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July 4 Celebration

July 4, 2024

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. To receive complimentary admission on July 4th, please click here and add your free tickets to your cart.

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Frequently Asked Questions

When will the Fireworks go off?
On Thursday, July 4th, 2023, the fireworks display will begin 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 11:59 AM on 7/4/2023, 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. At 2:00 p.m., recruits of all ages are welcome to take part in Building Washington’s Army, a light military drill with members of the Virginia State Garrison with a final inspection by Colonel Washington. Our signature Independence Day program, Lights of Freedom on Palace Green begins at 8 p.m. and concludes with fireworks at 9:30 p.m.

Where do I park my vehicle?
The best place to park is at the Visitor’s Center parking lot.

What is the Bus Schedule?
Complimentary bus service is provided by Williamsburg Area Transit Authority (WATA). The route servicing Colonial Williamsburg is Route 15: Colonial. Buses leave the Colonial Williamsburg Visitor Center to service stops throughout the Historic Area every 15 minutes. Bus service hours of operation on July 4th will be 9:00 a.m. until 8:30 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 near 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.

Where can I purchase food and/or beverages on July 4th?

  • Kings Arms Dinner Service: will be open for dinner 4:30 pm - 8:30 pm. Reservations are required, 1-800-HISTORY or OpenTable app.
  • Campbells Tavern will be open for dinner 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm. Reservations are required, 1-800-HISTORY or OpenTable app.
  • Chowning’s Cider Stand: Open 11:00 am - 9:00 pm, Drinks, sandwiches, snacks and cookies.
  • Chowning’s Garden Snack Bar: Open 11:00 am - 9:00 pm, Burgers, Hot dogs and more
  • The Raleigh Tavern Bakery: Open 9:00 am - 9:00 pm.
  • Greenhow Ticket Office Lawn: Open 12:00 pm – 9:00 pm, Corn Dogs, Roasted Corn, French Fries and Pulled Pork Loaded Fries, Watermelon, Water, Soft Drinks, Beer, Canned Cocktails
  • Shields Tavern: Mr. Shields’ Groaning Board 11 am – 2 pm, First Come, First Served
  • Shields Tavern Pavilion: Open 12:00 pm – 9 pm, Corn Dogs, Roasted Corn, French Fries and Pulled Pork Loaded Fries, Watermelon, Water, Soft Drinks, Beer, Canned Cocktails
  • July 4th Buffet Feast: This event requires a Prepaid Reservation through Open Table and is all-you-can-eat, including select non-alcoholic beverages. Adult specialty beverage packages will be available for purchase. The cost is $45 per person plus tax and gratuity, and $25 Adult specialty beverage packages will be available for purchase. $45 per person plus tax and gratuity, $25 for children ages 3 – 10 plus tax and gratuity. For menu and reservations, please visit us online.

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.

From 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 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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