UPDATE 4/1/2023: The Gloucester Daffodil Festival will be held ONLY on Sunday, April 2 due to anticipated high winds. For additional information, visit daffodilfestivalva.org. -Editor
The 37th annual Gloucester Daffodil Festival returns this weekend, Saturday, April 1 and Sunday, April 2.
The two-day festival, held along Main Street in Gloucester County, draws tens of thousands of visitors from throughout the region every year. There will be hundreds of vendors, a variety of food, live performances and more.
This year’s theme, “Let’s Jazz it Up, The Trumpets are Blooming,” will celebrate jazz music with featured performances by Good Shot Judy and Blue Tips Rhythm Revue.
Saturday’s schedule will include the “Amazing Mutt” show. The 2023 Little Miss Daffodil will be crowned on Sunday.
The Daffodil Festival’s history dates all the way back to 1939, when Gloucester and Mathews counties began holding Daffodil Tours that drew large crowds of people. Gloucester County soon came to be known as the “Daffodil Capital of America.”
The tours ended in 1942 during World War II, but a group of local residents brought celebrations of the flower to life again in 1987, when the first annual Daffodil Festival was organized.
Daffodils have existed in Gloucester since the 17th century when the county was formed. Early settlers who arrived in the area brought daffodil bulbs with them to serve as reminders of springtime in England, according to historical records.
To see the Daffodil Festival’s full two-day schedule, visit daffodilfestivalva.org.
Some other events to highlight for this week include a free Child Abuse Prevention Event in Williamsburg, a Broadway-themed Virginia Symphony Orchestra concert at the Ferguson Center and William & Mary’s annual “Evening of Dance” performance.
There will also be several free Easter-themed events for families and kids this weekend, including the Spring Egg-Stravaganza in Newport News, a drop-in Easter Egg Coloring event at the Stryker Center and Easter egg hunts at Brookdale Williamsburg and Walsingham Academy.
See the community calendar below for more events coming up this week.
Thursday, March 30
- DIY Craft: Quilting – Art Museums (Colonial Williamsburg). Enjoy a mini quilting project while discovering the story of Susana Allen Hunter. Requires Art Museum admission/a Good Neighbor pass and a $5 program ticket. 10:30 – 11:30 am.
- Throwback Thursday Film Series: “The Hindenburg” – Williamsburg Library Theatre (Williamsburg). This film series features a variety of contemporary and classic movies for an adult audience. This week’s featured film is The Hindenburg (1975; PG). 2:00 – 4:10 pm.
- From the Stories of Jane Austen – Art Museums (Colonial Williamsburg). Experience Jane Austen’s world with music from her personal collection, performed on the historic Organized Piano. Requires Art Museum Admission/a Good Neighbor pass. 2:30 – 2:50 pm.
- Jazz 4 Justice – Ferguson Center for the Arts (Newport News). The Jazz 4 Justice fundraising program supports the Legal Aid Society of Eastern Virginia and is presented by Christopher Newport University’s Jazz Ensemble in partnership with the Newport News Bar Association. Tickets are $15 ($10 for students) and can be purchased here. 7:00 pm.
- Organ Recital: Cheryl Van Ornam – Bruton Parish Church (Williamsburg). Enjoy a candlelit recital by organist Cheryl Van Ornam from First Baptist Church in Richmond. 8:00 – 9:00 pm.
- Child Abuse Prevention Event – King of Glory Lutheran Church (Williamsburg). The Child Abuse Prevention Coalition of Greater Williamsburg will hold an event on Thursday, March 30 to kick off Child Abuse Prevention Month. Representatives from the Williamsburg Regional Library, Head Start, JCC Parks & Recreation, JCC Department of Social Services and more will be present to provide resources for families. This event is free and open to everyone. It will feature arts and crafts, light refreshments and more. 5:30 – 7:30 pm.
Friday, March 31
- Virginia Symphony Orchestra’s Broadway Rocks – Ferguson Center for the Arts (Newport News). This high-energy show features exciting vocalists from Broadway performing selections from contemporary and Rock Broadway hits, including songs from popular musicals like The Lion King, Phantom of the Opera, Hairspray and Rent. Tickets start at $25.
- Easter Craft Party – James City County Recreation Center (Williamsburg). Kids ages 5-12 are invited to create an Easter Bunny bobblehead during this fun craft program. $15. 5:30 – 6:30 pm.
- Kid’s Mini Easter Eggs Workshop– James City County Recreation Center (Williamsburg). Kids will learn to make homemade chocolate Easter eggs. Instruction will be provided by The Williamsburg Chocolatier, Inc. For ages 7-13. $25. 5:00 – 7:00 pm.
Saturday, April 1
- Williamsburg Farmers Market – Merchants Square (Williamsburg). Find a variety of local products – including seasonal produce, meats, seafood, baked goods, honey, cheese, cut flowers, handmade soaps and more – offered by more than 40 vendors. The market runs from 8:00 – 12:00 pm and there will be live music from 9:00 – 11:00 am.
- Hilton Farmers Market – Historic Hilton Village (Newport News). Shop for goods from local farmers and bakers at Historic Hilton Village. 9:00 am – 12:00 pm.
- Toano Open Air Market – 7891 Richmond Road (Toano). Shop for a variety of items from local farmers, artists and artisans. 9:00 am – 1:00 pm.
- YMCA Victory at Yorktown Races – Waterfront (Historic Yorktown). The Victory Family YMCA is hosting its 8th Annual Victory at Yorktown Races on Saturday, April 1. Races begin at the Yorktown Waterfront and proceed past landmarks, including the Yorktown Victory Monument, Cornwallis’ Cave and Surrender Field. Race options include a 1-mile Fun Run, 5K and 10K. See the website for additional details or to register.
- Tour: Bassett Hall Trace– Bassett Trace Nature Trail (Colonial Williamsburg). Learn about Virginia’s wildlife and native habitats during this hour long tour. Requires CW admission or a Good Neighbor pass; reservations are required. 9:30 – 10:30 am.
- Sewing Saturday: Sew a Tote Bag– Abram Frink Jr. Community Center (Williamsburg). Sew a tote bag during this program. Supplies are provided, including a sewing machine. See website for reservation details. 10:00 am – 12:00 pm.
Kids & Families
- Brookdale Chambrel Annual Easter Egg Hunt – 3800 Treyburn Drive (Williamsburg). Children ages 12 and under are invited to this fun event featuring an egg hunt, games, face painting, prizes, a magic show, pictures with the Easter Bunny and more. Free and open to the public. Space is limited and registration is required. Call 757-220-1839 to RSVP. 9:00 am – 11:00 am.
- Spring Egg-Stravaganza – King-Lincoln Park (Newport News). Families are invited to this fun Easter event featuring a petting zoo, flower planting activities, an egg and treat trail, live stage entertainment, face painting, inflatables and visits from the Easter Bunny. Admission is free. See the website for a full schedule of activities. 12:00 – 5:00 pm.
- Easter Egg Coloring – Stryker Center (Williamsburg). Kids of all ages are invited to paint, dye and decorate eggs during this drop-in event. All supplies provided. Free. 1:00 – 4:00 pm.
- Dragons and Mythical Beasts – Ferguson Center for the Arts (Newport News). This family-friendly show offers a spell-binding adventure into a magical world of myths and legends. Tickets are $15 for kids, $28 and up for adults.
- Yoga with Chessie – Lee Hall Depot (Newport News). Lovable feline Chessie will be at the Depot for a workout featuring the newest exercise trend: kitty yoga. For all ages and skill sets; bring a yoga mat. $12 (includes museum admission, yoga class and refreshments). 2:00 pm.
- Wild Heart – Jolene’s Bar and Grill (Williamsburg). Enjoy country, rock, southern rock and blues music by the band Wild Heart. 7:30 pm.
- Organ Recital: Ben Vogan – Bruton Parish Church (Williamsburg). Ben Vogan, Senior Organ Major at Christopher Newport University in Newport News, will present a candlelit recital in this 18th-century worship space. 8:00 – 9:00 pm.
- Dungeons & Dragons Day of Play – Stryker Center (Williamsburg). Join for an afternoon of multigame play for tweens, teens and adults. For ages 9 through adult. Register by March 28 by emailing [email protected] 1:00 – 4:00 pm.
Sunday, April 2
Kids & Families
- Weekend on Your Wheels Race #2 – New Quarter Park (Williamsburg). Join New Quarter Park for its Weekend on Your Wheels Youth Bike Race Series. There are courses for elementary riders, elementary/intermediate riders and high school riders. Parents must be present and helmets are required. Click here for more information or to register. $10 for residents; $15 for non-residents. 12:00 – 5:00 pm.
- Easter Egg Hunt on the Green – Walsingham Academy (Williamsburg). Kids 7 and under are invited to attend this fun, public Easter Egg hunt. Free and open to the community. See the website to register: 1:00 – 2:00 pm.
- Beanbag Book Club – James City County Library (Williamsburg). Kids 6-8 will join other emerging readers to read, play games and participate in fun activities. Participants will get a copy of the month’s book to keep. There are two 45-minute sessions to choose from: one at 2:00 pm and one at 3:00 pm.
- “Every Brilliant Thing” – Stryker Center (Williamsburg). See Virginia Stage Company’s production of Every Brilliant Thing, an immersive experience that tells one individual’s story of growing up in the shadow of their mother’s struggle with suicidal depression. Free admission; seating is limited. 2:00 pm.
- CW Lights – Governor’s Palace (Colonial Williamsburg). Enjoy a family-friendly evening experience in the Governor’s Palace Gardens. The world-class gardens will be alight with a magical glow, illuminating the spring bloom. You’ll enjoy the sounds of the finest 18th-century entertainment while strolling through the gardens. This event takes place nightly, March 31-April 22, and three time slots are available: 8:00 – 9:00 pm, 8:30 – 9:30 pm and 9:00 – 10:00 pm. Tickets are $19 for adults, $12 for youth 12 and under.
- An Evening of Dance – Kimball Theatre (Williamsburg). William & Mary will present its annual concert, An Evening of Dance, with Orchesis Modern Dance Company. The event will showcase the talents of W&M dance students in choreography, production and performance. The show will be held Thursday, March 30; Friday, March 31; and Saturday, April 1 at 7:30 pm and Sunday, April 2 at 2:00 pm. Tickets are $15 for adults, $7 for students and children and free for W&M students with an ID.
- Ain’t Misbehavin’ The Fats Waller Musical Show – James-York Playhouse (Williamsburg). The Williamsburg Players pay tribute to Fats Waller, who is regarded as one of the greatest jazz pianists and songwriters in American history. This show runs on weekends, March 17 through April 2. Tickets are $20 for adults; $12.00 for students and children and can be purchased here.
- Pastels – James City County Recreation Center (Williamsburg). Participants will learn how to create portraits and landscapes using pastels. This program will be held Wednesdays, March 29-June 14, 1:00 – 3:00 pm.
- Presentation: Musket Demonstration – Magazine Yard (Colonial Williamsburg). In this presentation, a member of Colonial Williamsburg’s Military Programs staff will demonstrate the loading and firing of the musket using an 18th-century loading procedure. This is a recurring events with multiple times/dates; see the Colonial Williamsburg’s website for details.
- Presentation: Historic Trades Talk – Hennage Auditorium (Colonial Williamsburg). Experts from the Historic Trades will discuss their research. Requires Art Museum admission or a Good Neighbor pass. This event will be held Monday, March 27 and Wednesday, March 29, 4:30 – 5:15 pm.
- Women’s History Month @ CW – Colonial Williamsburg. Colonial Williamsburg is offering a variety of special programs in honor of Women’s History Month throughout March. See a list of those events here.
Kids & Families
- Fossil Frenzy Hike – York River State Park (Williamsburg). Join park staff in discovering fossils of creatures that lived in the area many years ago, including whales, porpoises, sharks, clams, scallops and snails. Included in standard parking or admission. April 1 – 11, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm.
- Open Play – Yorktown Library (Yorktown). Kids through grade 5 are invited to drop by the children’s wing for play time and socialization with others. An adult caregiver must be present. 5:00 – 7:00 pm.
- Free Tax Prep Help – Multiple Locations. Free tax preparation services are available for those who qualify through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program and Tax Counseling for the Elderly, now through mid-April. To find a free tax preparation service near you, visit this website and enter your zip code. In Williamsburg, AARP Tax Aide is also available at the Williamsburg Library and at Fire Station #1, Feb. 1 – April 15. VITA tax preparation services are available Tuesday and Thursday (1-5:30 pm) and Saturdays (9 am – 1:30 pm) at Colonial Williamsburg’s Kids Club Building 17 Near the Visitors Center. Click here for additional details.
- Host families needed for exchange students – Host families are currently being matched with high school foreign exchange students for all school districts for the 23-24 school year. Spots are limited, and May 15th is the deadline. Students have their own spending money and health insurance, are fluent in English, fully supervised throughout their stay (semester or school year), and are matched based on shared interests/hobbies, country and gender preference. Anyone can host– traditional families, singles, working parents, empty nesters, etc. Contact Welby Whiting Fairlie 757-784-8763 or [email protected]. Additional information is also available at www.iseusa.org.
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