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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Historic Yorktown Celebrates Major Milestones with a Series of Anniversary Celebrations

Marquis de Lafayette (York County)

YORK COUNTY — 1774 was a pivotal year in American history — especially in Yorktown — and to commemorate the approaching 250th Anniversary of the United States, Historic Yorktown will feature several events celebrating milestones in our nation’s fight for independence.

This year’s event calendar features the 200th Anniversary of Lafayette’s Grand Tour of 1824, a specially-themed Yorktown Victory Market, and a weekend of celebrations to commemorate the 250th Anniversary of the Yorktown Tea Party.

All events are free unless otherwise indicated.

“Lafayette and the American Revolution” Lecture

Taking place on Sun., March 10 at 2 p.m. in York Hall, historian Mark Schneider will appear as Gen. Lafayette in 1824 as he reflects on his role during the American Revolution. As the Marquis, Mark Schneider has written and performed in a variety of performances that cover the extensive history of Lafayette.

York County History Day

Between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 13, around Yorktown, this event highlights the American Revolution and Civil War in York County. Participants will enjoy live music, military demonstrations, crafts, food, and more.

Pirates Invade Yorktown Weekend

The weekend of April 27 and 28 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. along Riverwalk Landing, the Watermen’s Museum and Historic Main Street, Pirates will invade Yorktown. Visitors will take a step back into the Golden Age of piracy as Riverwalk Landing and the Watermen’s Museum are invaded by seafaring marauders during the time of the American Revolution. Participants can enjoy live blacksmith demonstrations, explore a pirate encampment, sing along to a variety of musical groups, shop our themed farmers market, and witness exciting cannon demonstrations.

Children on Boat (York County)

“If This Be Treason … The 1774 York County Resolves and the Liberty Pole” Lecture

This lecture at the Watermen’s Museum on Fri., June 7 at 6 p.m. will explore our shared history and is part of Yorktown Military Appreciation weekend.

Yorktown Military Appreciation Weekend; June 8 and 9

A weekend-long patriotic salute to our armed forces as we celebrate the contributions of our American heroes both past and present. One of the highlighted events will be a re-enactment of the 1774 Militia Muster.

Independence Day Celebration; Thursday, July 4

Beginning at 9 a.m. and continuing until 9:30 p.m., Riverwalk Landing and Historic Main Street will celebrate America’s independence. Fireworks start at 9:15 p.m.

“250th Anniversary of the 1774 York County Resolves” Lecture

Historian Jim Gallagher will portray Thomas Nelson Jr. as he describes the importance of the colonial protest against England’s taxation policies on Thursday, July 18 starting at 6 p.m. at York Hall.

1774 Yorktown Resolves

On July 18, 1774, the citizens of York County joined the boycott against English goods and protested against the tea tax. On Sat., July 20 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., costumed interpreters will portray the York County Committee and Safety with various re-enactments and activities in Historic Yorktown.

Lafayette Grand Tour 1824 — 200th Anniversary

Friday, Oct. 18 from 3 p.m. until 5 p.m. on Riverwalk Landing, historian Mark Schneider will appear as Maj. Gen. Lafayette to mark the 200th Anniversary of Lafayette’s return to America in 1824 as “guest of the Nation,” in which he visited all 24 states and all surviving presidents.

Yorktown Day; Sat., Oct. 19

The day begins with a wreath-laying ceremony followed by a patriotic parade down Main Street to commemorate the victory at the Siege of Yorktown in 1781. The Fifes and Drums of York Town will perform during the parade and at a special ceremony at the Victory Monument. In addition, visitors may tour the Nelson House, Yorktown Custom House, York County Historical Museum, Watermen’s Museum, the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, and the Battlefield roads.

Yorktown Tea Festival;
Wednesday, Nov. 6 to Friday, Nov. 8 (Ticketed Event)

The goal of the Yorktown Tea Festival is to instill a sense of admiration for the history and traditions of tea and tea drinking in Virginia. The three-day event will include four lectures each day along with special tours at the participating museum and exclusive tastings of regional teas. Lunch and tea time beverages are included in the cost of the daily ticket.

250th Yorktown Tea Party Anniversary; Thursday, Nov. 7 to Sunday, Nov. 10

On November 7, 1774, Thomas Nelson Jr. and his group of fellow patriots marched to the Yorktown waterfront and threw two chests of tea overboard as a show of defiance against the British. This 250th Anniversary celebration will include concerts, ship tours, a Colonial Tea Ball, reenactments, and much more! This event is part of the Yorktown Maritime Heritage and Sea Shanty Festival, which includes tall ships and six stages of live music.

Events are subject to change without notice. For more information, see the Visit Yorktown events website.

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