It’s time to gather with friends, family, and neighbors to celebrate the season. Whether it’s shopping the holiday markets to support local businesses, sharing the magic of imagination with your children, or simply taking in the Christmas lights as reflecting off the York River—it’s such a festive time of year!
Christmas Tree Lighting
Victory Monument & Yorktown Waterfront
Friday, Dec. 3 | Monument Festivities begin at 6:30 p.m. | Tree Lighting at 7:30 p.m.
This community tradition dates back to 1945. Gather at the Yorktown Victory Monument by 6:30 p.m. for live music, including a performance by the Fifes and Drums of York Town. The procession will make its way from the Victory Monument to Riverwalk Landing, where the tree lighting ceremony will begin. Make sure you stay for a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus!
Christmas Market on Main Street
Historic Main Street
Saturday, Dec. 4 | 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 5 | 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Close to 100 vendors line the street selling handcrafted and home-baked goods. On Saturday, the Town Crier rings in the market at 10 a.m., followed by a performance from the Fifes and Drums of York Town. Santa will also greet families. Strolling entertainers will perform and an ice carver demo takes place Sunday at York Hall.
The Watermen’s Museum will be at the market making colonial ornaments with guests. Down at the museum, the Yorktown Yuletide event takes place Saturday from 10 to 5—featuring a Viking encampment, Santa Claus, and a Comparative Christmas display.
Lighted Boat Parade
Saturday, Dec. 4 | Pre-parade festivities begin at 6 p.m. | Boat Parade begins at 7 p.m.
Pre-parade festivities start at 6 p.m. and include caroling around a beach bonfire, a musical performance by the Fifes and Drums of York Town, and complimentary hot cider. The boats will finish out the evening with a dazzling show of lights that starts at 7 p.m.
Cookies with Santa
Gallery at York Hall
Sunday, Dec. 5 | 1 to 4 p.m.
During this complimentary festive event, Santa will stay socially distanced. Bring your phones or cameras (and face masks) so the kids can drop off their wish lists! Don’t forget to stop inside the Gallery to pick up unique Christmas presents handcrafted by local artists.
Saturday, Dec. 11 | 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Browse the market for chowders and soups; baked goods including an assortment of cakes, breads, brownies, fudge, cookies; jams, jellies, and honey; candles and soaps; and seasonal art! March in the annual Toyland Parade and hop aboard the Riverwalk Landing Polar Express for a loop around the festivities. A professional ice carver will provide a fascinating demonstration.
Wreaths Across America
Yorktown National Cemetery
Saturday, Dec. 18 | 12 p.m.
Fresh Christmas wreaths will be placed on grave markers at the Yorktown National Cemetery to pay tribute to fallen war veterans in this ceremony conducted by the Yorktown Coast Guard Station and members of local organizations. This event is open to the public, with parking at the Battlefield Visitor Center.
Christmastide in Virginia
American Revolution Museum at Yorktown
Dec. 18 – Dec. 31 (Closed Christmas Day) | 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Learn about winter camp life and hear accounts of Christmas during the war. Assist the quartermaster in preparing military supplies and observe exciting artillery demonstrations! At the clapboard farmhouse—historical interpreters compare and contrast 18th-century holiday traditions with modern ones. Set a farmhouse table for a holiday feast and decorate with greenery.
Historic Yorktown’s many shops and restaurants will also offer pre-made gift baskets, gift certificates, and other unique stocking stuffer ideas! www.visityorktown.org
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