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Mr. Jefferson's Palace Garden Party

Mr. Jefferson's Palace Garden Party


Open to the Public


Separate Ticket Required

Join us on May 4 for an immersive 18th-century garden party at the Governor’s Palace. Hosted by President Thomas Jefferson, guests will enjoy traditional music, dancing, theatrics, games, libations, fireworks, and a special concert from Broadway legend Betty Buckley! All guests are encouraged to wear 18th-century attire (costumes available for purchase and rent). Must be at least 21 years old to attend.


Entertainments & Libations


Awaiting you at the Palace Garden Party:

18th-century dances and songs

An evening walk-through of the Governor’s Palace ground floor

Conversation and photo opportunities with colonial residents

A rollicking recreation of an 18th-century May Pole Festival

Scrumptious desserts and complimentary libations

A Palace Gardens scavenger hunt

A toast to May by President Thomas Jefferson

A grand display of 18th-century fireworks


Complete your immersive Palace Garden Party experience by staying in one of our Colonial Houses, or the luxurious Williamsburg Inn.


Geller Capital Partners is a Lead Sponsor of Mr. Jefferson’s Garden Party, BrightView Landscape Services, Inc. is a Benefactor Sponsor and Avaya Inc., Aramark, Coca Cola Bottling Consolidated Company and The Williamsburg Winery are Supporter Sponsors.

Special Performance


Headlining the Governor’s Palace Garden Party is award-winning Broadway, television, film, and jazz artist, Betty Buckley!


Dubbed the “Voice of Broadway,” Buckley is a Broadway legend known for her role as Martha Jefferson in the original production of the Broadway musical “1776,” and for her Tony-winning performance of “Memory” in the original Broadway production of Andrew Lloyd Weber’s “Cats.”

Betty Buckley is a 2018 Colonial Williamsburg Revolutionary in Residence. Join us on May 5 for A Conversation with Betty Buckley at the Hennage Auditorium.


Buy Tickets

Mr. Jefferson's Palace Garden Party


Frequently Asked Questions


What is Mr. Jefferson's Palace Garden Party? What time does the event begin?

An immersive fun-filled celebration at the Governor's Palace, featuring 18th-century music, dances, games, theatrics, a special performance by Broadway legend Betty Buckley, and fireworks display. The doors of the Governor's Palace open at 7:00 p.m.

Are children allowed at the event?

All guests must be at least 21 years old.

Where should I park? How do I get to the event?

We recommend parking at the Colonial Williamsburg Regional Visitor Center and using our complimentary, handicap-accessible shuttle to the Historic Area. The shuttle will drop you off at the Governor's Palace Bus Stop, next to the event. A shuttle bus arrives at the Palace Bus Stop at least once every fifteen minutes. The last bus of the evening runs at 10:00 p.m.

Is the event handicap accessible?

Most of the event is handicap accessible, but there are a few locations at the Governor's Palace that are only accessible using steps.

If it rains, will the event be canceled?

No. If inclement weather occurs, the event will be moved to the Virginia Room at the Williamsburg Lodge. Weather-related decisions will be made by 10:00 a.m. on the day of the event and announced on the Colonial Williamsburg Facebook page.

Will food and drink be available for purchase at the event?

No, but a variety of desserts, punch, and a sampling of Virginia wines, courtesy of Williamsburg Winery are included with your ticket.

Are costumes required?

To create a fully immersive experience, we encourage all guests to dress in their finest historic attire, but costumes are not required. Evening attire is an alternative; however, we do encourage all to accessorize with 18th-century pieces (such as a hat or fan).

Are costumes and accessories available for purchase?

Yes, colonial attire is available for purchase in our shops on Duke of Gloucester Street. Women's attire is available for purchase at the Mary Dickinson shop, and men's attire is available for purchase at the John Greenhow and Prentis Store. Custom-made attire is available for men and women, but please note that all custom orders must be placed no later than April 15, 2018. 18th-century items such as fans, capelets, caps, covered hats, hat pins, gentleman's hats, and walking sticks will be available for purchase on the evening of the event at the Palace East Gatehouse Accessories Shop. A 20% discount will be offered on all purchased costumes and accessories with ticket to the event. Rental costumes are not included in the discount.

Are costume rentals available?

Yes, 18th-century "middling-style" costume rentals are available. See photo below. Please be aware that rental inventory for both men and women is limited and will be reserved on a first-come basis. All costume rentals are $35 for 48 hours.

Contact Denise Chiera at (757) 220-7581 or Michelle Bullock at (757) 220-7783 for information about costume rentals, purchases, custom-made attire, and accessories.