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December 14, 2010

Colonial Williamsburg, Historic Jamestowne Cosponsor 17th-century Holiday Celebration

Sir George Yeardley, Virginia’s governor in 1620, invites guests to a special program at the church at Historic Jamestowne on Jamestown Island at 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 21. ‘At Christmas be merry’: A Special Evening at Historic Jamestowne allows guests to step back into the 17th century for an early Virginia Christmas celebration.

During a Colonial Williamsburg bus ride leaving the Visitor Center, a guide offers insights and background into early English Christmas traditions and gives hints of what the earliest Jamestown settlers expected during Christmastide.

Upon arriving on Jamestown Island, guests will be met by the Captain of the Guard who will escort the new arrivals along a cresset-lit path to the historic church. After a welcome by Governor Yeardley and singing carols, guests will go outside where, in the shadow of the old fort, they will herald in the season by the bonfire with a cup of warm wassail as they witness the firing of the Christmas guns!

Tickets are $18. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 1-800-HISTORY.

This unique Christmas program is presented jointly by The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and Historic Jamestowne.

Historic Jamestowne is jointly administered by Preservation Virginia and the National Park Service and preserves the original site of the first permanent English settlement in the New World. Preservation Virginia and the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation formed a new collaboration in the fall of 2010 with the goal of connecting the histories of Jamestown and Williamsburg through compelling stories of discovery, diversity and democracy. This initiative brings together experts from Historic Jamestowne and Colonial Williamsburg to enhance public archaeology and create a broader, more cohesive guest experience.

Visitors to Historic Jamestowne share the moment of discovery with archaeologists and witness archaeology-in-action at the 1607 James Fort excavation April-October; learn about the Jamestown Rediscovery excavation at the Nathalie P. and Alan M. Voorhees Archaearium, the site's archaeology museum; tour the original 17th-century church tower and reconstructed 17th-century Jamestown Memorial Church; and take a walking tour with a Park Ranger through the New Towne area along the scenic James River. For further information, visit or call (757) 229-0412 or (757) 898-2410.

Preservation Virginia, a private non-profit organization and statewide historic preservation leader founded in 1889, is dedicated to perpetuating and revitalizing Virginia's cultural, architectural and historic heritage thereby ensuring that historic places are integral parts of the lives of present and future generations. Its mission is directly consistent with and supportive of Article XI of the Constitution of Virginia to protect the historical sites and buildings in the Commonwealth benefiting both the Commonwealth and the nation. Preservation Virginia provides leadership, experience, influence and services to the public and special audiences by saving, managing, and protecting historic places, and developing preservation policy, programs, and strategies with individuals, organizations, and local, state, and national partners.

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.

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