Things to do this weekend: Drummer’s Call, free concerts and more

Colonial Williamsburg is celebrating the tradition of military music this weekend with a two-day-long special event featuring fife and drum units from across the United States.

Colonial Williamsburg is celebrating the tradition of military music this weekend with a two-day-long special event featuring fife and drum units from across the United States.

Drummer’s Call, a mainstay of Colonial Williamsburg’s Fifes & Drums program for nearly two decades, brings together groups performing various periods of military music spanning the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812 and the Civil War. 

The event kicks off with Successful Campaign, an evening of patriotic, traditional military music on Friday, May 19 at 7:30 p.m. on Colonial Williamsburg’s Charlton Stage. 

The celebration continues on Saturday, May 20. Colonial Williamsburg’s Fifes & Drums will lead visiting corps from around the country in a Grand March and Review from the Capitol down Duke of Gloucester Street to Market Square at 12:30 p.m.

Drummer’s Call concludes with the Williamsburg Military Tattoo, an evening march down Duke of Gloucester Street – featuring the Colonial Williamsburg Fifes & Drums and visiting units – at 8:30 p.m.

Some other highlights for this week include a night hike and stargazing event at York River State Park (Saturday), a free movie in the park in Yorktown (Saturday) and a free acoustical guitar performance featuring Louis Vangieri in Yorktown (Sunday).

The Virginia War Museum will also host a free outdoor concert featuring the US Fleet Forces Band on Saturday, and admission to the museum will be complimentary that day until 8:00 p.m.

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


Members from all participating corps join Colonial Williamsburg Fifes & Drums Senior Corps in a performance on the green behind the Courthouse during the 2022 Drummer’s Call Grand March and  Review. The 2023 Grand March and Review will take place behind the Courthouse on Saturday, May 20, beginning at 12:30. (Photo by Brian Newson, The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation)

Friday, May 19

Special Events

  • Successful Campaign – Charlton Stage (Colonial Williamsburg). This rousing concert features 18th-century military field music – presented by the Colonial Williamsburg Fife and Drum Senior Corps and a special guest – as part of Drummer’s Call weekend. 7:30 – 9:00 pm. 

Kids & Families

Live Music


  • Canoeing with the Stars – York River State Park (Williamsburg). Discover how to identify constellations and hear a legend of how they came to be while canoeing under the stars. See website for canoe reservation details. 7:30 – 10:30 pm. 
Admission to the Virginia War Museum will be free on Saturday, May 20 until 8:00 pm as part of the museum’s centennial celebration. An outdoor concert will also be held at 5:00 p.m. that day. (Photo courtesy of the City of Newport News)

Saturday, May 20

Special Events

  • Family Fun Fest – Chickahominy Riverfront Park (Williamsburg). Families are invited to enjoy hands-on activities, amusements and entertainment, costumed characters, music and much more on Saturday, May 20. Lunch will be available from food vendors. $5/car (cash or check only). 11:00 am – 3:00 pm. 
  • Poses & Plants – 200 College Row (Williamsburg). Attend a free yoga class led by local yoga instructor Melissa Tebbenhoff at 10:30 am on the Midtown Row Village Green. A succulent workshop will follow at 12:30 pm. 
  • Grand March and Review – Capitol Circle (Colonial Williamsburg). Experience the majesty of 18th-century military music up close as part of Drummer’s Call Weekend. CW’s Fifes and Drums will lead visiting corps from around the country in a Grand March from the Capitol down Duke of Gloucester Street to Market Square. The musicians will congregate behind the Courthouse for a Grand Review, with each group performing. 12:30 – 3:00 pm. 
  • Williamsburg Military Tattoo – Palace Green (Colonial Williamsburg). Attend a thrilling, torch-lit march down Duke of Gloucester Street. This event features Colonial Williamsburg’s Fife and Drum Corps, joined by guest units from across the nation! 8:30 – 9:30 pm. 
  • Otter Ball Conservation Gala – Virginia Living Museum (Newport News). Celebrate the Virginia Living Museum with an elegant evening featuring a farm-to-table menu, elaborate fanfare and a live auction – all while supporting conservation, biodiversity, education, and nature. This event supports the Seating is limited. See the website for details. 6:00 – 10:00 pm. 
  • Dockside Seafood Feast – Landing Hotel (Hampton). The Hampton History Museum’s Dockside Seafood Feast fundraiser returns after a several-year hiatus. This year’s event features a 1920’s-themed party with fresh seafood, complimentary drinks, music by Hard Times Band and a silent auction. $125. See the website for details. 6:00 – 10:00 pm. 
  • Armed Forces Day Free Concert – Virginia War Museum (Newport News). Attend a free outdoor concert as part of the Virginia War Museum’s centennial celebration. You’ll enjoy the music of US Fleet Forces Band. Food trucks will be on hand. Parking is free, and there will be complimentary admission to the Virginia War Museum until 8 p.m. The concert begins at 5:00 pm. 
  • Love Your Neighbor Block Party – Tradition Brewing Company (Newport News). Attend a family-friendly block party featuring free entertainment. Sponsored by LINK and Hampton Roads, this event will raise money to assist those in need of food, clothing and emergency services. See the website for a full event schedule. 2:00 – 7:00 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.


  • Newport News in the Revolutionary War Van Tour – Departs from Lee Hall Mansion (Newport News). Historian J. Michael Moore will take you on a journey back to the 18th century. Participants will visit Victory Landing Park, Lions Bridge, Riverview Farm Park, and Historic Endview. $45. 9:00 am – 3:00 pm. 


  • Saturday Morning Cartoons: “Sing 2” – Williamsburg Library (Williamsburg). Saturday Morning Cartoons is a monthly film series for animation lovers in the Williamsburg Library Theatre. This month’s featured film is Sing 2 (2021; PG). 10:30 am – 12:30 pm.

Medicare Workshop

  • Medicare Made Clear  – Stryker Center (Williamsburg). Learn all about your Medicare choices in this workshop led by Gina Bundy, formerly of UnitedHealthcare. 11:30 am – 1:00 pm. 


  • Chess Club – Yorktown Library (Yorktown). Adults and youth 12+ of all skill levels are invited to drop in for open play chess every 3rd Saturday. 1:00 – 3:00 pm. 


  • Bookmobile Funfest: Spin, Pop, Boom – Abram Frink Jr. Community Center (Williamsburg). The whole family is invited for this energetic, interactive science show. Free. 11:30 am.
  • National Kids to Parks Day – York River State Park (Williamsburg). Get your kids outdoors for National Kids to Parks Day. They’ll discover the creatures that make their home in and around the marshes of the parks. A number of events will be happening throughout the day. See the website for details. 10:00 am – 3:00 pm. 
  • Introduction to 3D Printing – Williamsburg Library (Williamsburg). Kids ages 6-12 will learn the basics of 3D printing. There are two time slots available: 1:00 pm and 2:30 pm.
  • Movies in the Park: “Sonic the Hedgehog 2” – McReynolds Athletic Complex (Yorktown). Attend a movie in the park featuring the film Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (PG). The movie begins at sunset and lasts 2 hours. Bring chairs or a blanket for seating. Free.


  • Paint a Pot – James City County Library (Williamsburg). Teens will decorate a pot and learn about common herbs and their uses. Then, they’ll take home a flower or herb from the library’s seed exchange. For ages 13-18. 12:00 – 2:00 pm.


  • Organ Recital: Coronation Music – Bruton Parish Church (Colonial Williamsburg). Enjoy a recital of coronation music for the British Royals by Dr. JanEl Will, organist at Bruton Parish Church. 8:00 – 9:00 pm. 


  • Getting Organized: How Do I Get Started? –  James City County Library (Williamsburg). This one-hour presentation will be led by Jen Harman Papadakis of Harmanize Consulting. A Q&A will follow. 2:00 pm.

Live Music


  • Stargazing – York River State Park (Williamsburg). The Virginia Peninsula Stargazers will point out items of the solar system in the night sky. Weather dependent. 8:00 – 11:00 pm. 
  • As Far as the Stars Night Hike – York River State Park (Williamsburg). Embark on a magical natural journey through the night. A stargazing program will follow. 8:30 – 9:30 pm. 
  • Stargazing with NASA Skywatcher Club – Upper County Park (Williamsburg). Stargaze with the NASA Skywatcher Astronomy Club. Free. 8:00 – 10:30 pm. 

Sunday, May 21


  • Basic Bike Repair & Maintenance – Tabb Library (Yorktown). This event includes a basic overview and demonstration of beginner bike maintenance. 1:30 – 2:30 pm. 


Live Music

  • Acoustical Guitar Featuring Lou Vangieri – Gallery at York Hall (Yorktown). Enjoy easy listening music from Lou Vangieri. Vangieri plays a blend of folk, country, swing, pop-rock, traditional, soft jazz, peaceful new age, classical, nostalgia, and original instrumental works. Free. 12:00 – 2:30 pm.


  • Sunset Paddle – York River State Park (Williamsburg). End your weekend with a scenic evening paddle on the York River. See the website for canoe and kayak reservation details. 5:30 – 7:30 pm. 


Special Events

  • Community Conservation Challenge – Virginia Living Museum (Newport News). This community fundraising challenge supports the museum’s operations and its efforts to support a sustainable future for Virginia. The money will help with animal welfare, education, and programs related to nature and eco-friendly living. It all culminates in the Otterball on May 20th – a gala for contest winners, top donors, and those who wish to buy tickets directly. The challenge ends May 19th.  Everyone in the community can become a Museum Ambassador. It’s easy! Join as an Individual – inspire your friends to support you. Or form a team – round up your friends, office, family, or classroom. See the Virginia Living Museum’s website for additional details or to become an ambassador.
  • 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 is included in park admission and runs Thursdays-Sundays through June 11. See the website for additional details.


  • 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. Free. 6:00 – 8:00 pm. 
  • 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. Thursday, May 25, 7:30 pm (pre-concert lecture 6:30 – 7:30 pm). Single tickets are $60 for adults (and $10 for students) and can be purchased online here.
  • 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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