YORKTOWN, Va., June 15, 2011 — The Yorktown Victory Center, a museum of the American Revolution, will join in saluting the 235th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence during “Liberty Celebration,” July 2-4.
From 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., visitors can interact with Revolutionary War re-enactors, observe tactical and artillery drills, take part in a variety of military exercises, and discover the origins of “American” dishes such as apple pie. A rare broadside printing of the Declaration dating to July 1776 is featured in the museum’s Declaration of Independence Gallery. Just outside the museum galleries, visitors also can enjoy a new sculpture of George Washington, commander in chief of the Continental Army and first president of the United States of America.
In the museum's re-created Continental Army encampment, artillery demonstrations will take place at 11:05 a.m., 1:05 and 3:05 p.m. At least one of the demonstrations, at 1:05 p.m., will examine the role of the mortar, a type of artillery that can fire explosive charges over obstacles, at the Siege of Yorktown. At 4:05 p.m. each day, visitors can watch costumed historical interpreters take up arms for a tactical drill and then participate in a wooden musket drill.
At the 1780s farm, visitors can learn about the transition from farmer to soldier as they train as a member of the citizen militia during a special program at 11:35 a.m. each day. Visitors to the farm kitchen at 12:35 p.m. will learn about the contributions of European, American Indian and African cultures to American cooking, and about the origins of apple pie and other “American” dishes.
At 3:35 p.m., a special program explores the importance of the tobacco economy in the 18th century. At 5:05 p.m., farm visitors can try 18th-century games, such as quoits, mancala, and hoop and stick.
Yorktown Victory Center visitors can start their experience along an outdoor timeline to gain insight to the events that led to the conflict between the American colonies and Britain. Indoors in the Witnesses to Revolution Gallery, visitors can hear firsthand accounts of the war’s impact on everyday people of the 18th century, including Africans, American Indians and women – for whom the concepts of liberty and equality did not apply. Visitors also can learn about the movements of British, American and French troops that converged on Yorktown in 1781 and take in “A Time of Revolution,” a film shown every 30 minutes in the museum theater. Exhibits also examine the development of the Constitution and Bill of Rights and how people from many different cultures shaped a new society.
Admission is $9.50 for adults and $5.25 for youth ages 6 through 12. A 20-percent savings is available with 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. Event activities are sponsored in part by a grant from Dominion Resources.
The Yorktown Victory Center’s “Liberty Celebration” daytime events complement the Yorktown Fourth of July Celebration taking place in historic Yorktown on the evening of July 4.
The Yorktown Victory Center is located on Route 1020 near the Colonial Parkway in Yorktown. Open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily through August 15, parking at the Yorktown Victory Center is free for museum visitors. A free shuttle service is available during museum operating hours to historic Yorktown and other Williamsburg area attractions.
For more information, call (888) 593-4682 toll free or (757) 253-4838.