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Grand Illumination

Grand Illumination at the Governor's Palace
Time
4:45 pm – 7:30 pm
Admission
Open to Public
Ticketing
Some events require paid tickets
Come and GoFamily FriendlyAccessible

In the 18th century, illuminations, which included the firing of guns and lighting of fireworks, were held to celebrate major events, such as great military victories, the anniversary of the reigning sovereign's birth, or the arrival of a new colonial governor. Join Colonial Williamsburg for this special day by strolling the Revolutionary City and viewing all the unique decorations. Enjoy musical performances from multiple stages and delight in the fireworks displays from three different locations.

Planning Ahead?

Grand Illumination is held the Sunday of the first full weekend in December. Mark your calendars.

     • December 6, 2015      • December 4, 2016      • December 3, 2017      • December 9, 2018

Upcoming Dates


Grand Illumination Weekend Events
Events

Dec 6
9:30 AM
Annual Christmas Homes Tour
55th Annual Christmas Homes Tour, presented by the Green Spring Garden Club Inc., features houses decorated with holiday floral arrangements. All are located in and around The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation's Revolutionary City. The houses include the Red Lion and Blue Bell, Powell's Kitchen, Alexander Craig House, John Crump House, Bruton Parish Rectory, and Ludwell Tenement. Tickets are $25 in advance (see below), $30 when purchased on Friday, Dec. 5 or Saturday, Dec. 6. ($10 to tour a single building.)
Dec 6
1:30 PM
Williamsburg Symphonia
Holiday Pops Concert
Williamsburg's professional orchestra presents its annual Holiday Pops Concert, featuring a festive program of seasonal music to delight the whole family. Music Director/Conductor Janna Hymes.
Dec 6
3:00 PM
Williamsburg Symphonia
Holiday Pops Concert
Williamsburg's professional orchestra presents its annual Holiday Pops Concert, featuring a festive program of seasonal music to delight the whole family. Music Director/Conductor Janna Hymes.
Dec 6
7:30 PM
Celtic Night at the Kimball
Delight in an entertaining evening of Celtic music and fun. Popular local group Poisoned Dwarf uses only acoustic instruments to perform their own brand of Irish traditional music.
Dec 7
12:30 PM
Christmastime is Coming,
the Geese are Getting Fat
NEW--Start your holiday season with these veteran performers and enjoy traditional tunes and songs from several centuries from Europe, the British Isles, and America. Reconnect with holiday songs and tunes you might have sung and heard as children. This fun-filled musical celebration features fiddlers John Turner and David Gardner along with vocalist/guitarist Cliff Williams and vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Kelly Kennedy. They'll have you ready for the fireworks, a highlight of the holidays in Williamsburg.
Dec 7
1:30 PM
Williamsburg Symphonia
Holiday Pops Concert
Williamsburg's professional orchestra presents its annual Holiday Pops Concert, featuring a festive program of seasonal music to delight the whole family. Music Director/Conductor Janna Hymes.
Dec 7
2:30 PM
Christmastime is Coming,
the Geese are Getting Fat
NEW--Start your holiday season with these veteran performers and enjoy traditional tunes and songs from several centuries from Europe, the British Isles, and America. Reconnect with holiday songs and tunes you might have sung and heard as children. This fun-filled musical celebration features fiddlers John Turner and David Gardner along with vocalist/guitarist Cliff Williams and vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Kelly Kennedy. They'll have you ready for the fireworks, a highlight of the holidays in Williamsburg.
Dec 7
3:00 PM
Williamsburg Symphonia
Holiday Pops Concert
Williamsburg's professional orchestra presents its annual Holiday Pops Concert, featuring a festive program of seasonal music to delight the whole family. Music Director/Conductor Janna Hymes.
Dec 7
4:00 PM
Grand Illumination Supper
Gather around our table for a sumptuous supper before our Grand Illumination Celebration lights up the night. The Chefs of Colonial Williamsburg have planned a hearty holiday meal as memorable as the evening's main event. As you dine, enjoy live musical performances sure to get you into the holiday spirit. It's a grand way to celebrate the holiday season--the grandest of all!
Dec 7
4:15 PM
Grand Illumination Dinner–Chowning’s Tavern
A wonderful way to begin a spectacular evening! Join us for traditional tavern fare and 18th-century entertainment. Reservations required. $60.95 adults, $24.95 children; includes tax and gratuity.
Dec 7
4:15 PM
Grand Illumination Dinner–Shields Tavern
A wonderful way to begin a spectacular evening! Join us for traditional tavern fare and 18th-century entertainment. Reservations required. $60.95 adults, $24.95 children; includes tax and gratuity
Dec 7
4:15 PM
Grand Illumination Dinner–Campbell’s Tavern
A wonderful way to begin a spectacular evening! Join us for traditional tavern fare and 18th-century entertainment. Reservations required. $60.95 adults, $24.95 children; includes tax and gratuity.
Dec 7
4:30 PM
Christmastime is Coming,
the Geese are Getting Fat
NEW--Start your holiday season with these veteran performers and enjoy traditional tunes and songs from several centuries from Europe, the British Isles, and America. Reconnect with holiday songs and tunes you might have sung and heard as children. This fun-filled musical celebration features fiddlers John Turner and David Gardner along with vocalist/guitarist Cliff Williams and vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Kelly Kennedy. They'll have you ready for the fireworks, a highlight of the holidays in Williamsburg.
Dec 7
5:15 PM
Grand Illumination Entertainments
Before the fireworks, gather for musical performances from multiple stages throughout the Revolutionary City. You're sure to find something to keep you entertained as you anticipate the evening's spectacular highlight.
Dec 7
7:00 PM
Grand Illumination Fireworks
Fireworks displays from three different locations within the Historic Area--the Capitol, Magazine, and Palace--make this a highlight of the Colonial Williamsburg holiday season. In the 18th century, illuminations--the firing of guns and lighting of fireworks--were held to celebrate major events such as the commemoration of the birth of the reigning sovereign, great military victories, or the arrival of a new colonial governor. Come early to view the decorations and enjoy musical performances from multiple stages throughout the Historic Area.
Dec 14
1:00 PM
Christmastide with the Colonial Singers
NEW--Explore five centuries of Christmas music and seasonal traditions. As the Colonial Singers perform catches, glees, and part-songs celebrating Christmastide, you'll discover how people in Virginia--from the earliest settlers at Jamestown to today's visitors from around the world--celebrate the holiday.
Dec 21
3:00 PM
Christmastide with the Colonial Singers
NEW--Explore five centuries of Christmas music and seasonal traditions. As the Colonial Singers perform catches, glees, and part-songs celebrating Christmastide, you'll discover how people in Virginia--from the earliest settlers at Jamestown to today's visitors from around the world--celebrate the holiday.