Williamsburg Book Festival returns this weekend

The Williamsburg Book Festival is set to kick off at the Stryker Center this Saturday after being rescheduled in October due to Hurricane Ian.

The event aims to promote and support the art of literary composition and expose writers to the reading public.

According to organizers, the Book Festival will feature authors from a variety of genres. There will also be speakers, illustrators and publishers from Virginia and beyond. 

The event’s headliners will include award-winning Eastern Band Cherokee author Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle and Sarah Glenn Marsh, the author of 10 picture books and seven young adult and middle-grade books. Both authors will also be signing their books in the Stryker Center between 3:00 – 4:00 pm.

The family-friendly celebration of books is open to everyone, and admission is free. For additional information, including a full schedule of events, visit williamsburgbookfestival.org.

There will also be a variety of other things to do this week. On Friday, the Bacchus Wine and Food Festival returns to the Virginia Living Museum.

Saturday will bring the Winter Carnival to Newport News. The event will feature a 4,000+ square-foot synthetic ice rink, carnival games, face paintings, a hot cocoa bar, crafts, a live DJ and more. Admission and parking are free.

In addition, James City County’s Park After Dark series will resume Sunday. Freedom Park will be open late that evening, past sunset, for self-guided hikes beneath the glow of February’s full moon, also called the Snow Moon.

Below is a list of things to do in and around the Historic Triangle this weekend.


The Williamsburg Book Festival will be held at the Stryker Center and Williamsburg Community Building on Saturday, Feb. 4 from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm. (Photo courtesy of Kathleen DesOrmeaux/Williamsburg Book Festival)

Friday, Feb. 3

Tweens & Teens

  • Teen After Hours: Middle School – Tabb Library (Yorktown). Middle schoolers in grades 6-8 are invited to attend a Valentine’s Day Craft-a-palooza! 5:30 – 6:30 pm. 
  • Teen After Hours: High School – Tabb Library (Yorktown). Teens in grades 9-12 will learn the basics of resin crafting and create a keychain at this Valentine’s Day-themed event. 7:00 – 8:00 pm. 

Food & Wine

  • Bacchus Wine and Food Festival 2023 – Virginia Living Museum (Newport News). Attend the Virginia Living Museum’s 19th Annual Bacchus Wine & Food Festival. You’ll enjoy samplings of fine wine, try local Hampton Roads restaurant fare, participate in a diverse silent auction and hear a mix of local, live music and entertainment. Tickets for the main event (7:00 – 10:00 pm) are $75; the price increases to $85 on Jan. 30. Attendees can also purchase an upgraded ticket which includes a “Divine Reception” event at 6:00 pm. See the website for additional details. 

Live Music

Saturday, Feb. 4

Special Events

  • Williamsburg Book Festival – Stryker Center (Williamsburg). The Williamsburg Book Festival seeks to promote and support the art of literary composition in the Williamsburg area and expose writers to the reading public. This free, family-friendly event features authors from a variety of genres, speakers, illustrators and publishers from Virginia and beyond. 10:00 am – 4:00 pm. 
  • Winter Carnival – 401 Oriana Rd. (Newport News). Newport News Parks & Recreation will host a special Winter Carnival. The event will feature a 4,000+ square foot synthetic ice rink, carnival games, face paintings, candy apple treats, a hot cocoa bar, crafts, photo ops and a live DJ. Skates, games, activities, parking and admission are all free. Food vendors will also be on site. 12:00 – 5:00 pm.


  • Saturdays @ Frink/Coretta: A Legacy of Love – Abram Frink Jr. Community Center (Williamsburg). Corretta Scott King will come to life in this moving performance by Valerie Davis. Correta was an American legend at the forefront of the fight for human rights, from her marriage to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to her life of political activism. 11:30 am. 
  • In the Spotlight: Illuminating a Trio of African American Figures – The Mariners’ Museum and Park (Newport News). Attend a special Black History month lecture by Erika Cosme, Assistant Curator of Community Engagement. This program is included with $1 museum admission and is free for Mariners’ Museum Members. 11:00 am – 12:00 pm.
  • Afro American Waterman’s Walk – York River State Park (Williamsburg). Immerse yourself in the world of free and enslaved “black jack” watermen – as well as independent working waterfronts – from their heydays to their declines. You’ll also learn about how some continue to keep this important component of Black history alive today. Reservations are required; this event is included in park admission. 10:00 am – 12:00 pm. 
  • Talking History Lecture Series: Meet John Rollison and His Descendant – American Revolution Museum at Yorktown (Yorktown). The American Revolution Museum at Yorktown will host a special event featuring actor James Cameron, who will portray 18th-century Virginia resident John Rollison. A lively discussion between Cameron and Rollison’s 21st-century descendent, Helen Casey-Rutland, will follow the performance. This event is free, but seating is limited, and advanced registration is recommended to reserve your spot. 3:00 – 4:00 pm.


  • Sewing Saturday: Sew a Linen Dish Towel – Abram Frink Jr. Community Center (Williamsburg). You’ll sew a linen dish towel and embellish it with a hand-stamped design during this program. Call to register. 10:00 am – 12:00 pm. 
  • Makerspace: Glowforge Pin – Williamsburg Library (Williamsburg). The Makerspace will be open for those wanting to draw a design and to have the Glowforge laser it onto a cool pin. This program is for ages 13 through adult. 2:00 pm. 


  • Storytime With the Author: Sarah Glenn Marsh – Williamsburg Library (Williamsburg). Author Sarah Glenn Mash will read and discuss her book Dragon Bones: The Fantastic Fossil Discoveries of Mary Anning. Recommended for ages 5-8; free tickets for this event will be available at the Youth Services desk starting at 10 a.m. 

Live Music

  • Organ Recital: Dr. Carl Haywood – Bruton Parish Church (Williamsburg). Enjoy a candlelit recital by Dr. Carl Haywood, Organist and retired Professor of Music at Norfolk State University. 8:00 – 9:00 pm.

Sunday, Feb. 5

Special Events

  • Cultural Heritage Series: Dr. June Montgomery – Williamsburg Library (Williamsburg). WRL is running a Cultural Heritage Series each Sunday in February at 3 pm in the Williamsburg Library Theatre. This week’s program features Dr. Montgomery, who has had over 25 leading roles in Tidewater area theatrical productions, won a “Critics Choice Award” for Best Actress and has appeared in television commercials for the Christian network and Bayport Credit Union. She has also worked as an educator and public school administrator. 3:00 pm. 

Live Music

  • Williamsburg Youth Orchestra – Williamsburg Community Chapel (Williamsburg). Share in the positive power of music as the WYO student musicians perform alongside the WSO’s professional musicians. You’ll be inspired by this incredible performance of music favorites. 4:00 pm.

Outdoor Recreation

  • Park After Dark: Snow Moon – Freedom Park (Williamsburg). During this self-guided hike, Freedom Park will stay open late, past sunset. Visitors can use Multiuse Trail 3, a one-mile, paved ADA-compliant trail that winds through the wooded forest and Colby Swamp. 5:30 – 6:30 pm. 


  • Valentines for Veterans – Pearl Bailey Library (Newport News). Kids are invited to stop by the Library Youth Services Desk, Jan. 30 – Feb. 10 for a Valentines for Veterans activity. They’ll create valentines to be given to our local veterans. 
  • 84, Charing Cross Road –  James-York Playhouse (Williamsburg). The Williamsburg Players will kick off the new year with “84, Charing Cross Road.” See the website for a description. The play runs from Jan. 20 – Feb. 5, 2023. Tickets are available here. Tickets are $20 for adults, $12 for students and children. 
  • Phillis Wheatley and the Music of Freedom – Hennage Auditorium (Colonial Williamsburg). Attend a musical exploration of the paradox of freedom as seen through the poetry of Phillis Wheatley. Wheatley was named after a slave ship that brought her to the colonies as a child. She possessed great talent and ultimately wrote poetry that garnered the attention of George Washington, who became a strong proponent of her writings. 4:30 – 5:30 pm. This special Black History Month program will be held on Fridays, Feb. 3, 10, 17 and 24, 4:30 – 5:30 pm. 
  • A Taste of Freedom – Hennage Auditorium (Colonial Williamsburg). This performance highlights the life of Americus Weston, a formerly enslaved man who gained freedom by escaping to a Union camp in the South. Requires Art Museum Admission or a Good Neighbor Pass. Saturdays, Feb. 4, 11, 18 and 25 from 1:30 – 2:15 pm. 
  • Liberty Ice Pavilion – Colonial Williamsburg. The Liberty Ice Pavilion at Colonial Williamsburg is open daily through Feb. 26, 2023. See the ice rink’s full operating schedule here.
  • Busch Gardens Mardi Gras – Busch Gardens Williamsburg. Busch Gardens reopens in celebration of Mardi Gras every weekend from Jan. 27 through Feb. 26. The event will feature jazzy live music, classic Cajun flavors and favorite events like the cirque show Carnaval Imaginique. Guests will also enjoy colorful entertainment throughout all nine of Busch Gardens’ villages. Visit buschgardens.com for additional information or to purchase tickets.

Future Events to Note

Kid’s Valentines Chocolate Making – James City County Recreation Center (Williamsburg). Kids will have fun in this Valentine-themed chocolate-making workshop, instructed by Williamsburg Chocolatier, Inc. For ages 6-13. Spots are limited; register online in advance. $25. Friday, Feb. 10. 5:00 – 7:00 pm. 

Freedom: The Hands That Built History Tour – Freedom Park (Williamsburg). Commemorate Black History Month through this impactful tribute. Registration is required; select one of four timeslots. $5 per person (includes hot beverages). Saturday, Feb. 11. 10:00 am – 2:00 pm. Register here.

Valentine’s Theme Tea – Williamsburg Inn (Williamsburg). Indulge in the fine tradition of Afternoon Tea with friends and loved ones at The Williamsburg Inn. This special, Valentine’s-theme tea includes a selection of handmade freshly baked scones, tea sandwiches and pastry delights served with a signature tea. Live Irish harp music will also be played. $58/adult tea, $28/child tea. This event will be held Feb. 10, 11 and 12, with reservations available at 2:00 pm, 2:15 pm and 2:30 pm. 

Yorktown Winter Market – Riverwalk Landing (Yorktown). Attend a special, Valentine’s Day-themed market at Riverwalk Landing! Saturday, Feb. 11 from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm.

Book Signing: “Beautiful Blue and You” – Barnes & Noble Bookstores (Williamsburg & Hampton). Local residents Michael and Dr. Melinda Lincoln-Richardson will be signing copies of their new book, Beautiful Blue & You, at the Barnes & Noble Bookstore in Williamsburg (5101 Main St. in New Town) on Feb. 25 and then again at the Barnes & Noble Bookstore at the Peninsula Town Center (5100 Kilgore Ave., Hampton) on March 11. The book is now available for purchase on Amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, BooksaMillion.com and Walmart.com. 

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