WILLIAMSBURG, Va. – In 2016, Jamestown Settlement and Yorktown Victory Center living-history museums will offer special programs across four seasons to enrich the story of America’s 17th- and 18th-century beginnings.
Special events, exhibits and interpretive programs expand on the stories of the past that unfold daily at the two state-operated museums through indoor films and exhibits and outdoor re-created living-history areas — a Powhatan Indian village, 1607 English ships and 1610-14 colonial fort at Jamestown Settlement, and Revolutionary War encampment and farm at the Yorktown Victory Center.
The Yorktown Victory Center’s transformation into the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown® progresses in 2016, as work continues on the development of new gallery exhibits, introductory film and outdoor living-history areas. The gallery exhibits and introductory film will debut during Yorktown Victory Celebration weekend on October 15 and 16. The name will change to American Revolution Museum at Yorktown late 2016.
The year starts with the ongoing “Clayton & Catesby: Botanical Virginia” exhibit at Jamestown Settlement, where 18th-century engravings created from the watercolor paintings of naturalist Mark Catesby, on loan from the Garden Club of Virginia, are exhibited alongside a 1762 edition of “Flora Virginica” based on the work of botanist John Clayton. The exhibit continues through February 28.
African-American Imprint at Jamestown Settlement on February 13 highlights Black History Month with musical performances, storytelling and crafts reflecting African heritage in America.
Jamestown Settlement’s annual Military Through the Ages takes place March 19 and 20, with hundreds of re-enactors spanning centuries of military history. The event includes artillery firings, a children’s parade and a military pass-in-review.
Jamestown Day at Jamestown Settlement on May 14, jointly sponsored with Historic Jamestowne, marks the 409th anniversary of the founding of America’s first permanent English colony. This year’s event acknowledges milestone anniversaries for two of Jamestown Settlement’s re-created 1607 ships. The Susan Constant turns 25 in 2016, and the Godspeed turns 10.
Opening on June 4 and continuing through December 10, “Bartering for a Continent: How Anglo-Indian Trade Shaped America” special exhibition at Jamestown Settlement will explore the importance of trade between American Indians and English colonists and the role of Virginia in the development of a new world of exchange in goods and commodities in North America.
Blacksmiths, potters, turners, carvers and spinners demonstrate their skills at Jamestown Settlement for a Historic Trades Fair on June 4 and 5.
At the Yorktown Victory Center, Liberty Celebration on July 3 and 4 salutes the anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. Visitors can observe tactical and artillery drills, take part in a military exercises, and learn about the challenges that faced our nation’s founders.
On October 1 and 2, Jamestown Settlement offers an American Indian Intertribal Powwow, featuring song and dance of American Indian tribes from the mid-Atlantic region.
Yorktown Victory Celebration is held October 15 and 16 in conjunction with the 235th anniversary of the decisive military victory of the American Revolution and features artillery firings and aspects of military life, along with the debut of new exhibition galleries and introductory film for the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown.
Family Frights at Jamestown Settlement, a Halloween-theme museum night for elementary-school-age children and families, takes place October 21 and 22.
Historical foodways are featured during Foods & Feasts of Colonial Virginia, November 24-26, and 17th- and 18th-century holiday traditions during A Colonial Christmas, December 1-31.
Jamestown Settlement and the Yorktown Victory Center are open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, until 6 p.m. from June 15 through August 15. Admission to special programs during museum operating hours is included with general admission. A value-priced combination ticket for both museums is $21.25 for adults and $10.75 for ages 6 through 12. Jamestown Settlement admission is $17.00 for adults and $8.00 for ages 6-12. Yorktown Victory Center admission is $9.75 for adults, $5.50 for ages 6-12. An annual pass also is available. Parking at the museums is free.
Jamestown Settlement is located on Route 31 at the Colonial Parkway next to Historic Jamestowne, administered by the National Park Service and Jamestown Rediscovery (on behalf of Preservation Virginia). The Yorktown Victory Center is located on Route 1020 in Yorktown near Yorktown Battlefield, administered by the National Park Service. The museums are a short distance from Busch Gardens®, Colonial Williamsburg and other attractions. Jamestown Settlement and Yorktown Victory Center admission is included in several Williamsburg area joint tickets and vacation packages.
For more information, call (888) 593-4682 toll-free or (757) 253-4838, or visit www.historyisfun.org.