Things to do Memorial Day weekend: Events, ceremonies and more

There will be plenty of events happening in and around the Historic Triangle this Memorial Day weekend.

There will be plenty of events happening in and around the Historic Triangle this Memorial Day weekend.

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is offering free admission to all active-duty military, reservists, retirees, veterans, National Guard members and their immediate dependents this coming weekend, May 26-29. Tickets are available through Colonial Williamsburg’s “Honoring Service to America” program, made possible by a $100,000 grant from The Home Depot Foundation.

In addition, Colonial Williamsburg will host a Memorial Day Commemoration in partnership with the Williamsburg Chapter of the Virginia Society of the Sons of the American Revolution on Monday, May 29 at 10 am. The program will be held at the Palace Green and will feature a traditional wreath-laying ceremony. The day will wrap up with “Salute to the Fallen,” a bagpipe performance from the roof deck of Governor’s Palace at 4:40 pm. Both events are open to the public. For additional information, visit

The Jamestown Yorktown Foundation will offer free military admission to both Jamestown Settlement and The American Revolution Museum at Yorktown on Monday, May 29. The special offer is available to veterans, active duty, reservists and retired military personnel and up to three direct family members.

The Virginia War Museum also invites the general public to commemorate Memorial Day by visiting the museum on Monday, May 29. Admission will be free to everyone all day, from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm.

Other highlights include a Memorial Day Prayer Service and Ceremony in Yorktown and the 52nd Annual Memorial Day Celebration in Williamsburg – both of which are free and open to the public.

See a full list of the week’s upcoming events below.


Colonial Williamsburg is offering free admission to military families May 26-29. Two special Memorial Day programs will also be held on Monday, May 29, including a Memorial Day Commemoration ceremony at 10 am and a bagpipe performance at 4:40 pm. (Photo courtesy of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation)

Events This Week

Thursday, May 25


  • Throwback Thursday Film Series: “True Grit” – 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 True Grit (1969; G). 2:00 – 4:15 pm. 


  • Drop-in D&D – James City County Library (Williamsburg). Dungeons & Dragons players ages 9-18 are invited to drop-in and play this classic tabletop roleplaying game. For all experience levels. 5:30 – 7:30 pm. 
  • Paper Circuits – Yorktown Library (Yorktown). Kids in grades 3-5 are invited to put together a basic circuit craft to explore electricity. 6:30 – 7:30 pm.

Live Music

  • WSO’s Masterworks Concert #5 – Williamsburg Community Chapel (Williamsburg). Enjoy WSO’s final concert of the season: Masterworks Concert #5, Rhapsody in Blue, directed by Michael Butterman. A live stream of the performance will also be available. Tickets are $45-$60 for in-person attendance, $25 for the livestream and $10 for students. Tickets can be purchased online hereReaders of The Triangle can receive a 10% discount on tickets by using the promo code “Welcome10.” A pre-concert lecture will be held at 6:30 pm and the show will begin at 7:30 pm.
  • Choral Concert: Rushingbrook Children’s Choir – Bruton Parish Church (Williamsburg).  Enjoy a concert by the Rushingbrook Children’s Choir from Greenville, South Carolina, with director David Rasbach. 8:00 – 9:00 pm.  

Friday, May 26


Live Music

Saturday, May 27

Special Events

  • Chick-fil-A 10K/5K and Running with the Cows Fun Run – The Mariners’ Museum and Park (Newport News). The annual Chick-fil-A 10K/5K and Running of the Cows Fun Run returns on May 27. This event is in partnership with the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank to help raise funds to provide 20,000 meals to the community. See the website for additional details. 

Outdoor Recreation

  • Walk This Way: Williamsburg Walking Club – Freedom Park Multiuse Trail 3 (Williamsburg). Walking coaches will guide you through the trails of James City County. This event is offered monthly with a new trail start location each month. Free. 9:00 – 10:00 am.


  • Saturdays @ Frink: Digital Navigation – Abram Frink Jr. Community Center (Williamsburg). Learn how to navigate the digital world with individual and group classes between 10 am and 1 pm. 


  • Madagascar: A Musical Adventure – Ferguson Center for the Arts (Newport News).This brand-new musical from DreamWorks features all your favorite Madagascar characters as they escape from their home in New York’s Central Park Zoo and find themselves on an unexpected journey to the madcap world of King Julien’s Madagascar. Tickets are $28.50 and up for adults, $18 for kids. 2:00 pm. 


  • Meet Your Maker(space): Glowforge – Tabb Library (Yorktown). Learn all about Tabb Library’s Glowforge laser printer and the projects you can create with it. 2:00 – 3:00 pm. 
  • Crafternoon – Yorktown Library (Yorktown). Attend a relaxing afternoon of crafting and community. For adults of all levels interested in crocheting, knitting, needlepoint and other related crafts. Staff will be on hand to teach knitting basics to beginners, and a limited amount of supplies will be available. 3:00 – 5:00 pm. 

Game Night

  • How to Be a Dungeon Master Workshop – James City County Library (Williamsburg). Learn to become a Dungeon Master for Dungeons & Dragons. Spots are limited; call to register. 2:00 – 4:00 pm. 


  • SLAM Connections – Williamsburg Library (Williamsburg). This program is designed to develop poets as writers and performers. Participants will learn about observation, writing, and performance in a safe, judgment-free space. For ages 13+. 2:00 – 4:00 pm.


  • Yorktown Market Days – Riverwalk Landing (Yorktown). Enjoy spectacular views of the York River while shopping for seasonal produce, fresh baked goods, meats, beautiful artwork and more. Acoustical guitarist Louis Vangieri will perform on the Riverwalk Landing Stage. Free. 8:00 am – 12:00 pm. 
  • 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 Village Farmers Market – Historic Hilton Village (Newport News). Shop for goods from local farmers and bakers at this NEW year-round market 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.


  • Fife & Drum March – Duke of Gloucester Street (Colonial Williamsburg). Immerse yourself in the Spirit of ’76. Listen to the stirring sounds of Revolutionary War field music presented by the Colonial Williamsburg Fifes and Drums. The corps will march down Duke of Gloucester Street from the Capitol to Palace Green. 12:30 – 12:50 pm. 
  • The Art of Fifing & Drumming – Play House Stage (Colonial Williamsburg). Join the Colonial Williamsburg Fifes & Drums as they demonstrate the musical tasks and ceremonies that fifers and drummers perform throughout a soldier’s day. 1:00 – 1:20 pm. 

Live Music

  • Rock the Dock Music Festival – Billsburg Brewery (Williamsburg). Kick off Memorial Day weekend with this epic music festival. This family-friendly event features a great lineup of performances. Several food trucks will also be on site. See the website for the list of singers/musicians and food trucks. Free. 12:00 – 11:00 pm. 
  • Kickoff to Summer – New Kent Winery (New Kent). Kick off the summer with New Kent Winery and Talleysville Brewing Company. There will be live music from Whiskey Bizness and food from Slideways Mobile Bistro. No tickets or RSVP required. 6:30 – 9:30 pm. 
  • 80s Prom Night – Revolution Golf and Grille (Williamsburg). Enjoy New Wave and Alt 80s music – including U2, INXS, Simple Mind, The Cure and more – by Barry Manilow’s Wardrobe. 7:00 – 10:00 pm. 
  • Organ & Voice Recital: Memorial Day Commemorations – Bruton Parish Church (Williamsburg). Organist Rebecca Davy and tenor Brian Blair will present a patriotic organ recital and vocal music from the Civil War era in this 300-year-old historic church. 8:00 – 9:00 pm. 

Sunday, May 28

Live Music

  • Junior Wilson – New Kent Winery (New Kent). Enjoy a glass of wine or beer while listening to music by Junior Wilson. 2:00 – 5:00 pm. 
  • Live Music on the Pavilion: Jocelyn Oldham – Williamsburg Winery (Williamsburg). Enjoy the music of Jocelyn Oldham paired with a glass of wine and the beautiful view of the vineyards. 2:00 – 5:00 pm. 
The Virginia War Museum will offer free admission to all on Monday, May 29 in honor of Memorial Day. (Photo courtesy of the City of Newport News)

Monday, May 29 (Memorial Day)

Memorial Day Events

  • Free Military Admission: Colonial Williamsburg – Colonial Williamsburg. As part of its continued tradition of military outreach, Colonial Williamsburg is offering free admission to all active-duty military, reservists, retirees, veterans, National Guard members and their immediate dependents May 26-29. Free “Honoring Service to America” single-day passes are available at all onsite ticket locations with proper ID. For more information, click here
  • Free Admission: Virginia War Museum – 9285 Warwick Boulevard (Newport News). Honor the men and women who sacrificed their lives for our country by visiting the Virginia War Museum. Admission will be free to the public all day on Memorial Day. 9:00 am – 4:00 pm. 
  • Free Military Admission: JYF Museums – Jamestown Settlement and the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown. This Memorial Day, May 29, veterans, active duty, reservists and retired military personnel and up to three direct family members (with military identification) receive free admission at both Jamestown Settlement and the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown. See the website for additional details. 9:00 am  – 5:00 pm. 
  • Memorial Day Prayer Service and Ceremony – Historic Grace Episcopal Church (Yorktown). Join Historic Grace Episcopal Church for a Memorial Day prayer service honoring those who died while serving in the armed forces. After the service, a brief ceremony will be held in the cemetery featuring the playing of “Taps.” Free. 10:00 – 11:30 am. 
  • 52nd Annual Memorial Day Celebration – Williamsburg Memorial Park (Williamsburg). Honor the men and women who gave their lives to protect our nation. This ceremony features patriotic music, an honor guard, a ceremonial wreath-laying, special guest speakers and more. Free. 10:00 am.
  • Memorial Day Commemoration – Palace Green (Colonial Williamsburg). Attend a traditional wreath-laying ceremony honoring the men and women of the U.S. military who gave their lives defending our nation. Open to the public. 10:00 – 10:30 am. 
  • Yorktown Freedom Run – York High School and the Yorktown Battlefield Tour Road (Yorktown). The Yorktown Rotary Club hosts the Yorktown Freedom Run annually to raise funds for college scholarships awarded to local high school graduates, fund service projects and donations to charities and service organizations in our local community. See the website for additional details. 8:00 – 10:00 am. 
  • Memorial Day Jam – Virginia Beer Company (Williamsburg). Celebrate the unofficial start of summer with VBC’s Annual Memorial Day Jam featuring Billy Joe Daniel & Friends along with DJ Kudlz. 2:00 – 5:00 pm. 
  • A Salute to the Fallen – Palace Green (Colonial Williamsburg). A lone bagpiper will conclude Colonial Williamsburg’s Memorial Day observance by playing iconic selections from the Governor’s Palace in a heartfelt tribute to those men and women who gave their lives to our nation. Open to the public. 4:40 – 5:00 pm. 


Special Events

  • Busch Gardens Food & Wine Festival – Busch Gardens (Williamsburg). The Busch Gardens Food & Wine Festival features over 150 international flavors at 16 themed food and beverage locations throughout the park. This year, there are more than 40 new offerings and a rotating menu of returning favorites. This event runs Thursdays-Sundays through June 11. See the website for additional details.
  • Destination Dinosaurs – Virginia Living Museum (Newport News). Discover life-sized animatronic dinosaurs and interactive displays, find relics of the past as you dig for fossils and learn about linkages to the present. Dinosaurs inside the Museum, in the Conservation Gardens, and on the Dinosaur Discovery Trail in the woods create an expansive destination. From the towering T-Rex to the tanky Stegosaurus, you’ll encounter creatures that will take your breath away. This exhibit runs May 27 – September 4. See the website for additional details or to purchase tickets.


  • Wheelbarrow of Summer Fun Raffle – Williamsburg REALTORS has kicked off a Wheelbarrow of Summer Fun raffle to raise money to build a house in James City County for a local family in partnership with Habitat for Humanity. All proceeds will be used to build a Habitat home for a local family. The winner will be drawn on June 15th. To purchase a raffle ticket, click here.

Future Events to Note

  • Music in Midtown: BJ Griffin Band – Midtown Row (Williamsburg). Attend a night of great music featuring the BJ Griffin Band. Thursday, June 1. Free. 6:00 – 8:00 pm. 
  • WAAR Shred-a-Thon – WAAR Parking Lot (Williamsburg). Williamsburg REALTORS ® will hold a Document Shredding Community Event free to all on Thursday, June 1 from 2-4  pm at WAAR office parking lot (5000 New Point Rd, Ste 1101, Williamsburg).

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