Friday, January 27, 2023

‘At Christmas be Mery’ Returns to Historic Jamestowne

Gathering around the bonfire for “At Christmas be Mery” at Historic Jamestowne. (Courtesy of Jamestown Rediscovery)

JAMESTOWN — Visitors to Historic Jamestowne will be able to experience a 17th-century Virginia Christmas this holiday season.

Jamestown Rediscovery announced it is bringing back “‘At Christmas be Mery’: A Special Evening at Historic Jamestowne” for the 2022 holiday season Dec. 10 at 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

According to Jamestown Rediscovery, “At Christmas be Mery” explores the origins of traditions now commonly associated with Christmas and the holiday season, including hanging evergreens, caroling, and observing the winter solstice.

The Holiday program features costumed interpreters, a bonfire, madrigal singers, and caroling.

This year, Jamestown Rediscovery added the Old Dominion University (ODU) Madrigal Singers, directed by Dr. Bianca Hall, to the historical festivities. The Mardrigal Singers will perform songs that would have been familiar to the early Jamestown Colonists, Jamestown Rediscovery said.

Historic interpreter Amy Stallings in “At Christmas be Mery” at Historic Jamestowne. (Courtesy of Jamestown Rediscovery)

Visitors will step back in time to 1621 to join Sir Francis Wyatt, the colony’s newly arrived Governor and other leading Virginia dignitaries at the site of the 1617/18 Church (Memorial Church). Jamestown Island will light up with fire as guests are escorted by The Captain of the Guard along a cresset-lit path to the site.

According to Jamestown Rediscovery, the title “At Christmas be Mery” is taken from a poem in Fiue [Five] Hundred Pointes of Good Husbandrie by English poet Thomas Tusser that was published in 1580:

“At Christmas be mery, and thanks god of all: and feast thy pore neighbors, the great with the small, yea al the yere long, have an eie [eye] to the poore: and god shall sende luck, to kepe open thy doore.”

The event will be held rain or shine. Tickets are limited and are priced at $25. All tickets must be bought online in advance.

For more information on the event and where to buy tickets, visit the event’s page Historic Jamestowne’s official website.

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