Williamsburg at Christmas features classic wreaths and arrangements
made entirely of natural evergreens, fruit, and other objects available
in the mid-1700s in Virginia.
Christmas decorations at Colonial
Williamsburg set the style for the holidays in many American
homes. The Historic Districtic features classic wreaths and arrangements
made entirely of natural evergreens and fruit available in the mid-1700s
Some 700 wreaths and more
than four miles of pine rope adorn every door, mantel and table in the
historic district during the holiday season, from Thanksgiving
Day to New Years Day.
During this period, the
dirt streets of this living history city are lit by some 1200 electric
candles and by torches called cressets that burn wood faggots. Visitors
truly feel they have time-traveled to colonial days when Williamsburg
was the capital of Virginia.
Grand Illumination is the official "kick-off" for Williamsburg’s
Christmas season held each year in early December. This free outdoor
festival is Colonial Williamsburg’s gift to US citizens, and tens
of thousands attend every year.
During the holiday season,
Colonial Williamsburg schedules many special
You can take a seminar
on how to create the traditional Williamsburg decorations (or you can
simply buy them online at www.williamsburgmarketplace.com).
very popular Christmas Decoration Walking Tour, special living
history presentations that recreate the holidays as celebrated in colonial
days, and seasonal concerts fill the month of December.
Don’t miss the exhibit
of antique toys at the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum.
Another holiday must-see:
the apple-bedecked facade of the historic Palmer House.
special Christmas site for more information. Here you'll find
During the Christmas season,
the taverns in the historic district serve traditional holiday
fare adapted from colonial menus, and the Williamsburg
Inn offers a special holiday tea most afternoons.
in Virginia's Historic Triangle, holiday celebrations invite
visitors to see Yorktown and Jamestown in festive garb.
The historic houses of
are decorated for the season, while the community celebrates with Fife
and Drum concerts, bonfires and a boat parade.
Christmas events at the
Settlement illustrate how the earliest settlers and their Native
American neighbors spent the holidays.
the James River Plantations of Berkeley
(site of America's first official Thanksgiving), Edgewood
host elegant teas, progressive luncheons and dinners, and decorating
of William & Mary, located in downtown Williamsburg, celebrates
the season with a number of traditional celebrations including a Yule
Log Ceremony and a special reading of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas"
by the college president.
An instructor at William
& Mary is credited with introducing the custom of decorated Christmas
trees from Germany in 1842. Today, the college's Christmas tree, located
on the Wren Building porch, is adorned with paper doves bearing messages
Holiday season concludes on New Year's Eve with Williamsburg’s
First Night, an alcohol-free celebration featuring music, dancing,
theater and food at various locations throughout Colonial Williamsburg
and the College of William and Mary.
historic buildings and museums of Colonial Williamsburg are open 365
days a year, including Christmas Day and New Years. You can find much
more information at www.history.org
or call 800.HISTORY.
For more information on
events in and around Williamsburg, plus special packages, go to www.VisitWilliamsburg.com
or call 800-368-6511.
in Square Dancing Today, 2003
Photo credits: Photo courtesy
of Colonial Williamsburg Foundation (top) and the Williamsburg Area
Convention and Visitors Bureau.
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