Thursday, November 30, 2023

Jamestown and Yorktown to make merry like colonists

Halls decked with period greenery
Halls will be decked with holiday greens during “A Colonial Christmas,” a month-long celebration at Jamestown and Yorktown. (Photo courtesy Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation)

If holiday preparations are weighing you down, be grateful you don’t have to make your own candles.

On Thursday, Dec. 1, Jamestown Settlement and the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown will kick off a tribute to holiday traditions of the 17th and 18th centuries.

The month-long event, “A Colonial Christmas,” runs through Dec. 31, according to a release. Highlights include period-specific holiday decorations, food and music.

Throughout the month, Jamestown Settlement will host demonstrations of winter activities such as food preservation and hunting techniques.

At the recreated fort, there will be holiday greenery and cooking demonstrations.

Between Dec. 23 and Dec. 31, visitors can take in a 17th-century English holiday tradition, the Lord of Misrule, a character known for mischief.

Christmas during wartime will be spotlighted at the Yorktown Museum, with tales of the season in Revolutionary-era military encampments and daily artillery demonstrations at 11 a.m and 3 p.m.

There will also be holiday preparations on a Revolutionary-era farm, with candle making, open-hearth cooking and a farmhouse table set for a feast.

Both venues will feature 17th and 18th-century holiday music from Dec. 26-31. Artists scheduled to appear include fiddler David Gardner, Barry and Lynn Trott and the Itinerant Band.

Performances will be at the American Revolution Museum at 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. and at Jamestown at 11:30 a.m. and 3 p.m.

A single ticket good at both museums costs $21.25 for adults and $10.75 for children aged 6-12. Free admission is available to residents of James City County, York County and the City of Williamsburg, including students from the College of William & Mary.

For more information, go here.

Joan Quigley
Joan Quigley
Joan Quigley is a former Miami Herald business reporter, a graduate of Columbia Journalism School and an attorney. Her writing has appeared in the Washington Post,, and Talking Points Memo. Her recent book, Just Another Southern Town: Mary Church Terrell and the Struggle for Racial Justice in the Nation’s Capital, was shortlisted for the 2017 Mark Lynton History Prize. Her first book, The Day the Earth Caved In: An American Mining Tragedy, won the 2005 J. Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress Award.

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