This restored colonial capital of Virginia, Great Britain’s largest and most powerful colony in the New World, was a hub of activity in the years leading up to colonists’ break with Mother England. George Washington frequented Williamsburg as a delegate to the House of Burgesses; Patrick Henry made his fiery speech here; and young Thomas Jefferson daily hurried down the Duke of Gloucester Street as he attended law school at William and Mary College.
On the Fourth of July, Williamsburg pulls out all the stops, and quite literally transports you back to 1776. Living history interpreters, dressed in the time, and even using like manner of speech, make you feel as if you were truly walking the streets on that momentous day in history when the Declaration of Independence was read for all to hear. Many of the interpreters act one-on-one with visitors, so be ready to be part of the reality scene.
You’ll thrill to the sounds of the Fife and Drum Corps, and be alert – you could spot a rider from the North as he gallops into town with the news of Concord and Lexington.
You might even be able to join the Fourth of July party at the Governor’s Palace for a picnic on the grounds and in the magnificent garden, along with costumed interpreters, musicians, jugglers, balladeers and storytellers.
It all culminates with a stunning display of fireworks that put the buildings of Williamsburg, witnesses to monumental history, in bold relief.
Timeshare rentals at Colonial Williamsburg start at just $57/night.
Thank you to Dave Doody, head of photo services for The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, for all of the photos.
See more of Dave Doody’s photos of a Williamsburg Fourth of July.