The arrival of the Susan Constant, Godspeed and Discovery on May 12, 2007 highlighted America’s Anniversary Weekend events at Jamestown Settlement. After sailing in the James River, the replica 1607 ships began docking at mid morning amidst musket fire, cannon salutes and commentary.
Visitors also were able to see the arrival broadcast on a large screen on the Jamestown Settlement mall, where a variety of other events were scheduled throughout the weekend, including a first-day-of-issuance ceremony for the new U.S. Postal Service “Settlement of Jamestown” stamp on May 11.
On May 13, President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush had a private tour of the Susan Constant and enjoyed interpretive demonstrations at the ships’ pier prior to an appearance at adjacent Anniversary Park.
Jamestown Settlement’s visitor parking area was transformed into a gateway to the three Anniversary Weekend venues – Anniversary Park, Jamestown Settlement and Historic Jamestowne – and served as the arrival point for shuttle transportation to and from satellite parking areas and Historic Jamestowne.
With 48,000 ticketed guests participating in Anniversary Weekend, Jamestown Settlement hosted a record number of visitors for a three-day period. Special programming for the weekend included music and dance performances on the mall stage and, in museum classrooms, first-person portrayals of key figures in 17th-century Virginia history, traditional African storytelling, and presentations on various Jamestown historical topics. Visitors could participate in guided tours of the museum’s exhibition galleries and in ongoing demonstrations on agriculture, food, technology, weaponry, seamanship, trade, recreation, religion and government in the outdoor interpretive areas.
In addition to daytime activities, Jamestown Settlement hosted two evening events at which invited guests watched Anniversary Park concerts featuring the Virginia and Richmond symphonies and Bruce Hornsby and the Noisemakers, Chaka Khan, and Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder broadcast on the museum mall screen.
Anniversary Weekend culminated with an Anniversary Park concert featuring a 400-piece orchestra and 1,607-voice choir and a fireworks finale.