Wednesday, July 6, 2022

More details set in stone for new Fourth of July events in Colonial Williamsburg

The Summer Breeze concert series is planned to take place on the lawn of the Dewitt Wallace Decorative Art Museum. (Andrew Harris/WYDaily)
New Fourth of July events are being planned for the lawn of the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum in Colonial Williamsburg, where the Summer Breeze concert series has previously taken place. (WYDaily/File photo)

More details are being set in stone for this year’s Fourth of July events in Williamsburg.

During a meeting Wednesday, the Williamsburg Economic Development Authority discussed the new and upcoming Fourth of July events, which are set to bring a hot air balloon and Uncle Dave’s Kettle Corn and drinks for a nickel to downtown.

There may also be live music such as a barbershop quartet or an Americana band playing music on the stage normally used for the Summer Breeze Concert Series.

The new events, which will run from around noon to 4 p.m. July 4, are part of a push to increase attendance for Williamsburg’s Fourth of July and help the Colonial Capital “own” the patriotic holiday.

Last month, EDA Chairman Adam Steely told WYDaily Fourth of July events have traditionally been handled by nonprofit Colonial Williamsburg.

While the extent of Colonial Williamsburg’s involvement with the event was not set in stone for last month’s EDA meeting, it is now established the foundation will be a sponsor for the event, Steely said.

Colonial Williamsburg is waiving its $1,000 rental fee for the lawn of the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum in return for being recognized as a sponsor.

Steely is working with ASPIRE Young Professionals and Housing Partnerships to gather volunteers to sell drinks, manage the lines and sell tickets. In total, the event will need about 18 volunteers, he said Wednesday.

“We’re talking about 11 to 4… so you’re home in time to turn your grill on,” Steely said about volunteers working the event.

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At its last meeting in April, the EDA previously agreed to release $10,000 to fund the new Fourth of July activities.

The hot air balloon contract will cost about $4,800 for four hours, $2,000 for food and drinks, and $2,000 for entertainment such as a band and decor.

ASPIRE will get a portion of the revenue from hot air balloon ticket sales, which will be sold for $10 per person.

The event will also include an egg toss. Organizers are still hashing out details about that, including whether the eggs will be hard boiled or raw and whether there will be multiple rounds.

Volunteers may also sell bubble glow sticks for $5 each.

During the meeting, the EDA also agreed to give $500 to the Kiwanis Club of Williamsburg Ice Cream Social on the Fourth of July. The authority could potentially consider giving more money for the social with the submission of an official proposal.

If the July 4 events get rained out, there is a possibility of setting a rain date for the weekend following the holiday, Steely said.

The EDA may also be able to recoup a portion of its money if weather is foul.

Sarah Fearing
Sarah Fearing is the Assistant Editor at WYDaily. Sarah was born in the state of Maine, grew up along the coast, and attended college at the University of Maine at Orono. Sarah left Maine in October 2015 when she was offered a job at a newspaper in West Point, Va. Courts, crime, public safety and civil rights are among Sarah’s favorite topics to cover. She currently covers those topics in Williamsburg, James City County and York County. Sarah has been recognized by other news organizations, state agencies and civic groups for her coverage of a failing fire-rescue system, an aging agriculture industry and lack of oversight in horse rescue groups. In her free time, Sarah enjoys lazing around with her two cats, Salazar and Ruth, drinking copious amounts of coffee and driving places in her white truck.

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