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Colonial Williamsburg Plans To Bring Back Grand Illumination

WILLIAMSBURG-Hot off the heels of its successful 4th of July fireworks celebration, Colonial Williamsburg released on July 15 the schedule for its popular Grand Illumination event that will kick off the holiday season locally in December.

This year, Grand Illumination programming and fireworks will be spread out over three weekends: December 3-4, December 10-11, and December 17-18.

“We have much to be grateful for in 2021,” said Cliff Fleet, president and CEO of The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, in a release.  “The pandemic is finally releasing its grip on our community and life is starting to return to normal. This holiday season, we invite guests to gather and reflect on our friendships and living in such a welcoming community.”

Grand Illumination festivities will include traditional programming as well as a few new events.

The Grand Illumination celebrations will begin at 6pm on the Friday of each of the specified weekends with a community Yule Log procession along Duke of Gloucester Street and a bonfire near the Magazine followed by other entertainment including music and storytelling.

Saturday events will include a presentation of the original holiday story, 18th-century music, an appearance by Father Christmas, and will conclude with a fireworks display at the Governor’s Palace and the Capitol Building. Special programming will also be held at the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg during all three Grand Illumination weekends.

For a complete schedule of Colonial Williamsburg’s Grand Illumination weekends, visit

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