WYDaily.com is your source for free news and information in Williamsburg, James City & York Counties.
"A Haunting on DoG Street: Blackbeard's Revenge" is set to kick off at 5 p.m. today after weeks of behind-the-scenes preparation to pull off Colonial Williamsburg's biggest-ever Halloween celebration.
The two-night event, which sold out about a week in advance of its debut, includes three distinct activities meant to appeal to different groups of Halloween revelers.
The free trick-or-treating on Duke of Gloucester Street will take place 5 to 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The fun is aimed at both tourists planning to spend Halloween weekend in Williamsburg and locals looking for a change from their usual neighborhood celebrations.
Mars Inc., producer of such beloved candy treats as M&Ms, Skittles, Milky Way, Twix, Starburst and Snickers, delivered a truckload of candy to Colonial Williamsburg on Tuesday morning to be distributed at the event.
“It’s more candy than we’ve ever seen come through here at once,” said Colonial Williamsburg retail stock services manager Jennifer Blaisdell, “We’re all very excited about the programming on tap this weekend, and we’re very grateful to Mars, which has made sure we have enough candy for everyone.”
The trick-or-treat festival will take place simultaneously with a ticketed family-friendly Halloween offering, “A Pirate’s Life for Me.” This part of the celebration is geared toward kids ages 12 and younger and will include not-so-scary entertainment such as a costume contest, pumpkin decorating, hay rides and friendly pirates singing sea shanties.
Preparations for the early evening portion of Colonial Williamsburg's offerings have been focused on setting up festive fall decorations and readying costumed actors for a family-friendly, swashbuckling performance, but the latter part of the evening will be decidedly more sinister.
"Under Blackbeard's Flag" will take over at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and guests can expect to see much more ghoulish pirates descend on DoG Street at that time.
The more intense side of Colonial Williamsburg's Halloween celebration, recommended for ages 13 and up, was inspired by some historical documents that suggest a few of Blackbeard’s crew members were tried and hanged on the streets of Williamsburg in 1719. In "Under Blackbeard's Flag," the undead crew return to haunt the site of their demise.
The zombie pirates will make an appearance at the Capitol building for a “trial of the undead," as well as on ghostly tours through the graveyard, jail and gallows where these villains drew their last breath. The festivities will wrap up at 10 p.m. with a procession of the undead up the street to Chowning’s Tavern, where guests can choose to continue the fun or call it a night.
Kid-friendly and zombified pirates alike prepared for their performances with a dress rehearsal on Thursday night, and event planners had the opportunity to test out the extensive A/V equipment that has been installed throughout the historic area to help set an appropriately spooky mood.
Though tickets for "A Haunting on DoG Street" are sold out, locals looking for something frightful to do this weekend can still purchase tickets for events at the Kimball Theatre and the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg. Alien, Nosferatu and The Rocky Horror Picture Show will be playing at the Kimball at various times throughout the weekend, while the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg will play host to four Halloween-themed performances between Friday and Saturday.
For a complete schedule of Colonial Williamsburg Halloween events, click here.