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Friday, May 24, 2024

Here’s how you can celebrate the holidays with a bit of history

Visitors to Jamestown Settlement and the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown can prepare to go back in time with holiday events.

Two events will cover the holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas in a historical light. 

First, the “Foods and Feasts of Colonial Virginia” event will explore foodways of the 17th and 18th century in Virginia. The event will cover centuries-old cooking traditions and preservation methods.

At Jamestown Settlement, visitors can watch as historical interpreters demonstrate food gathering and preservation. There will also be examples of how food was prepared on land and at sea by English colonists and Powhatan Indians.

At the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, visitors can learn about typical soldiers’ fare during the Revolutionary War and trace products of a period-style farm from field to kitchen. Food during the demonstrations are not for consumption, however, visitors can experience a traditional Thanksgiving dinner at the Jamestown Settlement Cafe. 

Food and Feasts will be from Nov. 28 to Nov. 30 at Jamestown Settlement and the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown.

To celebrate Christmas, the two locations will feature the program “Christmastide in Virginia” from Dec. 20 to Dec. 31.

Special interpretive programs and period musical entertainment will be available to visitors at Jamestown Settlement. There will also be daily appearances from the Lord of Misrule, “grand captain of all mischief.” These programs will allow visitors to compare and contrast English Christmas traditions with the customs observed by English colonists during the early years of the Jamestown colony.

At the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, visitors can hear accounts of Christmas and winter in a Continental Army encampment as well as view holiday preparations at a period farm.

RELATED STORY: The women of Jamestown come to life with new exhibit and tours

Throughout the holiday season, visitors can enjoy immersive indoor gallery exhibits at both locations in addition to two ongoing special exhibitions. 

Jamestown Settlement is currently featuring the exhibit “TENACITY: Women in Jamestown and Early Virginia.”

At the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, visitors can view the exhibit. “Forgotten Soldier: African Americans in the Revolutionary War.”

For more information, visit

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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