Complete guide to July 4th in the Historic Triangle

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Fireworks behind the Governor's Palace in Colonial Williamsburg (Photo courtesy of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation)
Fireworks behind the Governor’s Palace in Colonial Williamsburg (Photo courtesy of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation)

Now that Independence Day has arrived, here is what Historic Triangle residents need to know to make the most of their Fourth of July celebrations. So break out the coolers, bust out those stars and stripes and leave the planning to us.

Where to See Fireworks

Busch Gardens will be offering a fireworks display starting around 9:30 p.m. Visitors may also view the fireworks during a 75-minute cruise on the Rhine River boats, starting at 9:05 p.m.

The 37th annual Yorktown Fourth of July fireworks display will begin at 9:15 p.m. The best viewing area is along the Yorktown waterfront. Visitors are urged to arrive in Yorktown before 6 p.m. for the fireworks show, due to expected heavy traffic. Free parking will be available on the Battlefield at the corner of Cooke Road and Ballad Street starting at 4 p.m. Leading up to the fireworks display, which is free admission, those in attendance may enjoy live music, food and beverages, starting at 7 p.m.

Colonial Williamsburg will be holding its annual fireworks display, which can be viewed from Market Square of Palace Green. Fireworks will begin at 9:15 p.m. and will last until 9:35 p.m., at which point those in attendance can enjoy a torch-lit Fifes and Drums march down Duke of Gloucester Street. Those interested may purchase VIP tickets that guarantee front-row seating for the fireworks, access to children’s games and activities, a cash bar and a dinner buffet at the Williamsburg Lodge and live music, all of which begins at 4 p.m.

Click here for a full rundown of Independence Day activities at Colonial Williamsburg and click here for more details on local fireworks displays.

Festivities without Fireworks

The York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office D.A.R.E. program is hosting a July Fourth “Patriotic Food Pavilion” at Riverwalk Landing. A variety of vendors will be serving up food throughout the day.

The Classic Cruisers Car Club is hosting a car show Monday at Shorty’s Diner to benefit Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters. The show will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and is open to all makes, models, years of all cars, trucks, and motorcycles. It’s $10 to show a vehicle and spectators get in free.

Yorktown Victory Center will be holding a Liberty Celebration with artillery demonstrations, military drills, role-playing demonstrations and music. The festivities will take place from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission fees apply.

The Virginia Living Museum’s Abbitt Planetarium will once again host laser “fireworks” on the dome with the patriotic-themed laser show “Spirit of America.”  Showtimes on July Fourth are 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10 p.m., and tickets sell out quickly, so visitors are advised to purchase ahead.

From 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Chickahominy Riverfront Park and Upper County Park pools, enjoy free ice pops, while supplies last. Pool fees apply.

Click here to see our full list of firework-free July Fourth activities.

Staying Safe

“People shouldn’t be using fireworks, because they’re illegal,” warns Lt. Dennis Ivey of the York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office. All fireworks, including sparklers, are illegal in the City of Williamsburg, James City County and York County.

Drivers should be prepared to encounter an increased volume of traffic around the Fourth of July. In addition to not drinking and driving, Ivey encouraged drivers to pay attention to their surroundings and to be patient on the road.

Click here to read our full report on staying safe on July Fourth.

Transit and Closures

Williamsburg Area Transit Authority is providing additional trolley service Monday to accommodate Independence Day crowds. WATA will have trolleys running to transport passengers from parking areas in High Street and New Town to the Colonial Williamsburg area. Customers at those stops can anticipate 15 to 20 minute trolley service frequency.

WATA will also provide additional buses to assist in returning passengers to designated parking areas following the fireworks display. The standard trolley fare is $1.00 per person for a round-trip, and passengers are asked to bring exact change.

In the City of Williamsburg, all offices in the Municipal Building on Lafayette Street will be closed Monday, as will the Williamsburg-James City County Courthouse, the Quarterpath Recreation Center and the Williamsburg Regional Library. Garbage collection will be delayed one day.

In James City County, all county offices and convenience centers will be closed, as will the garbage transfer station, the James City County Library, the James City County Recreation Center and the Abram Frink Jr. Community Center.

All county offices in York County will be closed, including the York-Poquoson Courthouse and Social Services Office. All waste management offices will also close, as will the York County Public Libraries, the Virginia Cooperative Extension Service and the VPPSA Composting Facility. Curbside garbage collections will be moved one day, but curbside recycling collections will not be affected by the holiday.

Click here to read our full coverage of July Fourth transit and click here for a full list of closures.