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Colonial Williamsburg will commemorate the 240th Independence Day with a robust line-up activities that will culminate in a free fireworks show.
The fun will begin a day early, July 3, with the program “To Be Free and Independent” at 4:45 p.m. on the Capitol Green, presenting Virginians’ declaration of independence from the crown on May 15, 1776.
The Summer Breeze Concert Series kicks off at 7 p.m. in Merchants Square with a special Sunday-night concert featuring the United States Air Force Band.
And at 8:30 p.m., the Fifes & Drums lead the Williamsburg Military Tattoo up Duke of Gloucester Street from the Palace Green to the Capitol. All three events are free to the public.
Programming on the Fourth of July will begin at 10 a.m. on Market Square with the Salute to the States, a military muster honoring the original 13 states.
At 11 a.m., a Thomas Jefferson reenactor will read from the Declaration of Independence on the Courthouse steps and will be accompanied by the Fifes & Drums and a cannon salute. Both events are free and open to the public.
There will be screenings of the 1972 musical comedy “1776” throughout the day at the Kimball Theatre. Tickets are $5 each.
The Colonial Faire will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and feature military drills, a tomahawk toss, races, crafts and games at various locations in the historic area. Colonial Williamsburg admission or an $8 program ticket is required to participate in the Faire.
The Runaway String Band will perform old-time tunes at 4 p.m. in the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg’s Hennage Auditorium. Tickets to the concert, called “I Hear America Singing,” cost $4 each.
“A Medley of Patriotic Entertainments,” an audio tribute to the nation, will begin at 8:15 p.m. and be followed at 8:50 p.m. by performances by the Fifes & Drums.
The fireworks demonstration begins at 9:15 p.m. The evening will conclude with a torch-lit Fifes & Drums march from the Palace Green up Duke of Gloucester Street to Botetourt Street.
“This year our nation celebrates a momentous birthday, its 240th,” said Colonial Williamsburg President and CEO Mitchell B. Reiss in a statement. “The success of the experiment that began on these very streets is one of history’s most remarkable stories. We tell that story every day, and this Fourth of July we invite our neighbors and the nation for a day of fun and fireworks to mark this milestone anniversary.”
The fireworks show will be presented for the first time by New York-based Fireworks by Grucci. Phil Grucci, president, CEO and creative director of Fireworks by Grucci, said the show would be as “patriotic as you can get” with a theme of red, white and blue displays.
The 15-minute show will feature all aerial fireworks, which will allow the show to be visible throughout the historic area.
“It will be a very bold program and very punctual program,” Grucci said.
For more information about the Fourth of July programming, visit Colonial Williamsburg’s Making History website.