What’s New In 2020?

A Glimpse into 2020 Reveals Enriching Experiences, Invigorating Adventures and a Nod to the Past


 

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. – January, 8, 2020 – As another holiday season comes to an end and a new decade launches, Greater Williamsburg has been busy preparing an epic line-up for 2020 that involves non-stop action, unparalleled entertainment and cultural enjoyment. Locals and visitors alike will enjoy a fresh slate of delightful offerings that both define and broaden the charm of Greater Williamsburg, making it even more unforgettable in the year ahead.  Named one of the “52 Places to Go in 2019,” Greater Williamsburg is certain to help keep those new year’s resolutions to, perhaps, explore your adventurous side, tap into your artistic self, or take more time to travel and discover the unexpected.

Here’s a look at the upcoming months to see how Greater Williamsburg will continue to make unprecedented memories for all.  Visit visitwilliamsburg.com to plan your stay.  

WINTER 2020

From music fanatics to history buffs, January through March is jam-packed with events to keep the calendar booked and the winter blues at bay.  

January is off to a sizzling start with the sixth year of the  Winter Blues Jazz Fest. Between January 16 and 19, this four-day fest in Downtown Williamsburg includes nine signature events offering a lively weekend with options available to suit all tastes and budgets.  For a more classical experience, the Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra will hold its “Masterworks Concert” on January 16 in the Williamsburg Community Chapel. The evening will feature music director, James Blachy and guest artist soprano, Kathryn Mueller along with the works of Dame Ethyl Smyth, Samuel Barber and Dvorák. Also, on January 25 the Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra will welcome prolific jazz singer and songwriter, Ann Hampton Callaway, as she performs at their “Cabaret & Cocktails” soiree held in the Williamsburg Lodge.  For those looking to add a bit of spice to their epicurean repertoire, the first Jamaican restaurant in Williamsburg will open its doors at the end of January. Oxtail, jerked chicken and “rasta pasta” are just a few of the highlights on the menu at CJ & J Island Café.

When February arrives, so does a month long of historical events that explore the annals of the first African-Americans that pay homage to the past.  “African-American Cultural Heritage Month” is taking place all February at Jamestown Settlement & American Revolution at Yorktown. Gallery exhibits and daily programming will explore the role and impact of African Americans on both sides of the American Revolution.  The museum’s special exhibition, “Forgotten Soldier” will run through March 22, allowing guests to discover personal stories of enslaved and free African-Americans and their contributions toward establishing an independent nation. Rare documents and artifacts, interactives and compelling art, including a new contemporary work by nationally acclaimed artist Titus Kaphar, trace the experiences of African-American soldiers. Similarly, The Mariners’ Museum will present its own black history program every Saturday from 9 – 11 a.m., including family-friendly activities related to African-American culture and history.

Throughout March, several performances return while others make their debut. Gem of the Ocean is the ninth work in August Wilson’s ten-play cycle that has recorded the American Black experience and helped to define generations. The play will run from February 27-March 1 at William & Mary’s Kimball Theater.  The annual production of an Evening of Dance will run from March 26-29  in which students explore and develop original choreography performed by their peers in the Orchesis Modern Dance Company, also at the Kimball Theater.  Opera aficionados can get their fill at Opera in Williamsburg with a performance of Kazantazakis’ Greece on March 4 with a concert that will include Opera in Williamsburg’s baritone, Stefanos Koroneos. For entertainment that the entire family can enjoy, the Second Sunday's Art & Music Festival will begin on the second Sunday in March and continue to do so each month until December. Families can take advantage of this free event that includes fine, folk and contemporary artwork and handcrafts, as well as live music, local authors and face painting, and crafts for little ones.

Of course, while pursuing all that Greater Williamsburg has on tap during winter, a brief respite to recharge is a must-do. Luckily, The Secret Garden, a new café in Downtown Williamsburg has now opened for business, so folks can sneak away to sample an array of fresh and natural menu items, dessert waffles, and the international specialty drink phenomenon of “bubble tea.” The interior has also been designed to mirror a lush garden with an abundance of foliage and flora.

SPRING 2020

Adventure is all around, as spring lands in Greater Williamsburg in 2020.

Busch Gardens will premiere the Pantheon®, the fastest multi-launch coaster in North America. Featuring a total of four launches and 2 inversions, this coaster, located in the park’s Festa Italia village, will reach a top speed of 72.5 mph, a height of 178 feet and a drop of 95 degrees, sure to challenge even the fiercest adrenaline junkies.  On a more relaxed note, the 25th season of Antiques Roadshow, is headed to Colonial Williamsburg on April 28. Often described as a mix of adventure, history, and treasure hunt, the Antiques Roadshow is certain to draw in both fans and newcomers.  With a date yet to be announced, the annual Drummer’s Call, will see Colonial Williamsburg's Fifes and Drums, alumni, and corps from across the nation showcase 18th-century military music and explore the important roles of fifers and drummers.  

Come April, Culture Fix is excited to announce its newest weekend festival, Scrumptious, a four-day event involving all things food, drink, music, and art.  Event dates are set for April 23-26.

Fans of local Williamsburg breweries will be surprised when a different kind of brewing experience opens later this Spring. Joker Brewing will be the first of its kind in the Old Dominion to serve kombucha beer, a mixture of hops, barley, yeast and probiotics. Founded by King of Clubs coffee owner, Lance Zaal, a non-alcoholic kombucha will be previewed in his Premium Outlets location in the weeks leading up to the opening.

For a notable night out, Axe Republic in Williamsburg is an innovative option. This stimulating evening out offers a twist on the classic game of darts by using axes in an adrenaline-filled match between friends, family or coworkers. The Axeperts will show patrons how to throw a real ax, resulting in a pulse-pounding activity perfect for both team building and amusement and where, more importantly, the winner earns the ultimate bragging rights.

SUMMER 2020

Summer 2020 in Greater Williamsburg is shaping up to bring the right dose of sun, fun and lazing about. 

Lavender season commences in June and Sweethaven Lavender Farm offers guests the opportunity to pick their own fragrant flowers beginning on June 29. The 130-acre farm also features animals, events, and an on-site farm shop including Sweethaven's signature skincare line, culinary products, artisan-made gifts, and antiques. For sea lovers, Yorktown Sailing Charters is expected to unveil a new schooner this summer. Named “The Denouement” whose French translation means “to untie,” or in this case to “cast off,” will have 45 feet on deck making it very comfortable for future passengers. Stay tuned for more updates on the Denouement’s voyage in the coming months.  No summer is complete without an outdoor concert experience and the Summer Breeze Concert Series “Unleashed” returns to Downtown Williamsburg, beginning in late June. 

What better place to celebrate the 4th of July then in the cradle of democracy. From patriotic celebrations with historical reenactments and grandiose fireworks displays to live musical performances and local gourmet delights, Independence Day in Greater Williamsburg is incomparable. Stay tuned later this year for details on all the happenings.

FALL 2020 AND BEYOND

Autumn in Greater Williamsburg is filled with its own simple pleasures from food festivals and farmer’s markets to historical tributes and holiday displays. 

In early November, Culture Fix will launch the holiday season with a fun-packed agenda that supports and collaborates with local artists, organizations and businesses.

The 9th Annual Chowderfest, an event that draws in 600 guests each year, will return in November, in Colonial Williamsburg, as will Noktoberfest, where one can indulge in an endless feast of pretzels and beer served by beer maids while men in traditional lederhosen dance to a soundtrack provided by New York’s Polka Brothers. Rounding out the events, the crowd-pleasing Second Sunday’s Art and Music Festival will also be back by popular demand.

New experiences and engaging exhibits await at Jamestown Settlement and American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, which completes its large scale $10.6 million renovation later this year. Stories of real people and events unfold in refreshed permanent exhibition galleries that incorporate new historical research, immersive design, and innovative technology to connect visitors with an expanded storyline of early Virginia.  The refurbished gallery exhibit will feature a new 4-D experiential theater with multi-sensory special effects that tells the story of “Bacon’s Rebellion,” a 1676-armed rebellion of Virginia colonists led by Nathaniel Bacon against the rule of Governor William.

For more ideas about adventures in Greater Williamsburg, explore the 10 most popular attractions, find some family fun and plan your next visit now.

 

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