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September 15, 2010

‘Tis the Season to Decorate, Celebrate and Entertain

Colonial Williamsburg holiday professionals and special guests explore traditional and fresh ways to decorate and entertain for the holidays during ‘Tis the Season! Colonial Williamsburg Holiday Symposium Nov. 10-11 at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum.

This symposium features demonstrations and illustrated lectures. Programs include:

  • “Decoration or Dinner? Holidays Traditions with Pumpkins and Cranberries,” Mary Miley Theobald, historian and writer, Richmond, Va.
  • “A Tale of Two Tables: Tabletop Tips and Trends.” Carol Gibbs, senior visual merchandiser, and Owen Sharman, visual merchandising manager, Colonial Williamsburg, share both formal and casual approaches to tablescaping your Thanksgiving feast.
  • “Fresh from the Garden: Bountiful Centerpieces for Thanksgiving.” Susan Dippre, manager of Colonial Williamsburg’s floral services, demonstrates how to make attractive and colorful centerpieces with materials found easily in your garden or grocery store.
  • “The Season of Advent.” Don Haynie, Buffalo Springs Farm, Raphine, Va., weaves history and customs together using the herbs associated with Advent to create an Advent wreath for the home or church.
  • “Making a Gingerbread House.” Colonial Williamsburg pastry chef Rodney Diehl artfully decorates a gingerbread house to delight holiday guests. Samples and recipes are provided.
  • “Decking the Halls: The Evolution of Holiday Decoration.” Amanda Rosner, Colonial Williamsburg assistant curator of historic interiors and household accessories, explores Christmas decorations in historic buildings and reveals what is fact and what is fancy.
  • “Home for the Holidays.” Where else should your personal style show best than at home? Owen Sharman and Carol Gibbs demonstrate simple ways to make a buffet or table dazzling and explore ways to play up personal style.
  • “Decorating for a Williamsburg Christmas.” This informative and informal demonstration by Colonial Williamsburg’s landscape staff illustrates how to decorate in the Williamsburg style. Guests can learn how to liven up holiday decorations with fresh materials available during the holidays. This program focuses on decorating holiday wreaths and adorning candlesticks to bright any home for the holidays.
  • “Creating the Traditional Apple Fan: A Colonial Williamsburg Favorite.” Colonial Williamsburg’s landscape staff demonstrates how to create this iconic decoration to hang at any home and be the talk of the town.
  • “Holiday Entertaining Ideas from Colonial Williamsburg: Classic Wine and Cheese Pairings.” Williamsburg Lodge Executive Chef Rhys Lewis and sommelier Charles Birr share their skills and expertise and give a new appreciation for the simple pleasures of wine and cheese. This entertaining duo hosts a reception following their demonstration showcasing the featured wines and cheeses.

    Registration is $100 per day or $175 for both days. Preregistration and payment in full are required. Payment can be made in the form of check, or charged to American Express, Discover, Visa or MasterCard. There are four easy ways to register for the Holiday Symposium:
    1. Online:
    2. Phone: 1-800-603-0948, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. (EST)
    3. Fax: (757) 565-8921
    4. Mail: The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Conferences, Forums and Workshops, P.O. Box 1776, Williamsburg, VA 23187-1776.

    Special hotel rates are available for Holiday Symposium registrants. For room reservations, call 1-800-261-9530, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m.

    Distinctive dining options are offered throughout the Colonial Williamsburg Hotels and in the Historic Area. From a classically elegant setting to a more casual atmosphere to signature tavern dining experiences, each of Colonial Williamsburg’s restaurants and taverns is within steps of the conference facilities. Dining reservations can be made by calling 1-800-261-9530, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m.

    The Spa of Colonial Williamsburg offers specials for conference attendees. A team of world-renowned experts have collaborated to create a spa that exudes southern charm, harmonizes with its historical surroundings, reflects its colonial heritage, and honors traditions of health and wellness throughout American culture. To make your reservation, please call 1-800-688-6479.

    The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational and cultural organization dedicated to the preservation, interpretation and presentation of the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia. This town-sized living history museum tells the inspirational stories of our journey to become Americans through programs in the Historic Area and through the award-winning Revolutionary City program. Explore The Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg and discover the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum featuring the best in British and American decorative arts from 1670 – 1830 and the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum home to the nation’s premier collection of American folk art, comprising more than 5,000 folk art objects made during the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. Colonial Williamsburg Hotels feature conference spaces and recreation activities from spa and fine dining to world-class golf. Colonial Williamsburg is committed to expanding its thought-provoking programming through education outreach on-site and online. Purchase of Colonial Williamsburg products and services supports the preservation, research and educational programs of the Foundation.

    Williamsburg is located in Virginia’s Tidewater region, 20 minutes from Newport News, within an hour’s drive of Richmond and Norfolk, and 150 miles south of Washington, D.C. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s website at

    Media Contact:
    Penna Rogers
    (757) 220-7121

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