Ornamental Separator

Special Event: Grand Illumination

Special Events

Open to the Public

In the colonial era, it was customary to illuminate public buildings to honor significant events, such as commemorating the reigning sovereign's birth or a military victory. Today, we follow this grand tradition on three consecutive Saturdays in December to celebrate the Yuletide season. Throughout the Historic Area, Colonial Williamsburg musicians, performers, and community ensembles entertain holiday merrymakers with the pomp and pageantry of the Fifes & Drums of Colonial Williamsburg, festive song, storytelling, puppetry, the lighting of cressets, and more, culminating in two simultaneous 18th-century-style fireworks displays at the Capitol and Governor's Palace. Fireworks begin at 7:00 p.m.


Parking near the Historic Area is recommended. If you plan to park at the Colonial Williamsburg Visitor Center, please check the bus schedule.

Dates & Times

Special Event: Grand Illumination

Various sites in Historic Area

Other Experiences