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June 15, 2012

Colonial Williamsburg Presents Revolutionary City Summer Season Expansion

The Revolutionary City expands this summer to embrace all of Virginia’s restored 18th-century capital city. A new interactive and immersive experience brings together historic sites, trades, on-the-streets programs, a new alternate reality game — RevQuest: The Lion and The Unicorn — plus African American and Native American programs, military programs and other activities. The result is a guest experience that is inviting, compelling and provocative.

Throughout the course of each day, new programming — Revolution in the Streets —offers guests opportunities to meet and get to know townspeople, to learn about the challenges that they must confront, the choices that they must make in the face of war and the transition from monarchy to republic. At historic sites in The Revolutionary City and other ticketed venues, Revolutionary Stories will illuminate in more depth the issues and characters that make up The Revolutionary City.

“We want to bring the full range of triumphs and tribulations of Williamsburg’s people to life,” said Jim Horn, Colonial Williamsburg’s vice president for research and historical interpretation. “All costumed interpreters will become inhabitants of The Revolutionary City, with a renewed commitment to ‘in-the-moment’ experiences that directly engage guests by including them in the Revolutionary experience.”

By encouraging guests — onsite and online — to enter the reality of America's founding as it happened in Williamsburg, they consider what it took to leave behind an empire of inequality and to build a nation premised on liberty. Guests will encounter throughout The Revolutionary City a single fundamental theme: the American Revolution was forged in new ideas about liberty and equality that challenged and then transformed beliefs about the rights and responsibilities of citizens.

The central narrative is based on the story of the American Revolution in Williamsburg, told in two parts: “The Old Order Collapses, 1775-1776” and “Building a New Nation, 1779-1781” as guests experience the difficult choices and challenges that confronted Williamsburg’s people during a time of profound change, revolution and war. Through the stories of The Revolutionary City, guests experience America's founding and reconsider their personal connection to it.

With the summer season beginning June 18, “The Old Order Collapses” brings to life on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, key events that began April 21, 1775 with the Gunpowder Incident. Guests — cast in the roles of citizens — march on the Governor’s Palace to demand the return of the missing powder. Moving east toward the Capitol, the Revolutionary City community is caught up in the arrival of news of the bloodshed at Lexington and Concord.

Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays brings “Building a New Nation,” which begins in May 1779, with the dreaded news that the Redcoats have invaded southern Virginia. Revolutionary City guests assemble in front of the Courthouse to hear the alarming news, and from there move up the street to the Raleigh Tavern where they find desperate townspeople, overwrought by runaway wartime inflation. As the British occupy Williamsburg, British Gen. Benedict Arnold issues the terms of occupation. “Building a New Nation” concludes with a patriot commander addressing the populace as he prepares to march the Allied forces to Yorktown.

Admission to The Revolutionary City presentations and historic site presentations is by Colonial Williamsburg admission ticket or Good Neighbor Card.

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 Revolutionary City and through the award-winning Revolutionary CityTM presentation. 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:
Jim Bradley
(757) 220-7281