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October 31, 2007

CW's Merchants Square shows true colors during statewide America's Anniversary Garden™ Contest

Colonial Williamsburg’s Merchants Square has won a state award in the 2007 America’s Anniversary Garden™ Contest.

Merchants Square captured the award in the Business Category on the state level. Coordinated by the Virginia Tech’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, the Virginia

Cooperative Extension and the America’s Anniversary Garden Committee, the state contest had 109 entries from 45 cites stretching from Wytheville to Virginia Beach to Alexandria. Several localities also sponsored their own contests. Fifteen category winners were selected and one Best in Contest.

The color scheme chosen for the state garden project was red, white and blue. Colonial Williamsburg’s landscapers selected several plants, including Angelonia, begonias, caladiums, calibrachoas, hibiscus, impatiens, and scaevola, for Merchants Square’s gardens and planters.

Virginia Cooperative Extension developed the America's Anniversary Garden to help individuals, communities and groups mark America's 400th Anniversary with a signature garden planting. All across Virginia, city and town entrance corridors, public gardens, sidewalk containers, hanging baskets, residential lawns and other forms of gardens and landscapes displayed the colorful theme in 2006 and 2007.

Dr. Mark McCann, director of Virginia Tech’s Virginia Cooperative Extension, presented the award during the State Fair of Virginia on Oct. 5. Todd P. Haymore, Virginia’s Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services, also was present.

Merchants Square, the shopping and dining district adjacent to Colonial Williamsburg’s renowned Historic Area and flanking the elegantly tree-lined Duke of Gloucester Street, is recognized as one of the first planned shopping malls in the United States. All of the Merchants Square properties are owned by Colonial Williamsburg with the majority leased to private owners. Merchants Square is home to more than 42 shops and restaurants and was added in 2005 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. For more information on Merchants Square, visit

Established in 1926, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational institution that preserves and operates the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia as a town-sized living history museum, telling the inspirational stories of our nation’s founding men and women. Within the restored and reconstructed buildings, historic interpreters, attired as colonial men and women from slaves to shopkeepers to soldiers, relate stories of colonial Virginia society and culture — stories of our journey to become Americans – while historic tradespeople research, demonstrate and preserve the 18th-century world of work and industry. As Colonial Williamsburg interprets life in the time of the American Revolution for its guests, it also invites them to interact with history. 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., off Interstate 64. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s Web site at

Media Contact:
Penna Rogers
(757) 220-7121