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December 19, 2007

CW, Kiwanis Club of Williamsburg partner on Christmas Eve Tree Lighting ceremony

Colonial Williamsburg and the Kiwanis Club of Williamsburg co-sponsor the lighting of an evergreen 5:30 p.m. Dec. 24 on Market Square.

More than 2,000 guests will gather at the steps of the Courthouse on the Duke of Gloucester Street in the Historic Area. Colonial Williamsburg interpreter Robb Warren serves as master of ceremonies and interpreter Christina Lane describes African Virginian Christmas traditions. Local resident Page Laubach Warden shares a recollection from her great-grandmother, Martha Page Vandegrift, who in 1842, witnessed the first Christmas tree in Williamsburg at the home of her cousin, Cynthia Beverly Tucker.

Martha E. Madeira, president of the Kiwanis Club of Williamsburg, introduces the mayor of Williamsburg. Mayor Jeanne Zeidler delivers a holiday message and asks that the lights be turned on. Following the tree lighting, the audience lights individual candles.

Rev. Mark Morrow, chaplain of the Kiwanis Club of Williamsburg, conducts the invocation and the benediction. Colonial Williamsburg interpreter Karen Schlicht leads the crowd in several holiday songs.

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