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July 4 Celebration

July 4, 2023

There's no better place to celebrate our nation's birth than on historic Duke of Gloucester Street. Enjoy patriotic festivities, including public readings of the Declaration of Independence, musical performances, and a dazzling fireworks display to cap the evening.

Free July 4 Single-Day Ticket

In celebration of our nation’s birth, The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is offering free admission to the Historic Area and the Art Museums on July 4 from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

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Shields Tavern Independence Buffet

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Frequently Asked Questions

When will the Fireworks go off?
On Tuesday, July 4th, 2023, fireworks will be ignited at 9:30 p.m. at the Governor’s Palace. They will last about 20 minutes.

Where is the best place to see the Fireworks?
The best location for viewing is Palace Green. The fireworks can also be seen from Market Square.

How far in advance do you cancel the firework show due to weather?
Colonial Williamsburg does not offer a rain date for the July 4th Fireworks. We do not have a set time for canceling the program if the weather is a concern. Communication on the status of the fireworks will be posted through our social media channels.

To opt in for weather related July 4th information via text message, please text CWEVENT to 226787. Notifications will expire at 12:01 AM on 7/5/2023, or you can opt out on your own at any time.

Are there additional Independence Day activities besides the Firework show in the Historic Area?
Yes. In addition to daily Historic Area programming, there will be a reading of the Declaration of Independence by Thomas Jefferson at 9:30 a.m. from the Capitol building’s West Balcony and a noontime reading of the Declaration of Independence by members of the 18th century Williamsburg community on the steps of the Colonial Courthouse. At 10:30 a.m. on Market Square, A Salute to the States will feature a special muster in commemoration of the anniversary of the birth of our nation. Our signature Independence Day program, Lights of Freedom, is staged on Palace Green and begins at 8 p.m.

Will there be a concert on the Art Museum Lawn this year?
No. There will not be a concert on the Art Museum Lawn this year. All Independence Day entertainment will be presented on Palace Green.

Where do I park my vehicle?

The best place to park is at the Visitor’s Center parking lot.

What is the Bus Schedule?
Regular Bus Service (Historic Bus Service – all stops) will be available every 30 minutes from 9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. From 8:00 p.m. to 8:45 p.m., Limited Bus Service will be available between the Visitor Center and Governor’s Palace stop only. There will be no service between 8:45 p.m. and 11 p.m. Regular Bus Service will resume at 11:00 p.m.

How do I get to the Visitor’s Center if the Buses are not running?
There is an accessible walking path to the Visitors Center from the Palace bus stop. This path will be closed beginning at 8:30 p.m. and will reopen following the fireworks display.

Where are the Restrooms located?

Besides the regular restroom locations in the Historic Area, additional portable toilets are available within the vicinity of Palace Green. Please note that the restrooms within the Governor’s Palace Gardens and the structure at the corner of Scotland Street and Palace Green will not be available after 5 p.m. Public restrooms are also available in Merchants Square at the corner of Duke of Gloucester and N. Henry Streets, and in the Henry Street Shops.

Are there any restrictions on what I can bring to the fireworks?
Yes. The following items will not be permitted on Palace Green, Art Museum Lawns, or any other Colonial Williamsburg owned properties:

  • Tents
  • Pop-up tents
  • Oversized umbrellas
  • Drones
  • Weapons

Will stores in the Historic Area be open on July 4?
Yes. The John Greenhow Store will be open 9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m., the Market House will be open 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m., the William Pitt Store will be open 9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m., and Tarpley, Thompson & Company will be open 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m., the Prentis Store will be open 10:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m., and the Golden Ball will be open from 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

At 12:30 p.m. on Market Square, bid on select items from CW stores as well as one-of-a-kind auction items found nowhere else.

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