Jamestown Day to Celebrate 408th Anniversary of Permanent English Settlement in America

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Attendees of a past Jamestown Day watch a 1600s-style show featuring juggling, puppetry and magic. (Courtesy Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation)
Attendees of a past Jamestown Day watch a 1600s-style show that featured juggling, puppetry and magic. (Courtesy Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation)

Jamestown Settlement and Historic Jamestowne have a slew of family-friendly events planned for this weekend to celebrate the 408th anniversary of when English settlers first landed on Jamestown Island in 1607.

Included in the festivities are looks at Powhatan and English weaponry, demonstrations of military and maritime technology from the 1600s and traditional music.

The Virginia Living Museum is set to bring examples of the flora and fauna the English experienced when they arrived in the New World.

The event runs all day May 9, starting with a guided tour of Jamestown Island by a National Park Service ranger at 9:30 a.m. Tours are also available at noon and 2 p.m.

Several workshops will be ongoing beginning at 10 a.m. and lasting until 4 p.m., including lessons about the Tidewater Algonquians and their interaction with the English and about the trials experienced by the English during their first months of settlement on the island.

That six-hour window will also feature a review of artifacts extracted from the ground by archaeologists from Preservation Virginia and a talk by someone from the James River Association about the history of the James River and current efforts to preserve it.

Archaeologists from Preservation Virginia will provide in-depth walking tours of the original 1607 fort site at 10:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Those tours are also available Sunday at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

At 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. guests can see demonstrations of bows and learn about other military technology used by American Indians.

A special ticket offering admission to both sites along with the Yorktown battlefields and Yorktown Victory Center is available for $35 for adults, $23 for ages 13 to 15 and $12.50 for ages 6 to 12. It offers seven consecutive days of free admission to all four sites.

Regular rates apply for those who elect to not buy the special ticket.

Historic Jamestowne is located on Jamestown Island and features the original 1607 fort site and a museum administered by the National Park Service. The archaeologists from Preservation Virginia have been at work since 1994 at the fort site, which is owned by the nonprofit group.

Jamestown Settlement is run by the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, a state agency that also oversees the Yorktown Victory Center.