Things to do this week: Lighting of the Cressets, New Kent Independence Day Celebration and more events

Colonial Williamsburg will host several special events this weekend in the lead-up to Independence Day.

On Friday and Saturday, the Lighting of the Cressets will return to Duke of Gloucester Street. Musicians will stroll along the illuminated 18th-century streets, performing a variety of tunes. The event will be held from 8:00 – 10:00 p.m. both evenings and is free and open to the public.

On Sunday, An Evening with the Presidents will be held at 7:00 p.m. at the Hennage Auditorium at the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg. Attendees will join George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison as the presidents explore how their administrations navigated the division they faced during their times. Tickets are $19 for adults and $12 for kids ages 12 and under.

New Kent County is also gearing up to kick off its first-ever Independence Day Celebration this Sunday at New Kent High School. The event will begin at 7:00 p.m. and will feature food trucks, backyard games, a pie eating contest, children’s activities, a car show and music by DJ Rodney Woody. Fireworks will conclude the evening at 9:30 p.m. The event is rain or shine.

Some other highlights for this week include a USAF Heritage Band concert in Port Warwick (Wednesday), a concert by Band of Oz in Yorktown (Thursday), a free history performance exploring the life of Benjamin Franklin at American Revolution Museum (Saturday) and a free, outdoor family Movie Night in Merchants Square (Sunday). 

Want to submit a future event for consideration? Email me at

Have a wonderful week!


Duke of Gloucester Street will come to life with glowing cressets and strolling musicians during Colonial Williamsburg’s Lighting of the Cressets on Friday, June 30 and Saturday, July 1. (Photo by The Triangle)

Monday, June 26


  • Presentation: Rare Breeds – Randolph Pasture (Colonial Williamsburg). Learn about the rare breeds of livestock that were raised in 18th-century Virginia and find out how to identify the breeds of domesticated animals at Colonial Williamsburg. This educational program is excellent for the whole family. Weather-permitting. Requires CW admission or a Good Neighbor pass. 11:00 am – 12:00 pm. 

Tweens & Teens

  • Tween Lounge – Williamsburg Library (Williamsburg). Tweens ages 9-12 are invited to have a snack, make a craft or just hang out with friends each week before Nintendo Open Play. 12:00 – 2:00 pm.
  • Nintendo Switch Open Play – Williamsburg Library (Williamsburg). Tweens and teens are invited to play Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Mario Kart 8 and more on Nintendo Switch and on the library’s big screen. For ages 9-18. 2:00 – 4:00 pm. 


  • Watch-and-Play: “Trolls” – James City County Library (Williamsburg). Join James City County Library for a series of interactive, all-ages movie screenings this summer featuring crafts, snacks and more. This month’s featured film is Trolls (PG; 1hr 32min). See the website for details about the July and August films. 6:00 pm. 

Tuesday, June 27


  • A Taste of Freedom – Hennage Auditorium (Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg). Learn about the journey of Americus Weston – an enslaved man who found freedom by escaping to a Union camp – in this performance created to commemorate Juneteenth. 1:30 – 2:15 pm. 

Arts & Crafts

  • Catch-a-Craft – Williamsburg Library (Williamsburg). Kids are invited to get creative with a new craft each week at this drop-in event. No registration required. 10:00 am – 6:00 pm. 


  • Art House Café Film Series: “Ophelia” – Williamsburg Library Theatre (Williamsburg). This film series brings an art house flavor to your Tuesdays. This week’s featured film is Ophelia (2018; PG-13). See the website for a description and trailer. 2:00 pm. 

Game Night

  • Dungeons & Dragons (18+) – Tabb Library (Yorktown). Attend an evening of Dungeons & Dragons at Tabb Library. This event is for new and experienced players 18+. Register online. Light refreshments will be provided. 


  • Genealogy Research: Making Use of Available (Mostly Free) Resources – Williamsburg Library (Williamsburg). Attend a free genealogy workshop co-sponsored by William & Mary’s Bray School Lab and William & Mary Libraries. This program will discuss the abundance of mostly free resources available to those who wish to do genealogy research. 6:30 – 7:30 pm. 


  • Capitol Concert – Capitol Hall of Burgesses (Colonial Williamsburg). Attend a live evening performance featuring the Governor’s Musick Ensemble. Tickets are $19 for adults; $12 for kids. 7:00 – 8:00 pm. 

Wednesday, June 28



  • Teen Movie Night – Williamsburg Library (Williamsburg). Teens ages 13-18 are invited to enjoy a movie with pizza and popcorn. The featured film will be The Mitchells Versus the Machines (PG; 2021). 4:00 – 6:30 pm. 


  • Meditation – Tabb Library (Yorktown). Practice mindfulness and meditation with Melissa McGill, Ed.D, a certified Mindfulness Meditation Teacher. 6:30 – 7:30 pm. 



Thursday, June 29

Special Event

  • Summer Reading Kickoff – Tabb Library (Yorktown). York County Public Library is kicking off its Summer Reading Program with fun activities for all ages. There will be games, crafts, food trucks, a concert featuring acoustic music by Phil Poteat and more. This event will be held outside of Tabb Library or moved inside in case of inclement weather. Free. 5:30 – 7:30 pm. 


  • World of Songs – James City County Library & Stryker Center (Williamsburg). Rita Cohen of Arts for Learning will lead this multilingual musical program for kids. This program will be offered at James City County Library (10:00 am) and the Stryker Center (1:00 pm).


  • DIY Craft: Quilting – Art Museums (Colonial Williamsburg). Discover the story of quilter Alonzia Pettway while enjoying a mini quilting project. Requires Art Museum admission or a Good Neighbor Pass and a $5 program ticket. 10:30 – 11:30 am. 
  • Summer Sewing Series: Make an Easy Baby Quilt – James City County Library (Williamsburg). Learn the fundamentals of quilting and make a baby quilt in this 4-session series. Attendance at all sessions and registration are required. Participants should have basic sewing skills. For ages 18 and up. See the website for registration details. 1:00 – 4:00 pm. 


  • Throwback Thursday Film Series: “Bhowani Junction” – 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 Bhowani Junction (1956; NR). 2:00 – 3:55 pm. 


  • An Evening of Italian Madrigals – Bruton Parish Church (Colonial Williamsburg). Enjoy an evening of Italian madrigals in this historic worship center. This concert will be presented by sopranos Sarah Taylor & Claudia Kessel, tenors George Revill & Daniel Parks, cellist Brian Blair, and harpsichordist JanEl Will. 8:00 – 9:00 pm. 
  • Sounds of Summer Concert Series: Band of Oz – Riverwalk Landing (Yorktown). This week’s featured band is Band of Oz. Tasty concert snacks and dinner offerings will also be sold by Coastal Thirst, Water Street Grille, and Pop’s Kettle Corn. In case of inclement weather, updates will be posted on Facebook and Instagram, as well as the York County Event Weather Hotline at 757-890-3520. 6:30 – 9:00 pm.  
Band of Oz will perform in Historic Yorktown this Thursday as part of the Sounds of Summer Concert Series. (Photo courtesy of York County)

Friday, June 30

Special Event

  • Lighting of the Cressets – Duke of Gloucester Street (Colonial Williamsburg). Duke of Gloucester Street will come to life with strolling musicians during the lighting of the cressets. 8:00 – 10:00 pm. 


  • Puppet Storytime – Stryker Center (Williamsburg). Kids are invited to attend this all-ages storytime featuring the WRL puppets, brought to life by teen volunteers. 10:00 am.
  • Fun Fridays on the Square – City Square Plaza (Williamsburg). Kids can enjoy games, activities and snacks on City Square outside the Williamsburg Library each Friday after storytime. 10:30 am. 


  • Teens Night Out – James City County Library (Williamsburg). Teens ages 13-18 are invited to celebrate the summer with weekly Teens Night Out programs every Friday, June 16-August 18 at JCC Library. See the website for each week’s theme. 6:00 – 8:00 pm. 

Saturday, July 1

Special Event

  • Lighting of the Cressets – Duke of Gloucester Street (Colonial Williamsburg). Duke of Gloucester Street will come to life with strolling musicians during the lighting of the cressets. 8:00 – 10:00 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 Phil Poteat will perform on the Riverwalk Landing Stage. 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 am – 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.


  • Sewing Saturday: Rope Baskets – Abram Frink Jr. Community Center (Williamsburg). Sew a rope basket! Supplies will be provided. Registration is required. 9:45 am – 12:00 pm. 


  • Preschool Dance Party – Stryker Center (Williamsburg). This hour-long program features songs, movement, rhymes and fun for preschoolers and parents. 11:00 am. 

Nature/Outdoor Recreation

  • Stream to Sea Stroll – York River State Park (Williamsburg). Discover life in four different aquatic ecosystems while hiking to a small woodland and marsh stream, freshwater pond and brackish/saltwater river. Included with park admission. 10:00 am – 12:00 pm. 
  • Fly Like an Eagle – Newport News Park Discovery Center (Newport News). Kick off your July 4 celebrations by learning more about the eagle – our country’s national symbol. This program will be held at 11:00 am and 2:00 pm. 
  • Mysterious Moonlight Canoe Tour – York River State Park (Williamsburg). Explore the marsh at night while paddling through its waters. You may see a variety of creatures in the creek, along the shoreline and in the night sky. This event is included with standard park admission. Canoes can be reserved for $13/person or $8/person for a family of 4+. 7:30 – 10:30 pm. 


  • Recruiting Party and March – Capitol Green (Colonial Williamsburg). People of all ages are invited to take part in a light military drill with Virginia State Garrison Regiment members to defend freedom on the South Lawn of the Colonial Capitol Building, followed by a march down the Duke of Gloucester Street to the Magazine. Free and open to the public. 12:30 – 1:10 pm. 
  • Talking History Lecture: B.J. Pryor – American Revolution Museum (Yorktown). Attend a thought-provoking history performance exploring the life and wisdom of Benjamin Franklin. Pryor has portrayed Franklin since 2016. Admission is free; registration is encouraged. 3:00 – 4:00 pm. 


  • Writing as a Second Career – Williamsburg Library (Williamsburg). Author Cindy L. Freeman offers suggestions for getting started with writing at any age. 2:00 pm. 

Live Music

  • Scott Varney – Spoke & Art (Williamsburg). Scott Varney performs live at Spoke & Art. 12:00 – 4:00 pm. 
  • Collective Soul – Busch Gardens (Williamsburg). Busch Gardens’ Summer Concert Series returns with Collective Soul. This concert is free with park admission. 7:00 pm. 
  • Patriotic Organ Recital – Bruton Parish Church (Williamsburg) Rebecca Davy, Music Director and Organist at Bruton Parish, will present a patriotic organ recital. 8:00 – 9:00 pm.
  • Downtown Hampton Block Party – Intersection of Queen’s Way and King St. (Downtown Hampton). Downtown Hampton’s Block Party returns with live music by the BJ Griffin. Free. 6:00 – 9:30 pm

Sunday, July 2

Special Event

  • Free Sunday Movie Night – Merchants Square (Williamsburg). Head over to the parking lot behind Baskin Robbins and the Peanut Shop for a movie under the stars. This week’s featured film is Super Mario Bros. Bring a lawn chair or blanket. Begins at sunset. Free
  • An Evening with the Presidents – Hennage Auditorium (Colonial Williamsburg). This special evening event will feature George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. The Presidents will explore how their administration navigated the vast differences that challenged America during their times. Tickets are $19 for adults; $12 for children 12 and under. 7:00 – 8:00 pm. 
  • Independence Day Celebration – New Kent High School (New Kent). Attend the first-ever New Kent County Independence Day Celebration. There will be food trucks, children’s activities, backyard games, a pie eating contest, a car show and music by DJ Rodney Woody. The night will conclude with fireworks. 7:00 – 10:00 pm. 


  • Bird Walk – Newport News Park (Newport News). Join volunteers from the Hampton Roads Bird Club every first and third Sunday of the month for early morning birding. Attendees should be prepared to carpool to several areas in the park. Free. 7:00 am. 


  • Family Workshop: Cabinetmaker – Cabinetmaker & Harpsichord Maker (Colonial Williamsburg). This program features an in-depth, hands-on tour and demonstration of hand planes – one of the traditional woodworker’s most important tools. This family workshop is designed for participants 7 and older. Kids 7-13 must be accompanied by a ticketed adult. Kids 14-17 must be accompanied by a participating or non-participating adult. See website for details. Tickets are $20 each. 10:00 – 11:00 am. 
  • Independence Day Storytime with DAR – Williamsburg Library (Williamsburg). The Daughters of the American Revolution will lead a storytime about the founding of our nation in honor of Independence Day. This event will be held at Williamsburg Library (2:00 pm) and James City County Library (2:00 pm).

Live Music

  • Troy Breslow  – Spoke & Art (Williamsburg). Enjoy a relaxing Sunday afternoon with music by Troy Breslow. 12:00 – 4:00 pm. 
  • Ben Long – County Grill (Yorktown). See Ben Long perform live at County Grill. 8:00 – 11:00 pm. 


Food Drive

  • Civic Season Community Food Drive – Jamestown Settlement and American Revolution Museum. Participate in a community effort to fight against food insecurity in the region. Jamestown Settlement and American Revolution Museum will be collecting non-perishable goods during museum hours (9 am – 5 pm), June 14, 2023 – July 5, 2023. 


  • Nature Explorers Kids Camp – York River State Park (Williamsburg). Children will explore the estuarine marshes, shoreline and woodlands during this outdoor day camp. Activities will include hiking, a canoe trip and arts and crafts. The camp is for kids ages 6-8 years old and runs Monday, June 26 – Thursday, June 29, 9:00 am – 1:00 pm. $40 per week. 
  • Kids Dream Family Film Series – Movie Tavern (Williamsburg). The Movie Tavern theater in Williamsburg is offering $3 summer movies every week, June 13 – August 5, 2023. Movies will be shown at 11:00 am, Tuesday through Saturday. Movie Tavern has also recently launched the “Kids Dream Passport,” which allows children to see each film for just $15 total. Purchase the pass or individual tickets and see the full lineup of movies on Movie Tavern’s website
  • Regal Summer Movies for Kids – Regal New Town (Williamsburg) and Regal Kiln Creek (Yorktown). Regal Cinemas is offering $2 family movies on select days all summer long through Sept. 6. For details, visit the Regal Cinemas website.
  • 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.

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