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Independence Day

July 4, 2019

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


premium Fireworks seating

Celebrate The Lights of Freedom, our breathtaking, heart pounding finale to Colonial Williamsburg’s Independence Day festivities from a VIP seat on Palace Green! Audience members will enjoy the evening’s pomp and ceremony, including Thomas Jefferson’s reading of the Declaration of Independence, a torch lit procession of the CW Fifes & Drums, patriotic sing-along and, of course, the thrilling fireworks display above the Governor’s Palace, from the best view in the historic area.




Special Dining Options

Insider Tips



An insider’s guide to planning your day



When will the Fireworks go off?

On Thursday, July 4th, 2019, fireworks will be ignited at 9:20 p.m. from behind 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 on Palace Green. Guests may purchase Premium Fireworks Seating. The fireworks may also be seen from Market Square and the lawn of the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg.

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 in cancelling the program if the weather is a concern. Communication on the status of the fireworks will be posted through social media sites.

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 young 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 and surrounding area of the Colonial Courthouse. Both events will feature a performance by Colonial Williamsburg Fifes & Drums. At 10 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 9 p.m. This joyful celebration of pomp & ceremony includes a reading of the Declaration of Independence by young Thomas Jefferson from the Governor’s Palace balcony, a torch lit Patriotic Procession and Concert by the Colonial Williamsburg Fifes & Drums, and the premiere reading of Independence Day: An Invitation, a new work written by Henry Hart, Poet Laureate of the Commonwealth of Virginia, culminating in the grand fireworks display.

Will there be additional entertainment within the grounds of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation?

Yes. There will be an Americana-themed “Throwback” July 4th celebration on the lawn of the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg from Noon - 4 p.m.

If I am not on Palace Green, can I hear the patriotic soundtrack that accompanies the Fireworks?

Yes. The fireworks music will be streamed and simulcast on radio station WMBG 97.7 FM.

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 between 8:30 and 11 p.m.

Where can I purchase food and/or beverages?

In addition to the Colonial Williamsburg Historic Area taverns and refreshment stands, there will be food available for purchase in the orchard next to McKenzie Apothecary on the west side of Palace Green. There will not be any food trucks in the area. All restaurants in Merchants Square will also be open.

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
  • Weapons

Will stores in the Historic Area be open on July 4?

Yes. The John Greenhow Store will be open 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m., the Market House will be open 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m., the William Pitt Store will be open 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m., and Tarpley, Thompson & Company will be open 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.


Purchase a Colonial Williamsburg Independence Day T-Shirt

Introducing the limited edition Colonial Williamsburg Independence Day t-shirt for 2019, “The Revolution”!

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