Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Colonial Williamsburg to Celebrate Illumination of Historic Buildings

The Courthouse of 1770 is one of five historic Colonial Williamsburg buildings that will be lit up at night from now on. (Courtesy Colonial Williamsburg Foundation)
The Courthouse of 1770 is one of five historic Colonial Williamsburg buildings that will now be lit up at night. (Courtesy Colonial Williamsburg Foundation)

Nighttime in Colonial Williamsburg is about to get brighter.

Five of the area’s most iconic structures will be lit up for the first time Saturday night: the Governor’s Palace, Magazine, Courthouse of 1770, Capitol and Public Hospital.

The City of Williamsburg’s Architectural Review Board approved the lighting of eight buildings last April, but upon further testing and review the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation decided lighting for the George Wythe House, St. George Tucker House and Peyton Randolph House is unnecessary at this time

A ceremony be led by Gen. George Washington, portrayed by historical interpreter Ron Carnegie, will take place at 8 p.m. Saturday to mark the illumination of four of the five buildings slated for lighting. Colonial Williamsburg’s new mascot Liberty will also be in attendance.

Washington will welcome the crowd assembled at the Governor’s Palace before leading a procession down Duke of Gloucester Street that will pass the Courthouse and Magazine before concluding at the Capitol.

Along the way the parade will stop for the firing of muskets, playing of music and ceremonial lighting at each of the four locations. The Fifes and Drums and Continental Army re-enactors will be among the procession.

The decision to begin illuminating some of the historic area’s most recognizable buildings is in keeping with a larger initiative to expand evening programs in Colonial Williamsburg.

Current offerings include a nightly ghost tour that will visit all the most haunted houses and taverns of Colonial Williamsburg for the month of October.

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