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WILLIAMSBURG, Va., January 31, 2014 – From emphasis on early American fashion, weapons and food to the story of how canoes of the Chesapeake Bay region evolved from single- to multi-log watercraft, special programs at Jamestown Settlement and the Yorktown Victory Center in 2014 present a vibrant portrayal of life in the 17th and 18th centuries.
The two state-operated living-history museums tell the story of America’s beginnings through gallery exhibits and outdoor re-created settings – Powhatan Indian village, 1607 English ships and 1610-14 colonial fort at Jamestown Settlement, and Revolutionary War encampment and 1780s farm at the Yorktown Victory Center.

From Africa to Virginia in February is the first of three theme months at Jamestown Settlement and the Yorktown Victory Center.  Gallery exhibits and daily interpretive programs highlight the west central African culture of the first known Africans in Virginia, and the experiences of people of African descent in 17th-century Virginia and during the American Revolution era.  Throughout Fashion in Colonial Virginia month in June, visitors can learn how dyes were made from plants, observe the stitching of simple apparel and accessories, and try on clothing like that worn by historical interpreters at the museums.  Arms & Artillery in August provides an in-depth look at muskets, artillery pieces and military accouterments of the 17th and 18th centuries.  Visitors can try on armor, learn the roles on an artillery crew and witness firing demonstrations.

Jamestown Settlement’s annual Military Through the Ages takes place March 15 and 16, with hundreds of re-enactors spanning centuries of military history.  The Civil War 150 HistoryMobile, an initiative of the Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission, will be at Jamestown Settlement for this year’s event.

Three events mark important milestones in the nation’s history.  Jamestown Day at Jamestown Settlement on May 10, jointly sponsored with Historic Jamestowne, commemorates the 407th anniversary of the founding of America’s first permanent English colony.  At the Yorktown Victory Center, Liberty Celebration, July 4-6, salutes the anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.  A rare broadside printing of the historic document dating to July 1776 is on exhibit in the museum galleries.  Yorktown Victory Celebration is held October 18 and 19 in conjunction with the 233rd anniversary of the decisive military victory of the American Revolution.     

“Working and Racing on the Bay: The Chesapeake Log Canoe” opens September 19 at Jamestown Settlement and is the focus of Community Day on September 20.  The one-year special exhibition, featuring objects from the collection of The Mariners’ Museum, will trace the evolution of the dugout canoe through the centuries, from the watercraft of the Powhatan people 400 years ago to multi-log trade vessels and work and racing boats.

Both museums offer holiday programs in late fall.  Historical Virginia foodways are featured during Foods & Feasts of Colonial Virginia, November 27-29, and 17th- and 18th-century holiday traditions during A Colonial Christmas, December 1 through January 4, 2015.

Jamestown Settlement and the Yorktown Victory Center are open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, until 6 p.m. from June 15 through August 15.  A value-priced combination ticket for both museums, offering 20 percent off separate admissions, is $20.50 for adults, $10.25 for ages 6 through 12.  Jamestown Settlement admission is $16.00 for adults, $7.50 for ages 6-12.  Yorktown Victory Center admission is $9.75 for adults, $5.50 for ages 6-12.  An annual pass also is available.  Parking at the museums is free.

Jamestown Settlement is located on Route 31 at the Colonial Parkway next to Historic Jamestowne, administered by the National Park Service and the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation (on behalf of Preservation Virginia).  The Yorktown Victory Center is located on Route 1020 in Yorktown near Yorktown Battlefield, administered by the National Park Service.  The museums are a short distance from Busch Gardens®, Colonial Williamsburg’s Revolutionary City and Art Museums, and other attractions.  Jamestown Settlement and Yorktown Victory Center admission is included in several Williamsburg area joint tickets and vacation packages.

For more information, call (888) 593-4682 toll-free or (757) 253-4838 or visit hif.ciniva.net.