YORKTOWN — Oct. 19 will mark the return of the annual Yorktown Day parade, a townwide celebration that will commemorate the 241st anniversary of the decisive Revolutionary War victory at Yorktown.
The Yorktown Day parade, one of the commemorative events canceled last year due to COVID-19 concerns, is part of a multi-day schedule of events and activities planned for Oct. 15-19. The parade starts On Main Street at 10:30 a.m. on Oct. 19.
American Revolution Museum At Yorktown — Oct. 15
The historical festivities kick off this weekend, Oct. 15, at the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown. The museum has scheduled a special event that will feature live musical performances from the Fifes and Drums of Yorktown, and interpretive demonstrations such as cooking, fabric dyeing, and artillery demonstrations.
The Artillery Demonstrations are scheduled for 11 a.m., 2:30 p.m., and 4 p.m., and after each demonstration, there is a firing salute scheduled in honor of the victory at Yorktown. The Fifes and Drums of York Town are set to perform at 11:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. in the Continental Army encampment.
According to Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, guests can ‘meet’ French general Jean-Baptise Donatien de Vimeur, comte de Rochambeau, in a first-person portrayal by Michael Halbert at both 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m.
The commemorative event is included with museum admission. The price is $18 for adults and $9 for children ages 6-12. Admission is free for children ages 5 and under. Residents of York County, James City County, and the City of Williamsburg, including William & Mary students, receive complimentary admission with proof of residency. The museum says it will also offer free admission to active duty, reserve, and retired military personnel and up to three family members with military identification.
Wreath-Laying Ceremonies — Oct. 18 at Historic Yorktown
Two wreath-laying ceremonies are scheduled for Oct. 18. — a ceremony honoring the British will take place at 10:45 a.m. in the garden at the Nelson House at the plaque of General Charles Cornwallis, and shortly after, at 11:30 a.m., there will be another wreath-laying ceremony honoring the Loyalists at the Queen’s Rangers commemorative plaque along the York River waterfront. The ceremonies are sponsored by The Royal Canadian Legion, Lord Louis Mountbatten, Early of Burma, and Post 180 of Virginia.
Self-Guided Battlefield Tours — Oct. 19 at Colonial National Park — Yorktown Battlefield
The Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation says self-guided tours at Colonial National Historical Park — Yorktown Battlefield, including battlefield tour roads and grounds, are open daily from 6 a.m. to sunset. The Yorktown Battlefield Visitor Center and Eastern National Park Store are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
According to the Foundation, the Nelson House, Dudley Diggs Home, Swan Tavern, and Poor Potter sites located throughout the village of Yorktown will be open for self-guided tours on Oct. 19, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Yorktown Battlefield also will offer free admission as part of the celebration.
Yorktown Day Parade — Oct. 19 at Yorktown Battlefield and Historic Yorktown
The Yorktown Day Parade is scheduled to step off at 9:30 a.m.
The parade will follow a route down Yorktown’s Mainstreet, passing the Monument to Alliance and Victory. The event will feature 35 parade units representing all branches of the U.S. military, Fife and Drum Corps, including The U.S. Army Old Guard Fife & Drum Corps JROTC and NJROTC units, and patriotic organizations.
Colonial National Historical Park wreath-laying ceremonies are scheduled for 11 a.m. at the Monument to Alliance and Victory.
According to Jamestown Yorktown Foundation, the ceremonies will honor British, French, and Canadian forces in memory of those who fought and died during the siege of Yorktown in 1781.
The pageant of the flags, slated for 11:15 a.m. at the Monument to Alliance and Victory, will feature American and French colors, the flags of the 50 states and the District of Columbia, and the flags of the 13 Yorktown Day Association members.
Yorktown Day commemorative events are co-sponsored by the Yorktown Day Association and the National Park Service, Colonial National Historical Park.
For more information on Yorktown Day and other events taking place this weekend, please check out visityorktown.org.