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    Enjoy A Colonial Christmas In Jamestown

    Winter can be a wonderful time to experience Virginia’s Historic Triangle. The weather is often mild and many attractions remain open. Jamestown Settlement and the Yorktown Victory Center are open year-round except Christmas and New Year’s days, and offer holiday theme programs in December.

    The founding of Jamestown, America’s first permanent English colony, in Virginia in 1607 took place 13 years before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth in Massachusetts. This event sparked a series of cultural encounters that would shape the nation and the world. The government, language, customs, beliefs and aspirations of these early Virginians are all part of the United States’ heritage today.

    Carrying 105 passengers, The Susan Constant, Godspeed and Discovery departed from England in December 1606 and reached the Virginia coast in late April 1607. The expedition, led by Captain Christopher Newport, arrived at a suitable defensive site on the James River on May 13. The passengers came ashore the next day, and work began on the settlement. Initially, the colony was governed by a council of seven, with one member serving as president.

    Until 1699 when the seat of government moved to Williamsburg, Jamestown continued as the center of Virginia’s political and social life. Although Jamestown ceased to exist as a town by the mid 1700s, its legacies are embodied in today’s United States.

    Winter is also a wonderful time to gather with family and friends and plan to experience a memorable Colonial Christmas. This event takes place from Mid Dec through Early January. During these special events of the season travelers can join in the Holiday traditions of 17th- and 18th-century Virginia as recalled through special interpretive programs.

    At Jamestown Settlement they often host films and guided tours that compare and contrast English Christmas customs of the period with how the season may have been observed in the difficult early years of the Jamestown colony. At the Yorktown Victory Center you can hear accounts of Christmas and winter in military encampments during the American Revolution and glimpse holiday preparations on a 1780s Virginia farm, located at the Jamestown Settlement & Yorktown Victory Center.

    By Melody Schubert

    Getting There:

    Special combination tickets are available to museums, special events, and programs in America’s Historic Triangle by visiting www.AmericasHistoricTriangle.com or  www.historyisfun.org/Vacation-Packages.htm. You can also call 1-800-495-8804 for more information about America’s Historic Triangle.