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Colonial Williamsburg gears up for holiday season with Grand Illumination

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. – The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation will hold its Grand Illumination on Dec. 3, which will end in the free fireworks demonstration “A Festival of Light and Thunder.”

“The holidays are a welcome season when we gather with family, friends and our community to embrace light and hope,” said Mitchell B. Reiss, president and CEO of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.

The festivities for the Grand Illumination will start at 4 p.m., and music will be played till around 6:30 p.m. in multiple areas of the historic district.

The celebration culminates in “A Festival of Light and Thunder” at 7 p.m. with simultaneous free fireworks demonstrations above the Capitol, the Magazine and the Governor’s Palace, followed by a torch-lit procession of the Fifes & Drums down Duke of Gloucester Street.

Event-related street closures are anticipated and guests and members of the community are encouraged to plan accordingly, say officials. Guest parking is available at the Colonial Williamsburg Regional Visitor Center.

“As we do every December, we welcome our neighbors and guests from near and far to join us for a one-of-a-kind evening of warmth, music, and of course, traditional fireworks, at this year’s Grand Illumination,” added Reiss.

Daytime programs include the Christmas Decorations Walking Tour at 9:15 a.m., 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. and Talk of the Town: Christmastide at 10 a.m. Each requires a special ticket. Midwinter Stories at 10:30 a.m. is open to guests with Colonial Williamsburg admission, as is The Spirit of the Season at the Raleigh Tavern at 1, 1:30, 2, 2:30, 3, and 3:30 p.m., which requires a free reservation ticket. A Victorian Christmas at 12:30, 2:30 and 4:30 p.m. requires a special ticket in addition to Colonial Williamsburg or Art Museums admission.

Visit colonialwilliamsburg.com for complete programming details.