Illuminations—firing guns into the air and lighting fireworks—were commonly used during the 18th century to celebrate major events such as great military victories, the birthday of the monarch or the arrival of a new colonial governor. To usher in the season, Colonial Williamsburg carries on this tradition with its annual Grand Illumination on Sunday, Dec. 7, 2014
The celebration begins at 5 p.m. when candles are lit in the windows of public buildings, shops and homes. Live entertainment also begins at 5pm on four outdoor stages at Palace Green, Market Square, the Gaol and Capitol building.
.At 6:45 p.m. the Fifes and Drums march down Duke of Gloucester Street, and guests are invited to join in.
At 7 p.m., fireworks will fill the sky over the Historic Area from four locations: the Governor’s Palace, Market Square, and the north and south sides of the Capitol building.
Colonial Williamsburg Ambassadors, wearing special badges, will be available to assist guests, making it easier for guests to get the most out of their holiday experience. The Ambassadors will be stationed in the Historic Area, Visitor Center and other high traffic areas to hand out broadsides, answer questions, and guide and direct guests.
Schedule of Events 2014
Come to experience the Revolutionary City dressed in timeless natural decorations on a walking tour or take in a live auction on the Market House stage. Then, enjoy a relaxed dining experience and musical performances before the fireworks light up the sky
Choose from more than 20 guided and self-guided tours throughout the Revolutionary City—all included in a Colonial Williamsburg admission ticket.
|Guided tours, dining events, live music, and shopping throughout the Revolutionary City, historic taverns, and resort restaurants|
|12 p.m.||Market House Auction begins|
|4 p.m.||Grand Illumination Supper at the Williamsburg Lodge|
|5 p.m.||Candles are lit in public buildings and homes|
|5 p.m.||Entertainment begins on outdoor stages at Palace Green, Market Square, Gaol, and the Capitol|
|6:45 p.m.||Fifes and Drums play Grand Tattoo|
|7 p.m.||Fireworks at Governor’s Palace, Market Square, and the Capitol|
|8 p.m.||A Grand Medley of Entertainments at the Kimball Theatre|
|9:30 p.m.||Buses to the Revolutionary City resume operations until 10 p.m|
Parking and Transportation
Please park at the Colonial Williamsburg Regional Visitor Center and take the shuttle buses to the Revolutionary City.
|9 a.m.–5:30 p.m.||Every half hour from the Visitor Center to all regular stops|
|5:30–6:45 p.m.||Express service ONLY from the Visitor Center to the Palace stop|
|6:45–9:30 p.m.||NO SERVICE*|
|9:30–10 p.m.||Regular service to all stops|