Museum Parking and Access Limited; Public Parking Available in Historic Yorktown
YORKTOWN, Va., March 24, 2017 — The new American Revolution Museum at Yorktown will be dedicated on Saturday, April 1, the highpoint of a 13-day Grand Opening Celebration saluting each of the first original 13 states in the order that they ratified the Constitution. A dedication ceremony launches Virginia Day festivities, filled with the pageantry, fun and excitement of an 18th-century fair.
The dedication of the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown is the realization of a 10-year transformation from the Yorktown Victory Center, which opened in 1976. Through immersive indoor gallery exhibits with nearly 500 period artifacts, experiential films and interpretive living-history experiences, the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown presents a renewed national perspective on the meaning and impact of the Revolution.
The ceremony will begin at 11:15 a.m. with music by the Virginia Army National Guard 29th Infantry Division Band, a processional by the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation Honor Guard and Field Musick Virginia, and a presentation of colors by the Virginia Army National Guard 29th Infantry Division Color Guard. The program will include greetings from France, a history of the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown and its role as a leader in education and tourism.
The ceremony will feature remarks from Virginia Governor Terrence R. McAuliffe, who will dedicate the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown to the late Nick and Mary Mathews, benefactors to the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation who donated the land on which the museum is built and supported museum programs during their life and through their estate.
Access to the ceremony will be open to the public on a space-available basis.
Museum Films, Galleries and Living-History Experiences
From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., visitors can experience the new American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, including the introductory film, “Liberty Fever,” and expansive exhibition galleries, featuring period artifacts, interactive exhibits and films, including “The Siege of Yorktown” experiential theater with special effects. Museum gallery exhibits will debut a new mobile app to enhance gallery storylines and the “Liberty Tree,” a new interactive gallery feature that allows visitors to share their thoughts on liberty.
Outdoors in newly expanded re-creations of a Continental Army encampment and Revolution-era farm, tradesman and artisans — basket-makers, leather-workers, tinsmiths, milliners, tailors and seamstresses — will demonstrate their skills and craftsmanship throughout the day. Strolling musicians, a silhouette artist, puppeteers and jugglers will offer period entertainment, and visitors can join in playing 18th-century games.
Musical performances in the Continental Army encampment’s Artillery Amphitheater will be presented in the afternoon. Enjoy the fife-and-drum sounds of Field Musick Virginia, presenting a mix of American Revolution military music and instrumental history. Early American music will be performed by The Itinerant Band, and David and Ginger Hildebrand will play music of the American colonial period.
Military re-enactors, including the 1st Virginia Regiment of the Continental Line – Infantry and Mounted Dragoon division, will demonstrate techniques used by cavalry units during the American Revolution. Members of the 7th Virginia Regiment of the Continental Line also will be on hand.
American Revolution Museum at Yorktown Continues a Revolutionary Tradition
Located within the Jamestown-Williamsburg-Yorktown “Historic Triangle” and next to Yorktown National Battlefield, the Yorktown Victory Center opened in 1976 as one of three Virginia visitor centers for the Bicentennial of the American Revolution. Structural and exhibit improvements were implemented in the 1990s, broadening the museum’s focus to encompass the entire Revolution.
The American Revolution Museum at Yorktown is the realization of a master plan adopted in 2007. The plan called for replacing the 1976 facility, with the new building positioned on the 22-acre site to allow for continued operation throughout construction, and repositioning and reconstructing the encampment and farm.
A new 80,000-square-foot building opened in March 2015, with a theater for showings of Revolution-theme films, an illustrated timeline spanning the second half of the 18th century, and a gift shop and cafe. An important element of the new building is an education center, with five classrooms and a separate entrance, to serve student groups and the general public with dynamic, interactive learning experiences.
Planning, building and exhibit construction, and renovations to the site, including living-history areas, are funded by the Commonwealth of Virginia. Major components of the project total approximately $50 million. Private donations to the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown Campaign for Support are funding elements of gallery and outdoor exhibits, artifact acquisitions, and educational resources.
Public Parking Available in Historic Yorktown
Public parking to the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown will be limited on April 1, and visitors should park along Yorktown Trolley stops in Historic Yorktown and take the Yorktown Trolley to the museum. On April 1, the Yorktown Trolley will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The free trolley stops at nine locations in Historic Yorktown every 10 to 15 minutes.
Located at 200 Water Street, the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. 2017 admission is $12.00 for adults, $7.00 for ages 6 through 12, free to residents of York and James City counties and the City of Williamsburg, including College of William and Mary students, with proof of residency.
For more information on the Grand Opening Celebration and parking on April 1, visit https://www.historyisfun.org/grandopening/ or call (888) 593-4682 toll free or (757) 253-4838.