WILLIAMSBURG-Colonial Williamsburg will once again light up the sky over Colonial Williamsburg’s Governor’s Palace in celebration of Independence Day for its annual signature fireworks display at 9:30pm on Monday July 4. Colonial Williamsburg has planned a weekend of festivities leading up to its grand finale.
“As the birthplace of so many of this nation’s fundamental concepts, Williamsburg is the perfect backdrop for a fantastic fireworks demonstration in our celebration of the Fourth of July,” said Mayor Douglas Pons. “Year after year, we are thrilled to welcome people from near and far to Williamsburg for this spectacular event.”
Beginning Friday, July 1, programming will focus on the historic context of American Independence. Visitors can expect to sit in audiences with Thomas Jefferson and other members of the founding generation, hear readings of the Declaration of Independence, and view militia marches and theatrical performances throughout the July 4 weekend. Sponsored by the City of Williamsburg, evenings in the Historic Area will feature a new four-part concert series leading up to the fireworks display on the evening of July 4.
“Celebrating Independence Day in Williamsburg, where the groundwork of American democracy was laid, reminds us why this holiday matters,” said Cliff Fleet, president and CEO of The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, in a prepared statement. “Our nation has been striving to achieve a more perfect union since its inception. On this day, we celebrate our progress, acknowledge the work ahead, and commit ourselves to achieving our nation’s aspirations as embodied in the Declaration of Independence.”
New Concert Series
A free Colonial Williamsburg American Music Concert Series, produced in partnership with the City of Williamsburg, is making its debut. Guests are invited to bring chairs, blankets, and food to enjoy a variety of American music featured each night of the July 4 weekend.
July 1 – symphonic classics with the Virginia Symphony Orchestra at 7:30pm on Palace Green.
July 2 – big band swing with the Virginia Arts Festival Big Band, featuring jazz vocalist Sharón Clark, at 7:30pm on the Lawn of the Art Museums.
July 3 – patriotic favorites with The U.S. Air Force Heritage of America Band at 7:30pm on the Lawn of the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg.
July 4 – a celebration of the words and music of the American Revolution featuring the Colonial Williamsburg Fifes & Drums at 8pm on Palace Green, culminating in the fireworks display at 9:30pm.
In addition to the concerts leading up to July 4, guests can look forward to the cressets being lit every evening from July 1-4 on Duke of Gloucester Street and participate in 18th-century merrymaking at Chowning’s Tavern beginning at 8pm July 1-3 with free entry and food and drinks available for purchase. On July 2 and 3 beginning at 12:30pm on the South Lawn of the Colonial Capitol, prospective recruits to the Continental Army can participate in a march and military review that is open to the public.
On July 3 from 5pm to 7:30pm, the City of Williamsburg, The College of William & Mary, and the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation are hosting a Community Appreciation Day on the lawn of the Art Museums featuring family-friendly lawn games, large canvases and art materials for a community art project, and free sno-balls and ice cream from Sno-to-Go. To explore additional Colonial Williamsburg programming, visit its website.
July 4 and Fireworks
Highlights of July 4 programming include:
9:30am – Thomas Jefferson reads the Declaration of Independence from the Capitol West balcony.
10:30 am – Salute to the States, a musket volley set to the pomp and pageantry of the Colonial Williamsburg Fifes & Drums in Market Square.
11am – Shields Tavern Independence Day Buffet offered until 5pm.
Noon – a reading of The Declaration of Independence on the steps of the Colonial Courthouse.
4pm – a special performance of “Created Equal,” which explores Black perspectives on equality and freedom in America on the Charlton Stage (requires Colonial Williamsburg admission).
7pm – music and entertainment on the Art Museums Lawn followed by a free, live performance by Good Shot Judy presented by CultureFix and the City of Williamsburg.
8pm – Lights of Freedom, featuring the Colonial Williamsburg Fifes & Drums.
9:30pm – The fireworks display above the Governor’s Palace can be seen from Palace Green, Market Square and the eastern side of the Lawn of the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg. They last about 20 minutes.
Colonial Williamsburg does not offer a rain date for the July 4 fireworks. Communication on the status of the fireworks will be posted on the foundation’s social media channels in the case of unfavorable weather conditions. To opt in for weather related July 4 information via text message, guests are encouraged to text FIREWORKS to 226787.
The fireworks display is the culminating event of the foundation’s celebration of freedom that began with free admission on June 19 in honor of Juneteenth and ends with a weekend of patriotic programming planned throughout the Historic Area. Colonial Williamsburg’s full July 4 programming schedule and admission ticket information are available at colonialwilliamsburg.org/july4.
For additional information about parking, buses, dining, restrooms and more visit the July 4 FAQ page at colonialwilliamsburg.org/july4faq/.