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Events in Williamsburg Throughout the Year

In Williamsburg, where you come face to face with American history, you would expect a lot to be going on – and you would be right. There are events throughout the year that mark the history of the area and that also celebrate 21st century culture.

There is something for each season.

Williamsburg at Christmas is one of the most heartwarming times of the year, filled with all of the essentials of the Yuletide season..

There are all of the “required” items – decorations, caroling, frosted windows. But there is much more.

The season starts with the Grand Illumination. It is a marvelous display of fireworks above the Governor’s Palace. In addition to the fireworks, there are glowing candles and holiday music.

Then there is the Christmas Homes Tour, where you can walk along the cobblestone roads and into the homes in and around the historic area. The homes are filled with decorations reminiscent of the Colonial era (and modern ones, as well).

If you are in the mood for some music, visit one of the taverns in Williamsburg for some 18th century music and lore.

In Merchant’s Square, America’s first shopping center and a national landmark, there is the Community Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony.

If you plan to visit around Halloween, you can be assured of a frightfully good time. You can take a haunted tour of Williamsburg and get your fill of ghost stories and other tales of mystery from the past. Nearby Busch Gardens has its own version of the holiday called Howl-O-Scream. And, if you head out to Edgewood Plantation, you will be treated to a haunted candlelight tour. There are also witches brew luncheons and haunted dinner theaters.

In the beginning of October, the Williamsburg Scottish festival is held. Parades and pageantry and Scottish games are all part of the fun. At the Celtic Heritage Village you can grab a bite to eat and shop, listen to music and storytelling, and watch sword fights and dance

One of the big events of the summer is the Fourth of July celebration. It begins with a reading of the Declaration of Independence. There is also a rousing performance of the Williamsburg Fife and Drum. Naturally, all of this is followed by fireworks, which are set off after dark in the historic area. Also, at the Governor’s Palace is an All-American picnic, complete with festive entertainment.

Summer in Williamsburg wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Busch Gardens, often called the world’s most beautiful theme park. The park features attractions from many of the countries of Europe, including England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Germany and Italy. It also has 50 rides, along with other shows and attractions.

Spring in Williamsburg highlights Festival Williamsburg, where Williamsburg joins with the Virginia Arts Festival to present an array of performances in May, everything from banjo playing to a symphony orchestra. In April in nearby Jamestown is Jamestown Landing Day, where a ceremony marks the anniversary of the founding of Jamestown, America’s first permanent English colony.

The commemoration includes maritime demonstrations, reenactments of 17th century life, entertainment from the 17th century, and educational programs. There also is a ceremony where descendants of the Virginia Indians and Jamestown colonists commemorate the people who were there at the founding in 1607. Visitors also may watch craftsmen demonstrate the crafts in use at the time the colony was founded.