January 31, 2012
Colonial Williamsburg Honors All Current and Former Presidents With Free Admission During Presidents Day Weekend
Colonial Williamsburg invites all current and former presidents to enjoy free admission during Presidents Day Weekend Feb. 18-20. The offer applies to any guest who has ever served as president of any group or organization — a company, a club, even an elementary school class.
Colonial Williamsburg celebrates the value and virtue of leadership with special programs that include opportunities to interact with some of the nation’s first chief executives. Begin the weekend at 9 a.m. Saturday, Feb 18 with “Breakfast with the Presidents” at the Williamsburg Lodge. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison — portrayed by actor-interpreters — engage guests in a lively discussion as they offer guidance and wisdom learned from their experiences in Williamsburg and their lives as national leaders. A separate ticket is required.
Following breakfast, an escort by the Fifes and Drums leads participants to the Capitol and additional experiences with the Presidents. Guests find Gen. Washington in the House of Burgesses relating his 15 years of service there as an elected legislator. Thomas Jefferson is in the Joint Conference Room confiding with guests about his efforts as governor to re-write the laws of Virginia. In the General Court, James Madison discusses the Virginia Declaration of Rights and Jefferson’s Statute for Religious Freedom.
Patrick Henry, portrayed by actor-interpreter Richard Schumann, recalls the Williamsburg lives of Washington, Jefferson and Madison in “From a Virginia Governor…” at 11:45 a.m. Saturday in the Hennage Auditorium of the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum.
George Washington, portrayed by actor-interpreter Ron Carnegie, reflects on his long career in public service during “A Public Audience with the First President, George Washington,” presented three times during the weekend at 3:30 p.m. Saturday in the Hennage Auditorium, and at 1:45 and 3 p.m. Sunday at the Courthouse of 1770.
The Virginia Company performs a special concert “To Washington’s Health” — a collection of songs and instrumental tunes familiar to the first President — at 7 and 8:30 p.m. Saturday at the Capitol. Reflecting the breadth and character of music during his lifetime, the music includes pieces composed in Washington’s honor, songs heard at Mount Vernon, tunes to which he danced, and airs and instrumental works he enjoyed at the theater and in concert. A separate ticket is required.
Martha Washington, portrayed by actor-interpreter Lee Rose, appears at 10:30 a.m. Sunday to define the First Lady’s role during “The Duties of the President’s Wife: A Conversation with Martha Washington,” presented in the Hennage Auditorium.
President Thomas Jefferson, portrayed by actor-interpreter Bill Barker, reviews his long career in public service during “A Public Audience with the Third President –Thomas Jefferson” at 12:15 p.m. in the Hennage Auditorium. He reflects on his role in the Revolution, drafting the Declaration of Independence, his term as governor of Virginia during the war, service as ambassador to France and Secretary of State — all leading to his election as President.
The Colonial Williamsburg Fifes and Drums and artillery crews perform a stirring “Salute to the Presidents” at 4 p.m. Sunday on Market Square with Presidents Washington, Jefferson and Madison in attendance.
The Presidents Day Weekend comes to close with a pair of evening programs. “An Evening with the Presidents” is presented at 7:30 p.m. Sunday in the Kimball Theater at Merchants Square as Presidents Washington, Jefferson and Madison discuss the roles and relationship of the Executive to the Legislative Branch. “A Concert: From Coronation to Inauguration” fills the Governor’s Palace with an elegant evening of music at 7:30 and 9:00 p.m. Sunday in the home of the first two governors of the new Commonwealth of Virginia: Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson. The evening programs require a special separate ticket.
A Colonial Williamsburg admission ticket or Good Neighbor Card provides access to most Presidents Day Weekend programs, unless a separate ticket is required. For more information about Breakfast with the Presidents and Kimball Theater programming, visit www.colonialwilliamsburg.com.
Programs and exhibitions at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation’s DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum are supported by the DeWitt Wallace Endowment Fund.
The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational and cultural organization 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, 20th and 21st 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. Philanthropic support by individuals, corporations, and foundations benefits the educational mission of The Colonial Williamsburg 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 www.history.org.