Grand Illumination – A Wonderful Celebration

by Ashley J. Heilprin, JD/MPP Class of 2013

Photo by the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

Photo by the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

For more than 70 years, Colonial Williamsburg’s Christmas festivities have begun with Grand Illumination, a wonderful celebration filled with twinkling lights, sparkling firecrackers, candlelit buildings, and music. Thousands of locals, tourists, and students alike turn out to watch the beautiful fireworks display.

This year’s Grand Illumination will take place on December 2nd at 5:15 p.m. in the historic area of Williamsburg. The fun begins with performances on the outdoor stages, then at 6:30 p.m. guests illuminate the Revolutionary City with glow sticks in preparation for the 7:00 p.m. spectacular fireworks show.

Don’t miss out on one treat for your ears; make sure you get a chance to listen to the Colonial Williamsburg Fifes and Drums, who provide 18th century holiday music.

Consistent with the historical flair of Williamsburg and knack for traditions, officials say that in the 18th century, firing guns into the air, lighting fireworks, and otherwise illuminating the sky, were commonly used to celebrate major events.

Photo by the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

Photo by the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation