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April 29, 2011

“His Excellency’s Pleasure Garden” New Colonial Williamsburg Signature Event May 13

The Royal Governor of the colony of Virginia invites guests to join him in the Governor’s Palace gardens for a special evening of celebration and festivities welcoming his wife and children to their new home. This new Colonial Williamsburg signature event, “His Excellency’s Pleasure Garden,” takes place on one night only at 6 p.m. on Friday, May 13.

Guests can meet Lord and Lady Dunmore and rub elbows with 18th-century Virginia’s finest colonial society. A myriad of diversions include music, dancing and strolling entertainers. Guests may dress in 18th-century clothing for this special event.

Firelit walkways in the Governor’s Palace gardens allow guests to experience 10 acres of gardens resembling English country estates during the reign of King William III and Mary II. Three original features from the 18th century include the ice mount, the terraced gardens and the canal.

The Governor’s Palace gardens are comprised of a series of gardens. The Ballroom Garden features distinctive marl walkways, yaupon holly and diamond-shaped parterres. The North Garden is adorned with tulip beds, pleached arbors and topiary. The brick walls with piers, elegant wrought-iron gates, steps and decorative vases, urns and finials are characteristic of the time period.

To the west, elaborate parterres filled with seasonal color overlook the falling or terraced gardens and canal. To the north, a fruit orchard has been established in an enclosed brick wall. Here figs, apples and pears are espaliered as shown in engravings of the time period. Rows of pomegranate and figs accent the fruit garden. The mount and maze can be found beyond this garden, and they are typical of 17th-century landscape. The famous maze at Hampton Court Palace, one of the best-known royal residences located outside of London, served as precedent for this maze.

Heavy hors d’oeuvres will be served with a wine cash bar available. Tickets are $55. Reserve tickets for this one-night-only event by calling 1-800-HISTORY.

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. 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. Philanthropic support by individuals, corporations, and foundations benefits the educational mission of The Colonial Williamsburg 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