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The inaugural Williamsburg Harvest Celebration is this week, and there are many events to choose from in Williamsburg, James City County and Yorktown.
Before you head out to enjoy some of the area’s finest in seafood, meat, produce, wine, beer and spirits, read up on the origins of this all-new festival, then peruse the events guide below to narrow down which mouth-watering options you will be partaking in this year.
Click here to buy tickets for any of the events.
The Harvest Celebration kicks off Wednesday with a reception at the new Yorktown Victory Center building, which overlooks the York River. Come out to sample authentic Virginia cuisine, wine, craft beer and cider from the Williamsburg Winery, Colonial Williamsburg, Extraordinary Cupcakes, Second Street, Water Street Grill, James River Cellars, New Kent Winery, Saude Creek Vineyards and Riverwalk Restaurant. The festivities begin at 5:30 p.m. and tickets are $40.
The chefs of Taste Studio will be at the Williamsburg Lodge at 4 p.m. Thursday, sharing tips and tricks from the talent that makes Colonial Williamsburg a dining destination. Each dish will be paired with a craft beer, wine or spirit, so buy your ticket now for just $40 a person.
Yorktown is hosting a tapas crawl, providing a chance to check out three of the area’s finest dining establishments while sampling small plates of local seafood, natural meats and farm-to-table produce. Enjoy the ambiance of Water Street Grille, Riverwalk Restaurant and Carrot Tree as you move from location to location at your leisure. The crawl starts Thursday at 6 p.m. and tickets are $60.
Have you been meaning to check out Silt, a relative newcomer to the Williamsburg-area dining scene, but have not found the right occasion yet? Head over Thursday night at 6:30 p.m. for the “Field & Stream: A Taste of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Dinner,” which will include a five-course tasting menu paired with locally made spirits, wine and beer. Tickets are $100 per person.
Enjoy some regional fare and learn about the history of the area’s watermen at the Watermen’s Museum tour and lunch at Riverwalk Restaurant. Take in the historical exhibits, displays of the craft and methods of the trade of watermen and then head next door for a waterman-inspired luncheon. The tour begins at 11 a.m. Friday and tickets are $35.
The terrace at the Trellis will be transformed Friday into the site of a gourmet Al Fresco Italian lunch with Italian butcher Philipo Gambazzi from Terra di Siena. Enjoy artisan cured sausages and hams along with Italian wines. The fun begins at noon, and tickets are $38 per person.
Bourbon has long been the standard in southern drinking, and Wild Turkey has long been the standard in bourbon. Find out why this spirit holds such a special place in the world of alcoholic beverages at a Taste Studio seminar at 5:30 p.m. Learn about the history and production of bourbon from Chefs Travis Brust and Scott Watson on Friday. Tickets are $45.50.
Can’t get enough of tapas? Head over to New Town from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday to enjoy a taste of Hogarth’s Bar & Bistro, the Corner Pocket and Center Street Grill. Crawl in no particular order from one location to another and learn more about what makes this 365-acre community such a vibrant food scene. Tickets are $60 per person.
Grab some food in a casual, community-oriented atmosphere at the ChowderFest at Jamestown Beach Event Park from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday. There will be live music and many delicious chowder from more than a dozen of the area’s best restaurants. The $35 fare gets you unlimited chowder, two drinks and a live show from the Hark.
Beer lovers will not want to miss the craft beer dinner at Water Street Grille on Friday. With a menu boasting 20 different micro brews there is sure to be a flavor that appeals to every palate, and a four course tapas menu will accompany the libations. Get your tickets now for $65 per person.
The Taste Studio is hosting a second seminar for the Harvest Celebration all about “Fall Harvest Soup Sensations.” Learn how to make your own delicious and classic soups with secrets that are sure to come in handy in your own kitchen while you warm up with plenty of samples. Tickets are $33.50 and the seminar begins at 10 a.m. Saturday.
Head over to the Watermen’s Museum on Saturday to enjoy beautiful views of the York River and delicious chili. Several area establishments will be preparing their own take on the fall-favorite dish. The $10 ticket gets you a sample of all the competitors’ chili, plus there will be beer, beverages, hot dogs and desserts available for purchase. The fun starts at 11 a.m.
Calling all oyster enthusiasts: Head over to the Virginia Living Museum for the fourth annual Oyster Roast, where you can enjoy all you can eat fresh, local Rappahannock oysters, fried seafood, chowder, sausages and desserts. If the food is not enough to entice you, there will also be raffles and tasting of colonial-style gin and rum from the Williamsburg Distillery. Tickets are $60 and the event kicks off at 3 p.m. Saturday.
Nothing says fall like craft beers and Virginia hard ciders, so head over the Jamestown Beach Park at 5:30 p.m. Saturday for that and more as part of “Bountiful Brews & Bites.” Food trucks and local chefs will be preparing an assortment of tasty food bites, plus there will be live music and a fireworks celebration. For $25, you will receive one food and one drink ticket, or two food tickets for those under legal drinking ages. The celebration starts at 5:30 p.m. Saturday.
Blue Talon Bistro is hosting a family-style southern French country dinner at 7 p.m. Saturday, followed by an absinthe tasting. Enjoy an up-close encounter with the Green Fairy and learn a little more about this formerly forbidden pleasure. Tickets are $95 per person.
Experience one of the Harvest Celebration’s most elegant affairs, the “Masters of Taste Sommelier Wine Pairing Dinner” at the Williamsburg Winery at 7 p.m. Saturday. Three renowned sommeliers will be presenting five delicious courses and 15 Virginia wines at this interactive dining experience. Your votes will help determine the first-ever Harvest Celebration Master of Taste. Tickets are $165.
Start off the final day of the Harvest Celebration on a high note with breakfast in the Regency Room at the Williamsburg Inn. Enjoy a variety of breakfast items, either a la carte of at the buffet, plus juice and coffee. Tickets are $28.75 and the breakfast will be served from 7:30 to 10 a.m. Sunday.
Distinction Magazine is sponsoring an oyster roast at the Freight Shed at 1 p.m. Sunday. Enjoy delicious oysters and the dulcet tones of bluegrass music from More Perfect Jones in addition to craft beer, wine and cider. Tickets are $50.