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wreath in snow

Grand Illumination–December 7, 2014

Grand Illumination at the Governor's Palace
Guests admire a cresset
Colonial Williamsburg Holiday Fifes and Drums

Light Up Your Evening

Live Entertainment begins at 5 p.m., Fireworks at 7 p.m.

Colonial Williamsburg’s Holiday season officially begins with the Grand Illumination. The Revolutionary City lights up with fireworks, bonfires, and candles twinkling in the windows of buildings. Enjoy live music from the fifes and drums, entertainment for the kids, and of course—the big fireworks finale—sure to put your family in the holiday spirit!

  • Schedule of Events

    Come early to experience the Revolutionary City dressed in timeless natural decorations on a walking tour or take in a live auction on the Market House stage. Then, enjoy a relaxed dining experience and musical performances before the fireworks light up the sky.

    Choose from more than 20 guided and self-guided tours throughout the Revolutionary City—all included in your Colonial Williamsburg admission ticket.

    10:30 a.m.–
    8:15 p.m.
    Guided tours, dining events, live music, and shopping throughout the Revolutionary City, historic taverns, and resort restaurants
    12 p.m. Market House Auction begins
    4 p.m. Grand Illumination Supper at the Williamsburg Lodge
    5 p.m. Candles are lit in public buildings and homes
    5 p.m. Entertainment begins on outdoor stages at Palace Green, Market Square, Gaol, and the Capitol
    6:45 p.m. Fifes and Drums play Grand Tattoo
    7 p.m. Fireworks at Governor’s Palace, Market Square, and the Capitol
    8 p.m. A Grand Medley of Entertainments at the Kimball Theatre
    9:30 p.m. Buses to the Revolutionary City resume operations until 10 p.m.
    Download Our Free App
    CW Explorer App

    With an interactive map, a daily events calendar, and turn-by-turn directions, the Colonial Williamsburg Explorer will help you find everything you need to make the most of your visit. Locate historic buildings, shopping, dining, transportation, and more.

    Colonial Williamsburg Weather Updates
    Weather Updates

    Check Facebook Icon Facebook and Twitter Icon Twitter throughout the weekend for the latest updates on weather and schedules.

    Colonial Williamsburg Interactive
    Share Your Experience

    Share photos and videos of your Grand Illumination celebration with us on
    Facebook Icon Facebook, Twitter Icon Twitter, and
    Instagram IconInstagram using #CWGrandIllumination.

    The Holiday Season
    Plan for the Holidays

    The Grand Illumination is just the beginning of an entire season of festive music, live performances, and holiday culinary events. Here is a look at what’s still ahead to help you plan your next visit.

  • Grand Illumination Market Stand

    The Grand Illumination Experience

    Stop by Market Stands, illuminated by cressets, to purchase souvenirs, cookies, and hot cider. There, you’ll also find Illumination Kits—a packaged collection of necessities, including a blanket, two glow sticks, and two refillable 2014 mugs, bundled in an attractive, lightweight string backpack—a $45 value for only $29.95.

Parking and Transportation

Please park at the Colonial Williamsburg Regional Visitor Center and take the shuttle buses to the Revolutionary City.

Shuttle Schedule

9 a.m.–5:30 p.m. Every half hour from the Visitor Center to all regular stops
5:30–6:45 p.m. Express service ONLY from the Visitor Center to the Palace stop
6:45–9:30 p.m. NO SERVICE*
9:30–10 p.m. Regular service to all stops
*Buses to the Revolutionary City will not run during the fireworks. Please plan to arrive early.