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June 3, 2006

CW provides key role in America's 400th Anniversary

The maiden voyage of the newly created replica of the Godspeed heralds the official launch of the events marking America’s 400th Anniversary commemorating the founding of Jamestown in 1607. The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is proud to be a Founding Colony Sponsor of this 18-month commemoration, providing support in several capacities including new programming, new museums, a regional welcome center, and new and expanded lodging and conference facilities.

Colonial Williamsburg will be with the Godspeed dockside as a participant in the Landing Party Festival featuring the signature Colonial Williamsburg Fifes and Drums, live musical performances, family entertainment, and historical and cultural displays. The focus is the legacy of the Historic Triangle—the continuum of history from Jamestown to Williamsburg to Yorktown that laid the foundation of the new American republic.

To bring to life the series of major events and scenes that occupied Williamsburg in revolutionary times, the Foundation earlier this year launched the Revolutionary City program as part of its Education for Citizenship initiative, emphasizing the fundamental importance of citizen participation in a functioning democracy. The Revolutionary City program completes the timeline of events between the landing at Jamestown in 1607 and the Continental Army’s victory at Yorktown in 1781. The Revolutionary City portrays the years 1774-1781 when the townspeople of Williamsburg progressed from subjects to citizens amidst momentous, world-changing events. It is a uniquely American story, presented where the events actually happened.

Colonial Williamsburg’s Visitor Center will serve as the official regional welcome center for the Historic Triangle in connection with the commemoration. Information about the historic sites of Williamsburg, Jamestown and Yorktown will be available at the center, as well as other regional attractions. Ticketing and lodging reservations services also will be provided.

Colonial Williamsburg serves as the official representative of Jamestown 2007 for the purpose of coordinating reservations for lodging, and Colonial Williamsburg’s hotels are the official hotels and conference facilities of the commemoration. In keeping with these roles, a dramatic renovation, restoration and expansion of the acclaimed Williamsburg Lodge and Conference Center are nearly complete. When fully opened later this year, the facility will offer 323 guest rooms; an all-new, state-of-the-art conference center with 45,000 square feet of meeting and banquet spaces including a 12,000-square-foot grand ballroom, a 7,000-square-foot junior ballroom, 28 meeting rooms and four outdoor function areas; and a new restaurant featuring the best of regional southern cuisine. A new 20,000 square-foot fitness center and spa opens in December complementing the Lodge and the recently renovated and award-winning Williamsburg Inn, named by Condé Nast Traveler to the magazine’s Gold List of elite hotels for the discriminating traveler.

Also nearing completion and a December opening is construction of the new Museums of Colonial Williamsburg, featuring a new Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum and the Dewitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. Together, these museums display one of the world’s leading collections of American folk art -- first begun by Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, wife of Colonial Williamsburg founder John D. Rockefeller Jr. -- that includes well-known works such as “Peaceable Kingdom” by Edward Hicks and “Baby in Red Chair” by an unknown artist, and British-American decorative arts dating from the 18th and 19th centuries such as a portrait of George Washington by Charles Willson Peale and a High Chest on Chest by renowned Philadelphia cabinetmaker Thomas Affleck.

Clearly, Colonial Williamsburg is in position to be a full participant and contributor to the commemoration of America’s 400th anniversary, marking the voyage and landing that truly changed the world.

Media Contact:
Tom Shrout
(757) 220-7265