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Fireworks in Historic Williamsburg

Williamsburg: The perfect place to celebrate the Fourth of July 

As the center of the country’s colonial history, the revolutionary city of Williamsburg is the ideal place to celebrate the Fourth of July in 2013. There are surely few other cities in the country that offer equal historical significance or a more patriotic experience. Visitors can expect to find numerous things to do including museums, theme parks and special events where they can learn about times past as well as celebrate their independence in the present day.

Discover American history on Independence Day

The area’s major tourist attraction, the historical district of Colonial Williamsburg, will be holding a dedicated Fourth of July celebration all day which is set to begin at 10am. Throughout the day visitors will be immersed in American history at this living museum featuring original buildings and architecture as well as attractions that seek to provide a unique insight into our forefather’s struggle for independence. Historical re-enactors in period costumes will give personal accounts of daily life in colonial times and demonstrate their crafts, while visitors can explore the area and its heritage completely free of charge and immerse themselves in the past. Exploring the district and speaking with the townsfolk is a fun and personal way to learn about the history of our country and is great for all ages. For those looking to unwind, the buildings may be 300 years old but there are plenty of modern restaurants that serve delicious food and even golf and spa facilities are available.

Williamsburg forms part of the Historic Triangle with Jamestown and Yorktown. The latter is a short fifteen minute drive down the picturesque Colonial Parkway and is most famous as the site of the pivotal victory during the American Revolutionary War which effectively ended the conflict. Yorktown is a fantastic place to visit for anyone interested in the military side of the Fourth of July. Tours are available from the Battlefield and Visitor Centre which showcase Washington’s Headquarters and the Surrender Field as well as a recreated military encampment for a taste of life by the battlefield. As the first permanent English settlement in the Americas, Jamestown also makes an interesting addition to any trip with archaeological activities and opportunities to interact with wildlife such as the majestic Bald Eagle.

Fireworks and special events

On Independence Day this year there will be a special celebration at Colonial Williamsburg said to promise a dramatic reading of the Declaration of Independence and a performance by the Virginia Symphony Orchestra. The event is always free of charge but it only happens once a year so make sure you’re covered for trip cancellations if you’re traveling from further afield. Expect a salute to the original 13 states, traditional military music from the Fifes and Drums, flag displays and the firing of muskets and canons. The day culminates in a breathtaking fireworks display that draws to a close around 9:30pm. The main display is located behind the courthouse at Market Square North and the fireworks will be visible from market Square, Palace Green and beyond. Event tickets and reservations are not required so anyone can join in the celebrations. This is always a wonderful evening so there will be large crowds, but they just add to the atmosphere. Other special events promised during the day to get you in the mood include a ‘Revolutionary Breakfast’ at the King’s Arms Tavern starting at 8am and an Afternoon Royal Tea at the Williamsburg Royal Inn between 3 and 4:30pm.

An alternative is the Independence Celebration at Yorktown which begins with a 9am parade along the waterfront. There’s a celebratory bell ringing ceremony at 7pm and more themed entertainment from 8pm onwards at Riverwalk landing. The day here concludes at 9:15pm with another stunning fireworks display, this time on the York River. Once again, attendance is completely free. The Yorktown Victory Centre is also holding a Liberty Celebration for the Fourth of July this year which features tactical drills, military exercises and role playing demonstrations. The museum gallery will be showing a broadside printing of the Declaration of Independence which dates back to July 1776. The centre is open between 9am and 6pm and tickets are priced at $9.75 for adults and $5.50 for children aged 6 to 12.