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September 12, 2005

CW Christmas is a "natural"

Colonial Williamsburg’s world renowned holiday decorations are firmly rooted in the traditions of Christmas and have emerged as a universal standard for the creative use of natural materials, including a generous supply of pine, boxwood, Fraser fir, holly, magnolia leaves, yarrow, assorted fruits and berries, and the limitless imaginations of their creators.

In the span of four days, 22 carpenters, designers and assistants use their considerable talents to decorate 75 exhibition buildings, trade shops, taverns and offices in the Historic Area. Residents of nearly 85 homes in the 301-acre Historic Area join in the holiday spirit each year by displaying additional decorations. The effort results in memorable and wondrous decoration of the restored 18th-century city for the holidays.

Since 1935, hundreds of thousands of guests have enjoyed Colonial Williamsburg’s holiday finery. This year, guests will get their first look at the decorations during Grand Illumination weekend, Dec. 3 – 4, 2005.

Weather and wildlife can wreak havoc with the natural materials – especially the fruit -- and the decorations are replaced at least twice during the holiday season. Materials used to decorate Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Area and nearby buildings include:

  • More than three miles of white pine roping;
  • 2,550 white pine and Fraser fir wreaths;
  • 15 truckloads of pine, holly, boxwood, magnolia and berries; and
  • 79 cases of fruit.

    More than 1,200 electric candles in the windows of buildings throughout the Historic Area are lit at dusk each evening during the holiday season.

    A Colonial Williamsburg holiday getaway is a uniquely American tradition that is not to be missed. Special vacation packages, including lodging and Colonial Williamsburg admission, make your holiday getaway affordable.

    Established in 1926, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational institution that operates and preserves the restored 18th-century capital of Virginia. Williamsburg is located 150 miles south of Washington, D.C., off Interstate 64. For additional information and reservations, or to request a free copy of Colonial Williamsburg's 2005 Holiday Planner highlighting over 60 unique holiday programs and concerts, and more than 30 special dining events, please call toll-free (800) HISTORY. Or, visit Colonial Williamsburg on the Internet at

    Media Contact:
    Lorraine C. Brooks
    (757) 220-7280

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