The largest part of the Colonial Williamsburg celebration is The Grand Illumination, held in the historic area of Colonial Williamsburg from 5:15pm-7:30pm on December 8, 2013.
Musical performance on multiple stages and fireworks from three different locations – the Capitol, Magazine, and Palace – make this event one of the most popular of the season. The musical performances will begin promptly at 5:15pm and the firework displays will take place at 7:00pm. Prior to the event, the day is filled with special concerts and caroling, special meals at the historic taverns, walking tours showcasing decorations and houses, and demonstration drills by the colonial militia.
The Grand Illumination holds special significance at Colonial Williamsburg as it represents a tradition of the 18th Century. In that time, illuminations – the firing of guns and lighting of fireworks – were held to celebrate major events such as the commemoration of the birth of the reigning sovereign, great military victories, or the arrival of a new colonial governor. Come early to view the decorations and enjoy musical performances from multiple stages throughout the Historic Area.
Colonial Williamsburg Virginia hosts a variety of other events throughout December. Some do charge admission, but generally it is a nominal amount. One of the most popular events is the Revolutionary Victory Ball, where participants celebrate the victorious battle of American and French forces against the British. Held at Raleigh Tavern’s Apollo Room, the event includes a special mass, the “Te Deum" is sung, and soldiers parade and fire musket and cannon salutes. Another is the Holiday Pops Concert. Presented by Williamsburg's professional orchestra, the annual Holiday Pops Concert features a festive program of seasonal music. The Christmas Home Walking Tour is also interesting, as visitors walk to several houses where performers stage vignettes showing how people from various classes celebrated the holiday.
Christmas Eve at Colonial Williamsburg is a special day, with a ceremonial firing of the muskets and canon, town tree lighting, and free entertainment at the Capitol.
Purchase a Williamsburg vacation today to experience a colonial Christmas.
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