WILLIAMSBURG, Va. – Experience the holidays in America’s Historic Triangle, where a year-round vacation package allows visitors to take in the sights and sounds of the season with engaging living-history programs and special events that bring fresh perspectives to stories of the nation’s beginnings – the 1607 founding at Jamestown of the first permanent English colony, Revolutionary times in Williamsburg, and the securing of independence at Yorktown in 1781.
The America’s Historic Triangle vacation package features unlimited admission to three premier living-history museums – Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown Settlement and the Yorktown Victory Center – and two National Park sites – Historic Jamestowne and Yorktown Battlefield – and modern-day accommodations for up to seven days. Visitors can take a 23-mile journey along the scenic Colonial Parkway to reach all five historical attractions.
In Jamestown, explore the nation’s beginnings where the 1607 site of America’s first permanent English colony is preserved at Historic Jamestowne. Jamestown Settlement chronicles the 1600s through extensive gallery exhibits and living history at re-created ships, fort and Powhatan Indian village, and a riverfront discovery area. At Colonial Williamsburg, discover the restored 18th-century colonial Virginia capital, where patriots ignited the cause for freedom and laid the groundwork for the creation of this great nation. At Yorktown, walk the ground where America’s independence was won in 1781 at Yorktown Battlefield. Discover the lives of people who witnessed the Revolution through Yorktown Victory Center gallery exhibits and living-history in a re-created Continental Army encampment and 1780s farm.
The holiday season begins at Thanksgiving with a three-day “Foods & Feasts of Colonial Virginia” event at Jamestown Settlement and the Yorktown Victory Center, and continues into December with Yorktown’s “Lighted Boat Parade” on December 6 and Colonial Williamsburg’s “Grand Illumination” on December 7.
Special programs in America’s Historic Triangle during the holiday season include:
Foods & Feasts of Colonial Virginia – Jamestown Settlement & Yorktown Victory Center
November 27-29, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Explore Virginia foodways of the 17th and 18th centuries during this three-day event beginning on Thanksgiving Day. At Jamestown Settlement, learn how food was gathered, preserved and prepared on land and at sea by Virginia’s English colonists and Powhatan Indians. At the Yorktown Victory Center, examine typical soldiers’ fare during the American Revolution and trace the bounty of a 1780s farm from field to kitchen. Included with general admission. Call toll-free (888) 593-4682.
Kids Holiday Weekends – Colonial Williamsburg
Nov. 29-30, Dec. 13-14, Dec. 20-21, Dec. 27-28
Explore how 18th-century families celebrated special occasions, such as Christmas, New Year’s and Twelfth Night. Sites throughout the town will be devoted to sharing fun and festive entertainments of the holiday season with children of all ages, but especially for those from age 6 to 12. Children can meet with people of the past, try their skills at writing, help with meal preparation, sing songs of the season and a myriad of other cool Yule stuff. For information and reservations, call toll-free 1-800-HISTORY.
Bits and Bridles Tour – Colonial Williamsburg
Saturdays, Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, Nov. 29-Jan. 3, 1-2 p.m.
This one-hour walking tour takes guest through the stable and carriage facilities and introduces them to Colonial Williamsburg’s Rare Breeds conservancy program. Call toll-free 1-800-HISTORY.
Christmas Decorations Walking Tour – Colonial Williamsburg
Nov. 30-Dec. 31 at 9:15 a.m. and 3:15 p.m.; Dec. 6 at 11 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3:15 p.m.; Dec. 7 at 9:15 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.; and Dec. 25 at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
A guided look at Colonial Williamsburg’s picturesque building exteriors and streets decked in their holiday splendor. Learn about the materials, construction techniques and traditions of Colonial Williamsburg decorations. Call toll-free 1-800-HISTORY.
Fifes and Drums March – Colonial Williamsburg
Nov. 29, Dec. 6, 13, 20, 27 and Jan. 3 at 1 p.m.; Nov. 28, Dec. 3, 5, 10, 12, 17, 19, 26, 31 and Jan. 2 at 6:30 p.m.
Colonial Williamsburg’s Fifes and Drums march and play on historic Duke of Gloucester Street. No ticket or reservation required. Call toll-free 1-800-HISTORY.
A Christmas Tale – Colonial Williamsburg
Mondays and Thursdays Dec. 1 through Jan. 1, 2009, 10:30 a.m. and 11 a.m.
Celebrate the season with a sampling of the music, theater and dance that delighted generations past. Even if you couldn’t go see a play, a concert or a ball, music, playscripts and dancing enlivened gatherings this time of year as well as year round. Call toll-free 1-800-HISTORY.
Illumination and Christmas Tree Lighting – Yorktown
December 5, 7:30 p.m.
The holiday lights go on and the festive season begins at 7 p.m. with entertainment at the Yorktown Victory Monument followed by the Procession of Lights through historic Yorktown to Riverwalk Landing. The tree lighting ceremony at 7:30 p.m. includes holiday entertainment and a visit from Santa. Free. Call (757) 890-3500.
Yorktown Christmas Market on Main Street – Yorktown
December 6, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
The third-annual Christmas Market features demonstrations, musical entertainment, living-history exhibits, arts and crafts, antique cars, roasted chestnuts and more. Free. Call (757) 890-3500.
Yorktown Lighted Boat Parade – Yorktown
December 6, 7 p.m.
Decorated in holiday spirit, area boaters parade the York River in competition for “Best of Show.” Beginning at 6 p.m., enjoy hot cider and musical performances in the glow of a beach bonfire while awaiting the parade of lights. Free. Call (757) 890-4970.
Grand Illumination – Colonial Williamsburg
December 7, 5:45 p.m.
Colonial Williamsburg Fifes and Drums continues the celebration of its 50th anniversary with special performances during Grand Illumination, Sunday, Dec. 7. Grand Illumination, the signature event of Colonial Williamsburg’s holiday season, features fireworks, musical performances and candlelit buildings. Request a 2008 Holiday Planner for a detailed listing of holiday season events by calling toll-free 1-800-HISTORY.
Illuminations of Historic Buildings – Colonial Williamsburg
December 9, 15 and 29 (Capitol); December 13, 22 and 28 (Taverns); December 18, 21, 30 (Market Square); December 20, 23 and 27 (Palace Green) at 6:30 p.m.
Flickering cresset light marks destinations on these narrated tours of Historic Area neighborhoods. Fife and drum music is featured. No ticket or reservation required. Call toll-free 1-800-HISTORY.
Caroling – Colonial Williamsburg
December 12, 19, 20 and 23 (Robert Carter House); December 13 (Palmer House); December 15 (Wetherburn’s Tavern); and Dec. 18 (Courthouse), 7 p.m.
Colonial Williamsburg’s historic buildings are the backdrop as guests raise their voices in the songs of the season. No ticket or reservation required. Call toll-free 1-800-HISTORY.
Yorktown Market Days at the River – Riverwalk Landing
December 13, 8:30 a.m.-12 p.m.
Located on the banks of the York River, the market features local produce, fresh meat and seafood, baked goods, herbs, specialty cut flowers, handmade soaps, quality art and live musical entertainment. Free. Call (757) 890-3500.
“Historical Art, Capturing the Past” – Historic Jamestowne
December 13, 1 p.m.
Historical artist Keith Rocco presents an illustrated 45-minute program on creating works of art representing historical places and events. Rocco has created paintings for many historical sites, including Colonial National Historical Park, Guilford Courthouse National Military Park and Pamplin Historical Park. At Historic Jamestowne, several of his paintings appear in exhibits, as well as the award-winning multimedia theater presentation. Call (757) 229-1733.
A Colonial Christmas – Jamestown Settlement & Yorktown Victory Center
December 20-January 4, 2009, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Experience 17th and 18th century holiday traditions. At Jamestown Settlement, a film and special guided tours compare and contrast English Christmas customs of the period with how the season may have been observed in the difficult years of the Jamestown colony. At the Yorktown Victory Center, hear accounts of Christmas and winter in military encampments during the American Revolution, and glimpse holiday preparations on a 1780s Virginia farm. Included with general admission. Call toll-free (888) 593-4682.
Firing of the Christmas Guns – Colonial Williamsburg
December 24, 5 p.m.
During the 18th century, it was customary for Virginians to fire their guns in salute to the Christmas season. It was an expression of joy and celebration. This event is re-created at Palace Green and the Magazine. No ticket or reservation required. Call toll-free 1-800-HISTORY.
Community Christmas Tree Lighting – Colonial Williamsburg
December 24, 5:30 p.m.
Gather at the Courthouse steps on Duke of Gloucester Street for the annual illumination of Williamsburg’s tree and traditional retelling of the story of the city’s first Christmas tree. No ticket or reservation required. Call toll-free 1-800-HISTORY.
Williamsburg’s First Night Celebration – Downtown Williamsburg
First Night is an annual family-oriented, non-alcoholic New Year’s Eve celebration. Welcome the New Year with a variety of entertainment at Colonial Williamsburg and the College of William and Mary, concluding with a grand finale fireworks display at midnight. Separate ticket required. Call (757) 258-5153.
The America’s Historic Triangle Vacation Package lodging at one of a variety of Williamsburg area accommodations and unlimited visits with free parking to all five attractions during the package stay for up to seven days. In 2008, packages start at $165 per person, based on a double occupancy, with a minimum two-night stay. A separate America’s Historic Triangle attraction admission ticket is available at $80.25 for adults (ages 18 and older) and $33.25 for children (ages 6-17).
For more information about America’s Historic Triangle Vacation Package, visit http://visitwilliamsburg.com/deals–packages/americas-historic-triangle-package/index.aspx or call 1-800-495-8804. For information about America’s Historic Triangle Ticket, visit hif.ciniva.net/Vacation-Packages.htm .
MEDIA CONTACTS FOR “AMERICA’S HISTORIC TRIANGLE” DESTINATIONS:
Penna Rogers, (757) 220-7121 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Historic Jamestowne & Yorktown Battlefield (National Park Service)
Mike Litterst, (757) 898-2409 or email@example.com
Historic Jamestowne (APVA Preservation Virginia)
Tina Calhoun, (804) 648-1889 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Jamestown Settlement & Yorktown Victory Center
Tracy Perkins, (757) 253-4114 or email@example.com