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June 13, 2012

Virginia Symphony Orchestra Headlines Colonial Williamsburg’s July 4 Celebration

Colonial Williamsburg’s Independence Day Celebration, Wednesday, July 4, brings more fanfare this year with new events. A special performance of the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, with music director JoAnn Falletta, at 8 p.m. at the Governor’s Palace will be one of the many highlights, followed by spectacular fireworks.

Recognized as one of the nation's leading regional symphony orchestras, the Virginia Symphony Orchestra has enriched the cultural life of the Hampton Roads community for more than eight decades. Recent achievements of the Virginia Symphony under the baton of music director JoAnn Falletta include five compact disc recordings for national release, a performance of “Peter and the Wolf” which was aired on National Public Radio and groundbreaking performances at the Kennedy Center and New York's Carnegie Hall. The Virginia Symphony annually performs more than 140 Classical, Pops, Family, Education and Outreach concerts, including orchestral support of the acclaimed Virginia Opera, Virginia Arts Festival and Virginia Ballet.

A Jumbotron placed in Market Square enhances viewing of the concert for guests.

Schedule of Events

Free parking is available in the Colonial Williamsburg Regional Visitor Center parking lot and, throughout July 4, ride Colonial Williamsburg’s buses free. The schedule of events includes:

  • 10 a.m. “Salute to the States,” behind the Courthouse. A special militia muster salutes the 13 original states with Colonial Williamsburg’s Fifes and Drums, musket and cannon fire.
  • Noon, “Declaration of Independence,” Capitol. The declaration is read to the citizens. The news arrives only a few weeks after Virginia’s representatives have adopted their own Declaration of Rights and a constitution for the new state. Join us for this special presentation that gives voice to “the People’s” document.
  • 5:30 p.m. Fifes and Drums march from the Capitol to Market Square.
  • 6 p.m. Courthouse on Market Square. U.S. Air Force Heritage of America Band performs.
  • 6 p.m. Governor’s Palace picnic.
  • 7:45 p.m. Colonial Williamsburg’s Fifes and Drums perform.
  • 8 p.m. Virginia Symphony Orchestra performs on Palace Green.
  • 9:30 p.m. Fireworks!

    This year, guests can enjoy a special Independence Day Celebration that includes preconcert Palace Picnic, and reserved seating for the special concert with Virginia Symphony Orchestra. Guests can enjoy box picnic dinners at the Governor’s Palace. The dinner for adults includes a Lodge fried half chicken, honey mustard buttered jumbo Virginia ham biscuit, all-American potato salad and Southern cole slaw. The children’s dinner consists of two pieces of Lodge fried chicken, ham and cheese and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. A vegetarian option is available. For dessert adults and children both enjoy a patriotic cookie, colonial trifle and watermelon. Guests have a choice of two beverages.

    Guests also receive a commemorative blanket, private access to the Palace and Palace grounds with colonial entertainment from 6 p.m.-7:30 p.m. The evening concludes with a spectacular fireworks display. This experience is available $75 for adults and youth ages 12 and up and $29 for children.

    Independence Day Celebration tickets are available at and by calling 1-800-HISTORY.

    If it rains, the Preconcert Picnic will be held at the Williamsburg Lodge Virginia Room with balladeers and colonial entertainment. Guests can follow weather updates on Facebook at and or on

    Independence Day Ambassadors will be available to assist guests. These Ambassadors will be stationed in high traffic areas to hand out broadsides, answer questions and provide information and directions.

    Colonial Williamsburg’s Explorer app lists places to explore. This new, free mobile app is an interactive guide for iPhone, iPad and Android users. By clicking on the “Sites” button, guests can locate historic sites, historic trades, museums, tickets and information, dining, hotels, shopping, recreation, refreshments, restrooms, bus stops and parking lots. The “Tours” button provides a list of self-guided walking tours, including the First Visit Tour and the Colonial Trades Tour. On mobile devices, guests click “Locate” to see their current position. The Explorer app can be downloaded from Google Play at and on iTunes at

    Guests are invited to use white glow sticks to light up the night during the fireworks. Glow sticks are part of the Independence Day Souvenir Bags for purchase that also include a blanket, two refillable mugs and two hand-held flags. Market stands will be available throughout The Revolutionary City to purchase cold lemonade, pretzels, frozen treats, cookies and refillable mugs.

    For more information on Fourth of July events, visit

    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 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, 20th and 21st centuries. 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

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