YORKTOWN VICTORY CELEBRATION
October 16-17, 2010
The 229th Anniversary of America’s Decisive Revolutionary War Victory
YORKTOWN, Va. — The Yorktown Victory Center, a museum of the American Revolution, will feature military demonstrations, including musket and artillery drills, and hands-on interpretive programs at re-creations of a Continental Army encampment and 1780s farm during its annual “Yorktown Victory Celebration,” Saturday and Sunday, October 16 and 17, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Weekend events also will be held at the Yorktown Battlefield and are a prelude to the Yorktown Day parade and commemorative ceremony on Tuesday, October 19, in historic Yorktown and at Yorktown Battlefield to mark the official anniversary of the British surrender to American forces in 1781.
Visitors to the Yorktown Victory Center can see a rare early broadside printing of America’s Declaration of Independence on exhibit in the museum’s Declaration of Independence Gallery. The historic document was printed in Boston soon after the Declaration was adopted by the Continental Congress in Philadelphia on July 4, 1776, and before an engrossed, or handwritten, copy of the document on parchment was signed by members of Congress on August 2, 1776. Thematic gallery exhibits at the Yorktown Victory Center provide eyewitness accounts of the American Revolution, describe the convergence of forces on Yorktown in 1781 for the climactic military engagement of the revolution, and examine the development of the Constitution and Bill of Rights and how people from many different cultures shaped a new society.
Visitors to the re-created Continental Army encampment will be invited to experience Revolutionary War military life firsthand by enrolling in “A School for the Soldier,” offering opportunities to drill with wooden muskets and apply tactical skills in mock combat, as well as learn about soldiers’ provisions and sleeping quarters. The program also explores methods of troop communication, espionage during the war and the importance of earthworks during a siege. “School” sessions will be offered several times throughout the weekend event. Visitor participatory artillery demonstrations will be held at 11:05 a.m. and 3:05 p.m. each day. Revolutionary War re-enactors also will be on hand to demonstrate military life and tactics.
Visitors to the re-created 1780s farm can observe open-hearth cooking and take part in 18th-century games. “The Price of Liberty” engages visitors in a role-playing demonstration that provides insight to the sacrifices and hardships endured by Americans who sought independence, including military and political leaders, soldiers, farmers, merchants, women and slaves.
Participation in event activities is included with Yorktown Victory Center admission of $9.50 foradults and $5.25 for youth ages 6 through 12. Children under six are admitted free. Save close to 20 percent on a value-priced combination ticket with Jamestown Settlement, a museum of 17th-century Virginia. Various package and ticket options are available online with Williamsburg area attractions. Online tickets also are available.
The Yorktown Victory Center, open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily year-round, is located on Route 1020 near the Colonial Parkway in Yorktown. “Yorktown Victory Celebration” is funded in part by the York County Arts Commission. For more information, call (888) 593-4682 toll-free or (757) 253-4838.