June 9, 2008
YORKTOWN, Va. – The Yorktown Victory Center will join in saluting the 232nd anniversary of the Declaration of Independence with a “Liberty Celebration,” Friday through Sunday, July 4-6. From 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on all three days, visitors can observe tactical and artillery drills, take part in a variety of military exercises, and learn about the sacrifices of our nation’s founders, including those who signed the Declaration of Independence.
From the beginning of colonial unrest to the formation of the new nation, the American Revolution is chronicled at the Yorktown Victory Center in gallery exhibits and outdoor re-creations of a Continental Army encampment and 1780s Tidewater Virginia farm.
Visitors to “Liberty Celebration” can take part in a variety of military drills at the encampment. At 10:05 a.m. and 4:35 p.m. each day, visitors can watch costumed historical interpreters take up arms for a tactical drill and then participate in a wooden musket drill. A daily program at 1:05 p.m. will examine the effectiveness of a mortar, a type of artillery used during the 1781 Siege of Yorktown. At 11:05 a.m. and 3:05 p.m., visitors can join in an 18th-century artillery crew to learn the steps toward firing a six-pound brass cannon. Following the drill, visitors can step back to observe the actual firing of the cannon.
At the 1780s farm, visitors to the kitchen at 12:35 p.m. each day will learn about the contributions of European, American Indian and African cultures to American cooking, and about the origins of apple pie and other “American” dishes.
During “The Price of Liberty,” a daily program held at 11:35 a.m. and 3:35 p.m. at the farm, visitors will learn about the sacrifices of Americans who declared independence from Great Britain – from the individuals who signed the Declaration of Independence to farmers, merchants, women and slaves. At 2:35 p.m., visitors can experience the fight for freedom by training as a member of the citizen militia.
Daily programming concludes at 5:05 p.m. in the 1780s farm, where visitors can try 18th-century games, such as quoits, mancala, and hoop and stick.
Yorktown Victory Center visitors can start their experience along an outdoor timeline to gain insight to the events that led to the conflict between the American colonies and Britain.
A Declaration of Independence Gallery explores the document that articulated radical ideas inspiring decisive action. Among objects on exhibit is a 1791 copy of Thomas Paine’s 1776 “Common Sense,” a pamphlet that turned the tide of public opinion in favor of independence.
In the Witnesses to Revolution Gallery, visitors can hear firsthand accounts of the war’s impact upon everyday people of the 18th century, including Africans, American Indians and women – for whom the concepts of liberty and equality did not apply. Visitors also can learn about the movements of British, American and French troops that converged on Yorktown in 1781 and take in “A Time of Revolution,” a film shown every 30 minutes in the museum theater.
2008 admission to the Yorktown Victory Center is $9.25 for adults and $5.00 for youth ages 6 through 12. A combination ticket and annual pass are available with Jamestown Settlement, a museum of 17th-century Virginia. Event activities are sponsored in part by the York County Arts Commission.
The Yorktown Victory Center is located on Route 1020 near the Colonial Parkway in Yorktown. For more information, call (888) 593-4682 toll free or (757) 253-4838, or visit the Web site, hif.ciniva.net.