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June 24, 2005

Show your patriotic spirit and reconnect with your "inner 18th-century self" this Fourth of July with CW's family entertainment, fireworks

Reignite your patriotic fervor this July Fourth with Colonial Williamsburg’s weekend-long festivities that are reminiscent of an 18th-century celebration.

The Independence Day weekend merriment
is a result of the noteworthy news arriving from Philadelphia in 1776: a dozen British colonies have followed Virginia’s lead – a decision made in Williamsburg – to choose the path to open rebellion and declare independence from England. The fun, memorable weekend begins Friday, July 1 with exciting and interactive programs that continue throughout the weekend. The celebration wraps up Monday with the July 4 reading of the Declaration of Independence, a popular and longstanding Colonial Williamsburg tradition, and breathtaking fireworks.

Fourth of July Weekend programs include:
Friday, July 1

  • 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. “To Protect American Independence: Military Activities at the Powder Magazine.” Guests are invited to explore special displays, demonstrations and interpretations that tell the Revolutionary War story of the American military. (This program will run throughout the weekend).
  • 1 p.m. “Change is Coming,” at the pasture next to the Cabinetmaker Shop. Gowan Pamphlet, a Baptist leader in the free black and enslaved community, preaches on the promise of liberty.
  • 1:30 – 4:30 p.m. “Children’s Games and Activities,” on Palace Green. Young guests are invited to participate in 18th-century children’s games and activities. (These activities will be repeated 10 a.m. to noon July 3 and 1 to 4 p.m. July 4).
  • 7:30 p.m. “Jefferson and Adams,” at the Kimball Theater. Howard Ginsberg’s compelling three-character stage play tells the story of the turbulent 50-year friendship through the correspondence of Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Abigail Adams. (This program will be repeated at 3 and 7:30 p.m. July 3).

    Saturday, July 2

  • 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. “The Widow’s War,” at the Peyton Randolph site. Peyton Randolph, president of the First Continental Congress, died in the fall of 1775. Now his widow, Elizabeth Harrison Randolph, must manage his estate against the backdrop of revolution. The community of 27 slaves who reside at the Randolph property must decide whether to stay with their mistress or run to the British in search of freedom.
  • Noon “A Friend in Need,” Governor’s Palace Gardens. French General, the Marquis de Lafayette, discusses his involvement in the War of Independence and the vital support of the French army and navy in the American victory at Yorktown.
  • 1 p.m. “Unwavering Black Patriots,” at Market Square. Meet the African-American soldiers of the Rhode Island Regiment.

    Fourth of July festivities begin in Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Area at 10 a.m. with “A Salute to the States” on Market Square featuring the Williamsburg militia, Colonial Williamsburg’s Fifes and Drums, cannon salutes and Revolutionary-era flags representing each of the 13 original colonies.

    At 10:45 a.m. at the Capitol, a re-enactment by Patrick Henry of the first official 1776 reading in the City of Williamsburg of the Declaration of Independence recalls the principles and ideals that first took root in Williamsburg.

    Guests are invited to an exclusive Fourth of July picnic at the Governor’s Palace beginning at 7:15 p.m. The picnic includes box dinners, dancing, storytelling, puppet shows, a private performance by Colonial Williamsburg’s Fifes & Drums and reserved seating for the fireworks for $45 for adults and $25 for children 6-12. Reservations for the picnic must be made by June 29.
    Colorful fireworks light up the sky at 9:15 p.m., concluding the Fourth of July celebration, and casting a spectacular radiance on the town that helped start a nation.

    Fourth of July (Monday) Schedule at a Glance:

  • 10 a.m. “A Salute to the States,” on Market Square featuring the Williamsburg militia.
  • 10:45 a.m. “Reading of the Declaration of Independence,” at the Capitol by Patrick Henry.
  • Noon – 4:30 p.m. “To Protect American Independence: Military Activities at the Powder Magazine.” Special displays and interpretations of the American military of the Revolutionary War.
  • 1 p.m. “A Public Audience with Patrick Henry,” in the Governor’s Palace Gardens. Mr. Henry speaks on American independence.
  • 2 p.m. “In Common with all other Men,” on Market Square. African-American soldiers of the Rhode Island Regiment read a petition written by Bostonian African-Americans following the Declaration of Independence.
  • 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. “The Roots and Branches of American Music,” in the Hennage Auditorium of the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. Celebrate the diversity of American music with folk musician Bob Zentz. This fun family-friendly concert, presented with a sense of history, humanity and humor, explores the origins of American song and tunes, as well as the stories behind the musical instruments on which they are played. The one-hour program is included in all Colonial Williamsburg admission tickets, except the Colonial Sampler Ticket, but requires a free reservation that can be made at any Colonial Williamsburg ticket location.
  • 8:15 p.m. “Music for the Fireworks” on Market Square. Join the Fifes and Drums, and Baroque Trumpets for an evening of music.
  • 9:15 p.m. Fireworks, viewed from the Governor’s Palace Green and Market Square, light up the sky.

    Media Contact:
    Lorraine C. Brooks
    (757) 220-7120

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