Colonial Williamsburg® The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation's Official History and Citizenship Website

Page content
Reset text sizeResize text larger

May 14, 2010

Enjoy a cookout and an 18th-century traveling show at Chowning’s Tavern

Owen Murdock, the lively emcee of A Grand Medley of Entertainments, invites you and your family to gather at Colonial Williamsburg’s Chowning’s Tavern at 5:30 p.m. on Saturdays, May 29, June 19-Aug. 28 and Sept. 4 for a cookout, followed by an 18th-century traveling show.

Murdock’s Miniature Medley features new diversions and old favorites performed outdoors at the Play Booth, a short walk from Chowning’s Tavern.
Before the circus and before vaudeville, there was the 18th-century traveling show. This type of variety show that entertained Founding Fathers George Washington and Thomas Jefferson depicts amazing feats, strange beasts and fast-paced hilarity.

But when Mr. Murdock’s intrepid performers present an entertainment, things often do not happen as planned. Instead of amazing feats and strange beasts, this comedy of errors and missteps more often results in dazed actors and confused happenings. Acts alternate every week, in true early stage fashion, and can include dancing, rope walking, animal tricks, stories, juggling and magic.

The Chowning’s Tavern cookout features a garden salad, hot dogs, hamburger or cheeseburger, pork barbecue sandwich, two pieces of Southern fried chicken, potato salad and cole slaw. Dessert includes cookies and brownies. Beverages are included. After dinner, cast members will escort the audience from the tavern to the Play Booth, where they will enjoy a show unlike any other.
Cost for adults and youth ages 6-17 is $25 and children under six are $12. For reservations, call (757) 229-2141.

At Chowning’s Tavern, guests enjoy dining experiences similar to those of patrons who frequented these establishments in the years leading up to the American Revolution. Chowning’s offers casual quick fare daily in the tavern garden, weather permitting. Here guests may enjoy simple fare such as sandwiches, salads, hamburgers, chowder and cookies in the shade of tall trees behind the tavern. Full wait-serviced midday fare is served from 11:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. inside the tavern and includes freshly made sandwiches, salads and delicious desserts.

Chowning’s Tavern is located near Market Square at 109 E. Duke of Gloucester St.

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational and cultural institution dedicated to the preservation, interpretation and presentation of the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia. This town-sized living history museum tells the inspirational stories of our journey to become Americans through programs in the Historic Area and through the award-winning Revolutionary City© program. Explore The Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg and discover the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum featuring the best in British and American decorative arts from 1670 – 1830 and the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum home to the nation’s premier collection of American folk art, comprising more than 5,000 folk art objects made during the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. Colonial Williamsburg Hotels feature conference spaces and recreation activities from spa and fine dining to world-class golf. Colonial Williamsburg is committed to expanding its thought-provoking programming through education outreach on-site and online. Purchase of Colonial Williamsburg products and services supports the preservation, research and educational programs of the Foundation.

Williamsburg is located in Virginia’s Tidewater region, 20 minutes from Newport News, within an hour’s drive of Richmond and Norfolk, and 150 miles south of Washington, D.C. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s website at

Media Contact:
Penna Rogers
(757) 220-7121