Thursday, April 18, 2024

Celebrate the Fourth of July at the heart of the Revolutionary City

Colonial Williamsburg has a series of events planned to celebrate the Fourth of July. (Courtesy of Colonial Williamsburg)
Colonial Williamsburg has a series of events planned to celebrate the Fourth of July. (WYDaily/Courtesy of Colonial Williamsburg)

Celebrate independence this Fourth of July in the Revolutionary City with a series of events from Colonial Williamsburg.

“At Colonial Williamsburg, America’s birthday reminds us of our calling to share our Nation’s enduring story,” said Mitchell B. Reiss, president and CEO of Colonial Williamsburg, in a release from Colonial Williamsburg. “Independence Day is a special opportunity to feed the human spirit through celebration and reflection upon America’s ongoing pursuit of a more perfect union. We look forward to hosting guests from around the globe for exciting programs and a remarkable fireworks display.”

The Independence Day events begin at 8 a.m. with a breakfast celebration from Shields Tavern in the Pavilion area with Thomas Jefferson. Tickets for the brunch are $39.95 for adults and $24.95 for a child.

The Historic Area site will open to ticketed guests at 9 a.m. with a reading of the Declaration of Independence by young Thomas Jefferson from the Capitol Building’s west balcony at 9:30 a.m. Following the reading, there will be a special military muster, Salute to the States, at 10 a.m. on Market Square, which celebrates the original 13 Colonies.

The Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg will be open to guests from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. At 10:15 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., there will be two special Fourth of July programs where guests can create a patriotic works of art to take home.

The special programs start at 10:15 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., and each runs about an hour and 15 minutes.

There also will be two celebrations for the 90th anniversary of Bristol Sessions, known as the “Big Band” of country music. The shows are scheduled for 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. in Hennage Auditorium. A separate $5 ticket in required in addition to museum admission tickets.

For the first time this year, at noon on the Courthouse steps, there will be a second group reading of the Declaration of Independence. The cast of Colonial Williamsburg Nation Builders will read the Declaration, and the Colonial Williamsburg Fifes and Drums will also perform.

From 4-6 p.m. at the Williamsburg Lodge, guests can dine at an all-American buffet with live music, a cash bar, games, crafts and a visit from Liberty, Colonial Williamsburg’s mascot. Tickets are $49.95 for adults and $19.95 for children from three to ten years of age.

Chowning’s Tavern will offer an Independence Day Celebration dinner from 6-9 p.m. as a VIP dinner before the fireworks show with live music and games. Tickets are $76 for adults, and $38 for children.

Another dining option is available at the King’s Arms Tavern with a four-course Thomas Jefferson Wine Dinner. Guests must be 21 or older and tickets are $150 each. The dinner also includes a special reserved seating on the Palace Green for the fireworks show.

As a part of the Summer Breeze Concert Series, the U.S. Air Force Heritage of America Band will perform from 4-6 p.m. on the Art Museum lawn. Following this, there will be a performance from 7-9 p.m. from Brasswind.

The annual fireworks display will be accompanied by a soundtrack of 18th-century and popular Americana songs with the title selection co-written by Colonial Williamsburg Creative Director for Signature Events Bill Schermerhorn and Grammy award-winning composer Doug Katsaros.

“Last year’s premiere of ‘Lights of Freedom’ began a new musical tradition for Colonial Williamsburg’s Independence Day festivities,” Schermerhorn said. “We look forward to marking this year’s grand American holiday with an equally moving fireworks display that celebrates every American.”

The fireworks seating on the Governor’s Palace Green will be available to the public. Tickets are $25 per chair and will available at all Colonial Williamsburg ticketing locations as well as online.

For more information or to purchase tickets, call 855-296-6627 or visit Colonial Williamsburg online.

Correction: An earlier version of this article stated special Fourth of July programs at the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg will run from 10:15 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.  There are two programs, one that starts at 10:15 a.m., and a second that starts at 1:30 p.m. Each program is about an hour and 15 minutes long. 

Alexa Doiron
Alexa Doiron
Alexa Doiron is a multimedia reporter for WYDaily. She graduated from Roanoke College and is currently working on a master’s degree in English at Virginia Commonwealth University. Alexa was born and raised in Williamsburg and enjoys writing stories about local flair. She began her career in journalism at the Warhill High School newspaper and, eight years later, still loves it. After working as a news editor in Blacksburg, Va., Alexa missed Williamsburg and decided to come back home. In her free time, she enjoys reading Jane Austen and playing with her puppy, Poe. Alexa can be reached at

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