This Year's Special Events in Williamsburg, VA

From the arts to food to family fun, Greater Williamsburg’s can’t-miss moments offer more exciting reasons than ever to visit in 2018.

Enjoy down-home blues musicians at the Yorktown Blues, Brews & BBQ festival
Fireworks over the Governor's Palace
Fireworks over the Governor's Palace spectacular no matter what time of year
Cheer on the world's best women golfers at the next Kingsmill Championship
There are food events for all seasons

Williamsburg offers an array of activities and events to enjoy during any season of the year. From Jamestown Day in the spring to the celebration of Independence Day in the summer, Halloween celebrations at Howl-o-Scream in Busch Gardens to a colonial celebration of Christmas, there's always something to celebrate in Williamsburg.

Spring

Williamsburg Taste Festival, April 20 - 22

The Williamsburg Taste Festival, formerly the Williamsburg Harvest Celebration, is a celebration of fresh, local food and craft beverages. Combine original culinary authenticity with Southern hospitality and you have the ingredients for an amazing series of events, all happening November 9-12, 2017. An all new Culinary Village will be located at 412 N. Boundary Street in front of the Williamsburg Community building. Evening Out and About events offer you the chance to explore more of our culinary excellence! 

Jamestown Day, May 12:

Mark the 411th anniversary of the founding of America's first permanent English settlement with weaponry demonstrations, traditional music, historical programs, and the sailing of one of Jamestown Settlement’s replica 1607 ships on the James River. Activities take place in Historic Jamestown and Jamestown Settlement. The fun begins at 9 a.m. so get up early. 

The LPGA Kingsmill Championship, May 14-20:

The best women golfers in the world descend on Kingsmill Resort to compete on the famed River Course, where the layout recently was tweaked by renowned golf architect Pete Dye. Past winners include Cristie Kerr, Annika Sorenstam, Lizette Salas, and Ariya Jutanugarn. A weekly clubhouse badge gets you access to the grounds, clubhouse, bar, restaurant, and more.  

Busch Gardens Williamsburg Food & Wine Festival, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, May 25-July 1:

A tasty adventure awaits culinary explorers, who can unleash their inner foodie with a variety of dishes and wines not normally served at the park. Enjoy authentic tastes from around the world while strolling through the world's most beautiful theme park.

Blues, Brews, and BBQ Festival, Yorktown, May 5:

Is there a better combination than the unholy trinity of blues, brews, and BBQ? The headliners for this riverfront event are electronic musician Shadowjack, the acoustic Dikon Vallet Trio, and Lipbone Redding, a guitarist, singer and voicestrumentalist. The beer lineup is equally stellar including Smartmouth, Devil's Backbone, Alewerks, Starr Hill, and others. In addition to BBQ, there is a long list of other goodies and treats from kettle corn to carrot cake. 

SUMMER

Funhouse Fest, Colonial Williamsburg, June 22-23:

A two-day celebration of music curated by Grammy-winner Bruce Hornsby in partnership with the Virginia Arts Festival is back for a second year after attracting more than 6,000 people. Hornsby is Williamsburg's favorite musical son and the festival's lineup reflects his eclectic tastes. In past years it featured bluegrass master Ricky Skaggs, superb songwriters Steve Earle and Shawn Colvin, up-and-coming folkie Aoife O'Donovan and blues legend Taj Mahal. The stage is set up on the lawn of the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg. 

Fourth of July

You're sure to get red, white, and blue goosebumps celebrating Independence Day in Greater Williamsburg. In Colonial Williamsburg, don’t miss the Fife and Drum Corps salute behind the courthouse and the reading of the Declaration of Independence on the courthouse steps. Eat at one of the historic taverns, try the buffet at the Williamsburg Lodge, or grab sandwiches from one of the shops for a picnic.

In Yorktown, join the Liberty Celebration to salute the 241st anniversary of the Declaration of Independence at the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown. Observe tactical and artillery drills, take part in military exercises, and learn about the challenges that faced our nation’s founders, including those who signed the historic document. End the day with “bombs” bursting in the air at several locations including Colonial Williamsburg, Historic Yorktown, and Busch Gardens.

Fall

Williamsburg Fall Arts, September to October:

Great concerts, a wine festival, a book festival, and captivating art everywhere from downtown Williamsburg to Jamestown and Yorktown are the centerpieces of this month-long celebration. 

An Occasion for the Arts, Oct. 5-7:

This is the juried art show of the year, bringing together artists from around the country with performers on two stages and a variety of food vendors for a full weekend. Duke of Gloucester Street with dozens of vendors is the focus, but the celebration extends throughout downtown. 

Yorktown Victory Celebration, Oct. 20-21:

Celebrate the 236th anniversary of Gen. George Washington's victory over the British at the Yorktown Battlefield, the last major conflict of the Revolutionary War. Enjoy ceremonies, demonstrations, and parades in Historic Yorktown and the Yorktown Battlefield. 

Busch Gardens Bier Fest, AUG. 17-Sept. 3:

Beers from the Goose Island IPA to Legend's Cask ale to Beck's Spaten Lager will be on tap. Bite into traditional German food, listen to live music, and get as close to a Bavarian celebration as you can this side of Munich. Prost

Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, Sept. 15-Oct. 28:

Fill fall nights with fright at Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream. At the stroke of 6 p.m. the theme park becomes home to a host of creepy creatures that lie in wait for unsuspecting victims. Fear abounds in the park’s collection of haunted houses, Terror-tories™ and darkly entertaining live shows.

Thanksgiving

Special Restaurant Dinners:

Dine like the colonists or like royalty at your choice of restaurants in Colonial Williamsburg. They serve everything from sage-rubbed roasted young turkey to seared Chesapeake rockfish and lump crab to a seafood bar featuring oysters.

Restaurants include the Williamsburg Lodge, Trellis Bar and Grill, Waypoint Seafood & Grill and choices in the Historic District such as the King's Arms Tavern and Chowning’s Tavern. 

Food & Feasts of Colonial Virginia at Jamestown Settlement and American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, Nov. 22-24:

Step back into kitchens of another century. Discover how food was preserved and prepared on land and on sea by the English colonists and Powhatan Indians. Learn about the importance of corn. Witness how scarce rations for soldiers were transformed into stews, pies and breads. 

Black Friday shopping at Williamsburg Premium Outlets, Nov. 23:

Get a head start on designer deals at the 135 stores in this outlet mall, including Polo Ralph Lauren, Kate Spade, Aeropostale, Michael Kors, Brooks Brothers, Calvin Klein, DKNY, L'Occitane, Movado, Oakley and The North Face.

Christmas

A Colonial Christmas at Jamestown Settlement and American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, Dec. 20-31:

Get a look at 17th- and 18th-century holiday traditions with programs that compare English traditions with how they may have been observed in the early years of America's first colony. Historical interpreters guide visitors through the living-history displays, adorned for the season. Enjoy period musical entertainment throughout the month. 

Christmas Town at Busch Gardens, select dates Nov. 17-Jan. 1:  

Eight million lights illuminate the park, and the shows feature holiday themes during this seasonal extravaganza. Busch Gardens’ signature hot chocolate is the drink of December. Experience Christmas traditions from around the world, as well as the North Pole, Santa's workshop, and the red-nosed rotund one himself. 

Yorktown Christmas Market and Lighted Boat Parade, Dec. 1:

The Christmas tree is lit amid festivities at Riverwalk Landing. The next day, festively decorated sail and powerboats fill the Yorktown waterfront in a dazzling display of holiday lights as they vie for best of show. There’s also caroling around a beach bonfire, musical performances and complimentary hot cider.

Grand Illumination at Colonial Williamsburg, Dec. 2:

In the 18th century, illuminations celebrated major events with the firing of guns, candles in the windows, and the lighting of fireworks. Colonial Williamsburg elevates that tradition with decorations, music from multiple stages, and fireworks from three different locations set against the backdrop of the historic buildings. Go and be dazzled.

See all the fun things to do in Greater Williamsburg , check out what’s new for 2018 and plan your visit today!

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