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Spring Has Sprung and it Brings Returns of Popular Attractions and Events to Yorktown
Submitted by Gail Whittaker

SSprung imageAfter a long winter, it is a season of reawakening in Historic Yorktown! From the return of their waterfront farmers market to a day dedicated to Yorktown’s sister city, Port-Vendres, to an invasion of pirates— there is something to do almost every weekend down at the waterfront.

Opening Attractions and Museums
The Schooner Alliance returns April 12 with history sightseeing cruises, romantic sunset sails, and pirate adventure cruises (select dates until the summer schedule begins May 25). The popular homeported ship will remain a part of the York River skyline through early November.

The Riverwalk Landing Piers will be staffed beginning April 1. The piers provide overnight stays as well as daily docking for recreational boaters. After tying up, it is just a short walk to attractions, restaurants, shops, museums, and special events.

The Gallery at York Hall re-opens April 2 with regular hours of Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m. Admission is free. The Gallery features a variety of themed exhibits that change every six to eight weeks. This year’s season kicks off with a Quilts Past and Present Exhibit for April and May, as well as a Folk Music Performance on April 14 from 1 to 3 p.m. The Gallery’s volunteers serve the community by maintaining a visitor information area, offering brochures, maps, discounts, and friendly service and hospitality to more than 18,000 visitors each year.

Watermen’s Museum opens its doors April 2. The educational museum demonstrates the role Chesapeake Bay watermen (from pre-colonial to modern times), played in the molding of our nation. Check the museum’s calendar often for new historical exhibits and displays, crafts and demonstrations of the trade, summer camp programs for kids, and other special events.

The York County Historical Museum also opens back up April 2. View artifacts that tell the rich and varied stories of York County’s past— from the time of the earliest Native Americans, colonial-era Yorktown, and both the battlefield and home fronts of the Revolutionary War through World War II. The museum is free, and is located on the lower level of York Hall. Hours vary based on the availability of volunteers.

Featured Spring Events
April

Yorktown Market Days Season Kickoff: Enjoy spectacular views of the York River, live music, food trucks, chef cooking demonstrations, and a fantastic variety of vendors at Riverwalk Landing. The season starts on April 13, from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and is free. This year features free family activities from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. in line with the market’s educational mission "to teach the public about local agricultural heritage, and the historical role farmers and watermen have played in its evolvement over the years.” Yorktown Feed Seed ‘N Moore and TSP Lawns and Landscapes is the proud sponsor of a seed planting activity for children ages 13 and under. The first 500 kids will be able to take home a planted seed, along with care instructions. Virginia Cooperative Extension also will be on site to explain more about the role insect pollinators play in plant fertilization with a hands-on bumble bee craft (while supplies last). Community partners the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown and Watermen’s Museum are providing living history demonstrations about the role of farming in 18thcentury Virginia and the impact the Civil War had on local farmers, which corresponds with other planned activities around town that day.

National Park Service Civil War Weekend: Come out for tactical demonstrations, encampments, and tours April 13 (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.) and April 14 (12 to 5p.m.) to interpret the role Yorktown played during the 1862 Peninsula Campaign. Special events will take place Saturday and Sunday at the Yorktown Battlefield, Watermen’s Museum, Riverwalk Landing, and Historic Yorktown.

Sister Cities French Market: Modeled after the market in Yorktown’s sister city Port-Vendres France, shop for French favorites on April 20 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Riverwalk Landing. Shoppers will find fresh-baked bread, croissants, and pastries; chocolates and macarons; wine; soaps; and more! Enjoy a Wine Garden featuring French wines, a silent auction, and student exchange raffle. Call (757) 877-2933 for more information.

Pirates Invade Yorktown: Step back into the Golden Age of Piracy as Riverwalk Landing and the Watermen's Museum are invaded by seafaring marauders on April 27 and 28 (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.). Explore a pirate encampment, attend pirate school, and witness a pirate trial! Sing along with sea shanties and don’t miss exciting cannon demonstrations. The Schooner Virginia is making a port of call to offer free deck tours both days. Young visitors can actually sail the "stormy seas” of the York River with Captain Mayhem aboard the Schooner Alliance. While most of the familyfriendly fun is free, Pirate Adventure Cruises do require a paid ticket.

May
Blues, Brews, and BBQ Festival: Sample dozens of craft beers, dig into some amazing BBQ, and listen as some of the best blues musicians in Hampton Roads take the stage at Riverwalk Landing on May 4. Back by popular demand is a Wine Garden, included in admission. Tickets are $30 in advance and $35 at gate. Call (757) 877-2933 for more information. Rain Date: May 19

Art at the River Juried Art Show: Marvel at the work of local artists with the beautiful York River as the backdrop on May 5. Painters, photographers, potters, jewelers, and other creative artists line the Riverwalk displaying their work with hopes of taking home the "People’s Choice” Award. Live entertainment starts at 11 a.m. Food and beverages available. Call (757) 898-6147 for more information.

Yorktown Plant Sale: This year’s annual plant sale sponsored by the Celebrate Yorktown Committee is 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 10 and 11 at Yorktown Baptist Church and features Yorktown Onions, perennials, native plants, herbs, ground covers, and more. Expert gardeners will also be on hand to give advice! Call (703) 581-7308 for more information.

Yorktown Market Days Wellness Market: Not only can you shop your favorite vendors and artists, but you can learn to improve your health with fitness classes, cooking demonstrations, and free health screenings. All the fun takes place at Riverwalk Landing on May 11 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. This is the first year of an extended time for this market!

Memorial Day Ceremony: On Monday, May 27, Grace Church will hold a special ceremony at 10 a.m. followed by the playing of "Taps” and replacement of the flags with honors of the 92 known veterans buried in the cemetery there. Call (757) 867-8643 for more information.

Memorial Day Ceremony: Also on May 27, the Fifes and Drums of Yorktown perform down the street at York Hall at 11:45 a.m., followed by posting of colors, a guest speaker, and the laying of wreaths. This event is sponsored by the York County Historical Committee. Call (757) 890- 3500 for more information.

This is just a small sampling of some of the events taking place in Yorktown this spring! For a complete list, be sure to check the online calendar at www.visityorktown.org.There, you will find more details about the above mentioned events, including ticket prices and additional contact information. You can also access the 2019 Concerts, Festival, and Events brochure under "Travel Tools.”

 





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