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September 4, 2012

Colonial Williamsburg, Merchants Square Celebrate Founding of the U.S. Constitution Day on Sept. 15

Merchants Square and Colonial Williamsburg celebrate Constitution Day with the fourth annual event “To Support and Defend” at 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15 in Merchants Square. Through powerful, moving music and the spoken word, the framework of our nation’s government and cherished founding document will be honored on the anniversary of its adoption.

This special Constitution Day event features a combined ensemble composed of members of the USAF Heritage of America Band and the USA Training and Doctrine Command Band (TRADOC). Both units are stationed in the Hampton Roads region, at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va. In addition, the Colonial Williamsburg Fifes and Drums will be featured, bridging more than two centuries of musical performance. Selections by the Fifes and Drums, along with band works by eminent American composers also will be performed.

The program also features guest narrators including Colonial Williamsburg interpreters Ron Carnegie as George Washington, Stephen Moore as James Madison and Raymond Jones of WHRO.

“To Support and Defend” is presented free and open to the public. Audience members are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets. For current information about this free event, go to the Merchants Square website at or call the Merchants Square Events Hotline at (757) 565-8889.

In the event of inclement weather, the rain date will be Sunday, Sept. 16. If poor weather conditions prohibit holding the event outdoors on Sept. 16, the event will be moved to the auditorium of Warhill High School on Sept. 16.

The Heritage of America Band has a proud tradition of entertaining the American public and promoting esprit de corps within the military. Stationed at Langley Air Force Base, the unit strives to inspire our men and women serving around the world and to tell the Air Force story through the power of music. Consisting of several musical ensembles, the Heritage of America Band performs for more than one million people throughout a six-state region from Pennsylvania to South Carolina each year.

The TRADOC Band represents the dramatic evolution of Army bands since the first recorded American military organization was formed – a fife and drum corps of Ethan Allen’s “Green Mountain Boys” in 1775. The band’s many diverse groups provide musical support to the soldiers and civilians of the Army’s Training and Doctrine Command as well as to the citizens of the mid-Atlantic region. A two-time winner of the Col. George S. Howard Citation of Excellence Award and recipient of the Army Superior Unit Award, the TRADOC Band sets the standard for bands in the 21st century.

Merchants Square, the shopping and dining district adjacent to Colonial Williamsburg’s renowned Historic Area, is home to more than 40 shops and restaurants. Built in 1935, Merchants Square is recognized as one of the first planned shopping malls in the United States. In 2005 Merchants Square was added to the National Register of Historic Places along with the Williamsburg Lodge and the Williamsburg Inn to make up the Merchants Square and Resort Historic District. Merchants Square properties are owned by Colonial Williamsburg with the majority leased to private business owners. Revenue from Colonial Williamsburg’s commercial property initiatives supports the educational programs of The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, the not-for-profit educational organization that oversees and operates the restored 18th-century town of Williamsburg. For more information on Merchants Square, visit

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