of a Continental Army encampment and 1780s farm during its annual “Yorktown Victory Celebration.”
Visitors to the Continental Army encampment will be invited to experience Revolutionary War military life firsthand by enrolling in “A School for the Soldier,” offering opportunities to drill with wooden muskets and learn about soldiers’ provisions and sleeping quarters. The program also explores methods of troop communication, espionage during the war and the importance of earthworks during a siege. “School” sessions will be offered at 10:35 a.m. and 12:35 p.m. on both days. Visitors can learn the steps leading up to firing an artillery piece during daily demonstrations starting at 11:05 a.m. and 3:05 and 4:05 p.m. each day.
At the re-created 1780s farm, “The Price of Liberty” at 1:35 p.m. each day will examine the sacrifices of Americans who declared independence from Great Britain – from signers of the Declaration of Independence to farmers, women and slaves. Farm visitors can observe methods of open-hearth cooking at 12:05 p.m., see textile and spinning demonstrations at 10:05 a.m., and learn about the transition from farmer to soldier as they train as members of the citizen militia at 3:35 p.m.
Gallery exhibits chronicle the American Revolution from the Declaration of Independence to the development of the Constitution and Bill of Rights and how people from many different cultures shaped a new society.
Admission is $9.75 for adults and $5.50 for ages 6 through 12. Children under six are admitted free. Save 20 percent with a combination ticket to Jamestown Settlement, a museum of 17th-century Virginia. Residents of York County, James City County and the City of Williamsburg, including the College of William and Mary, receive complimentary admission with proof of residency.
The Yorktown Victory Center, open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, located on Route 1020 (GPS address: 200 Water Street), five miles from Interstate 64, Exit 247. For more information, call (888) 593-4682 toll-free or (757) 253-4838, or visit www.historyisfun.org.
YORKTOWN DAY – October 19
The modern day observance traces its roots to 1922, when the Daughters of the American Revolution began an annual wreath-laying ceremony, which set the tradition upon which the current Yorktown Day is based. Today, the Yorktown Day Association, comprised of 13 civic, patriotic and government organizations, coordinates the traditional commemorative events.
In addition to morning wreath-laying ceremonies, the official Yorktown Day parade steps off at 10 a.m. The route will follow Yorktown’s Main Street and pass in front of the Yorktown Victory Monument, erected in 1881 to commemorate the military victory a century before.
Patriotic exercises will commence at the Yorktown Victory Monument at 11 a.m. with a colorful backdrop of flags including the American and French national colors, the flags of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, five United States territories, and the flags of the 13 Yorktown Day Association members. At the conclusion of the Patriotic Exercises, a wreath will be placed on the Yorktown Victory Monument in memory of those who fought and died during the siege of Yorktown in 1781. At 11:30 a.m., the annual Yorktown Women’s Club Brunswick stew lunch will be held at Grace Episcopal Church.
At 12:15 p.m., the Second Regiment of the Continental Artillery and the Royal Artillery will perform on the Yorktown Battlefield near the National Park Service Visitor Center. Additional performances are scheduled at 1:15, 2:15 and 3:15 p.m. At 3:45 p.m., a battlefield walking tour will begin at the National Park Service Visitor Center and, at 7 p.m., culminate with an evening program “Siege at Night,” featuring artillery firings.
ANNIVERSARY PROGRAMS AT YORKTOWN BATTLEFIELD
The National Park Service at Yorktown Battlefield, site of the climactic 1781 siege, will continue to offer a variety of tours and talks on Sunday, October 20, highlighting the 1781 siege of Yorktown. Park Rangers will offer walking tours of Yorktown Battlefield at 10:45 a.m. and 3:45 p.m. Programs by the Royal Artillery and Lamb’s Artillery will be presented at 12:15, 1:15, 2:15 and 3:15 p.m. In addition, the Moore House, where surrender negotiations took place, will be open 1 to 4:30 p.m. Sunday.
These programs begin at the Yorktown Battlefield Visitor Center, located at 1000 Colonial Parkway at the eastern end of the Colonial Parkway, 12 miles from Williamsburg. On October 19, admission to Yorktown Battlefield will be free as part of the Yorktown Day celebration. Admission on Sunday, October 20, is $7.00 per adult and under age 16 admitted free. Interagency Passes, including lifetime senior and access passes, are honored. For more information, call (757) 898-2410 or visit www.nps.gov/colo.
VISITING HISTORIC YORKTOWN
Yorktown visitors can take the free Yorktown Trolley to attractions throughout Yorktown, including Yorktown Battlefield Visitor Center and the Yorktown Victory Center, between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. In addition to weekend events, visitors can enjoy schooners Alliance and Serenity at the Riverwalk Landing piers, and the Watermen’s Museum York River Maritime Heritage Festival on October 19. The Gallery at York Hall will feature a "Yorktown" exhibition and weekend guest artists and book signings. For more information on historic Yorktown, call (757) 898-3500 or visit www.visityorktown.org.
UPDATED: October 16, 2013