Friday, January 27, 2023

Grand Illumination Celebration Kicks off This Weekend

The Grand Illumination on Palace Green in 2015. (Image courtesy of The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation)

WILLIAMSBURG — The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation (CWF) Grand Illumination celebration kicks off this Saturday from 5-6 p.m.

The Grand Illumination’s fireworks display over the historic Williamsburg area is a CWF tradition going back over 85 years. This year, CWF is hosting Grand Illumination celebrations on three separate evenings throughout the month of December:

  • Dec. 3, from 5-7:30 p.m.
  • Dec. 10, from 5-7:30 p.m.
  • Dec. 17, from 5-7:30 p.m.

“Each evening includes seasonal music, the lighting of the cressets, storytelling on Palace Green, a special appearance by Father Christmas, and a procession led by the Colonial Williamsburg Fifes & Drums culminating in fireworks demonstrations in the Historic Area over the Governor’s Palace and the Capitol,” CWF stated in an announcement.

According to CWF, additional holiday programming is free and open to the public, including:

  • Lighting of the Cressets, Dec. 23-24 — Lit cressets (metal baskets of wood mounted from poles and used as an early form of street lighting) will illuminate historic Duke of Gloucester Street as musicians stroll the city. 6-9 p.m.
  • Intersections, Dec. 1-3, 8-10, 15-17, 22-24, and 29-31 — Costumed historic interpreters will bring the streets of the Historic Area to life with this free street theater program in front of the Raleigh Tavern in which residents of Williamsburg prepare for an 18th-century holiday ball. 10-10:25 a.m.
  • Celebration of the Yule Log, Dec. 9 and 16 — The Yule log will be hauled by a wagon from Capitol Circle to Market Square where it will be added to a bonfire accompanied by holiday music, festivities, and the lighting of the cressets. 6-8 p.m.

Those seeking more information on ticketed holiday programming and dining experiences should explore the Colonial Williamsburg Holiday Planner. To purchase tickets and find up-to-date event information, visit colonialwilliamsburg.org and follow Colonial Williamsburg on Facebook and @colonialwmsburg on Twitter and Instagram.

For additional information on the December Grand Illumination celebrations, please visit colonialwilliamsburg.org/gifaq.

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