Saturday, December 9, 2023

New events bring some ‘LOVE’ to York County

(WYDaily/Courtesy of York County)
(WYDaily/Courtesy of York County)

A little bit of “LOVE” is coming to York County.

On Wednesday, the county announced it would be hosting Virginia Tourism’s life-sized LOVE artwork at the Yorktown waterfront. Hosting the sign is a part of a state and local partnership to promote tourism in the commonwealth.

“Yorktown is a diverse destination for tourists and residents alike as it appeals to all types of passions and interests,” said Kristi Olsen, the county’s tourism development manager. “Having the LOVE letters bookended by two fantastic community events will hopefully not only encourage visitation but inspire people traveling here for the first time to come back again to eat in our wonderful waterfront restaurants, shop in our locally owned businesses, and explore our wonderful museums and art galleries.”

The artwork is 16 feet long and six feet high. It was created as an extension of the “Virginia is for Lovers” slogan, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

Across the state, there are more than 190 LOVE letters, known as LOVEworks, in towns, cities and welcome centers. Each are made to reflect the uniqueness of the community where it stands.

The letters will be at the waterfront from Nov. 9 to Nov. 16, during which the county will host two events that are part of the Commonwealth’s Customs, Cultures, and Cuisine Festival taking place throughout November — part of the “American Evolution” 2019 Commemoration.

The first event will be the new Maritime Market on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. During this new market, visitors can learn about Virginia’s history and heritage through celebrations and traditions of the people who made a living for centuries on the Chesapeake Bay and its estuaries, such as the York River.

The extended farmers market will give visitors the opportunity to sample oysters, clam chowder and Virginia blue crabs. There will be two seafood chef cooking demonstrations, including one from Chef Tina Borra from Coastal Thirst, who will be making Garlic Lime Shrimp over Avocado-Cilantro Lime Slaw.

Chef Brian Hines from the Riverwalk Restaurant will show shoppers how to make the perfect Lobster Roll.

Guests can also buy nautical-inspired jewelry and unique pieces made with sea glass and sharks’ teeth.

Pirates will be invading the waterfront for the event to talk to guests about seafaring life and there will be a hands-on activity and interactive programs for sea lovers of all ages.

The following Saturday on Nov. 16 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., visitors can also attend the annual Harvest Festival.

This festival gives guests the opportunity to shop for turkeys, sample seasonal treats, and take home unique holiday pieces from local artists. There will be more than 50 vendors selling seasonal fruit and vegetables, meats and poultry, farm milk and eggs, homemade breads and baked goods, kettle corn and flavored popcorn, gourmet dog treats, handmade pretzels and potato chips and more.

There will be free kids crafts, a pie-eating contest sponsored by Carrot Tree, an animal show featuring the Virginia Living Museum, free balloon art and live music from both the Fifes and Drums of York Town and Ralph Motley and the Last Minute Grass.

During both events, guests are encouraged to take a picture with the LOVE sign and post them on social media with the #visityorktown for a chance to win prizes donated by participating Riverwalk Landing businesses and Village events.

Prizes include two pairs of tickets to Blues, Brews & BBQ in the spring, a $25 gift card to Riverwalk Restaurant, a $25 gift card to Water Street Grille, a VA Is for Lovers t-shirt, hat, or mug from Patriot Tours & Provisions, two tumblers from the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, and a double-layer Baby Cake from Carrot Tree-Yorktown, plus breakfast for two at Carrot Tree-Williamsburg.

For more information, visit York County online.

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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