Williamsburg area Memorial Day events guide

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The York County War Memorial honors service members who made the ultimate sacrifice. (courtesy York County)
The York County War Memorial honors service members who made the ultimate sacrifice. (Photo courtesy of York County)

As Memorial Day weekend approaches, several local churches, businesses and veterans organizations in the Historical Triangle are preparing to host commemorative services to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. Read on for a complete list of Memorial Day happenings around town.

All Weekend

For many people Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer, so what better way to celebrate than with a trip to the pool? James City County’s outdoor pools at Chickahominy Riverfront Park and Upper County Park officially open for the season Saturday at noon. Door prizes will be given out each hour between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday, so come on out and kick off summer in style. Pool fees apply.

Colonial Williamsburg is offering free admission this weekend for active duty military, reservists, retirees, veterans, national guardsmen and their dependents. This program, which is made possible through a $100,000 grant from the Home Depot Foundation, includes admission to more than 40 historic trades and sites, the military encampment and the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg.

Memorial Day

Williamsburg Memorial Park is hosting a Memorial Day ceremony sponsored by numerous local veterans organizations and first responders from James City County and the City of Williamsburg. The ceremony will feature John Pittman III, a Colonel with the U.S. Army Reserves, as the guest speaker, and several moving patriotic musical selections. The ceremony, which begins at 9:40 a.m., is free and open to the public.

Celebrate Memorial Day with the York County Historical Committee at York Hall. This ceremony will include the posting of colors, historical re-enactors and the placing of flowers. Jeffrey Wassmer, chairman of the York County Board of Supervisors, will be the guest speaker. The hour-long celebration begins at noon and is free and open to the public.

Shorty’s Diner is hosting a Memorial Day car show on Monday to benefit Gathering of Mountain Eagles, a nonprofit group supporting combat wounded veterans and their families. It will cost $10 to register a vehicle; the show is open to all years, makes and models of all cars, trucks and motorcycles. The first 100 owners to register their vehicles will receive a dash plaque and goody bag. Spectators will be admitted for free, so don’t miss this chance to see cool cars and benefit a great cause. The fun begins at 9 a.m.

Historic Grace Episcopal Church in Yorktown will hold a Memorial Day ceremony in the church cemetery at 10 a.m. Monday. After brief remarks, prayers and the playing of “Taps,” attendees will process through the graveyard to replace the flags of 83 known veterans. Visitors are welcome and encouraged to participate in this moving tribute.

The Yorktown Rotary Club will host its annual Freedom Run 8K, 5K and fun run on Monday. The race will take runners through the beautiful and historic battlefield tour roads. Awards, medals and cash prizes will be awarded to the top competitors. Race-day registration is $25 and the first race kicks off at 8 a.m.

At 10 a.m. Monday, Colonial Williamsburg will hold a commemorative service featuring a procession byh the Fife and Drums from the Governor’s Palace to Bruton Parish Church to the Capitol. Wreaths will be placed, prayers given and volleys fired to honor soldiers of all conflicts. This event is free and open to the public.

Do you know of a Memorial Day event not listed here? Send the info to elizabeth@wydaily.com and we’ll add it to the list.