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Yorktown Summer Is Packed with Live Music, Outdoor Attractions, Exhibits and More
Submitted by Gail Whittaker

YSummer imageHow do you know summer has arrived in Yorktown? The return of free outdoor concerts, Saturday farmers markets, July Fourth fireworks, schooner sails on the York River, and several new programs and exhibits showcased at area museums and art galleries. There’s fun for the whole family, and it’s happening all season long!

As the weather heats up, so does the town’s music scene. Enjoy York County’s free outdoor concert series, Sounds of Summer, which runs through August 2. Each Thursday features a different local band on the Riverwalk Landing Performance Stage. Concerts are 7 to 9:30 p.m. and this year’s lineup is one of the most exciting yet, showcasing some of the best bands in Hampton Roads playing beach favorites, Motown, Disco, Funk, R&B, Pop and more. Carrot Tree Kitchens will have gourmet hot dogs, pulled pork BBQ, snacks, their signature desserts, and drinks for sale. Giveaways at intermission include swag from the performing band and donations from area businesses.

The Celebrate Yorktown Committee Summer Concert Series takes place in the Grace Churchyard beginning Sunday, July 1, with a performance by the York River Concert Band. The free shows are sponsored by the Celebrate Yorktown Committee, York County Arts Commission, the Williamsburg Area Arts Commission, and Grace Episcopal Church.

On select Fridays from 6 to 9 p.m. through August 3, head to Watermen’s Museum for Music Jamboree Concerts. Jam out to Celtic, folk, and Rock & Roll music. Tickets are $5 for ages 13 and older; children 12 and under get in free. Food and beverages are available for purchase on site. Monthly Folk Jams are held every second Wednesday in the Museum’s Carriage House. Visiting amateurs and professional musicians pass traditional and modern songs around a circle in a fun way to bring the community together. Participants are asked to bring a small side dish to share with the group. All ages welcome. Music goes from 5 to 9:30 p.m.

The Fifes and Drums of York Town perform in various locations including the Victory Monument, Yorktown Battlefield, and along the Yorktown Waterfront. Patrons at Water Street Grille and Yorktown Pub can also enjoy live music with their dinner on select Friday and Saturday nights.

Yorktown Market Days, the weekly farmers market at the waterfront, occurs every Saturday through October 27 (excluding October 6) from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., featuring seasonal produce; locally sourced meats and seafood; homemade breads, potato chips, and pickles; soaps, candles, and all natural products; gourmet dog treats; food trucks, food vendors, and chef demonstrations; live music; and the work of several local artists.

The American Revolution Museum at Yorktown "Blast from the Past: Artillery in the War of Independence” opens June 10 and highlights the chronology of weapons and reveals the technology and innovation that delivered the last great victory of the Revolution – a victory that forever made Yorktown, Virginia, the place where the subjects of a king became the citizens of a nation. Visitors can take in the size and scope of American, French, and British artillery featured in this special exhibition, and then explore the museum for a range of hands-on experiences. Museum admission is free to all York County, James City County, and Williamsburg residents.

The Schooners Alliance and Serenity, Yorktown’s home-ported tall ships, offer daily history sightseeing and evening romantic sunset sails. During the popular Pirate Adventure Cruises, kids set the sails, steer the schooner, and learn to tie knots. For those who would like to explore the York River at the own pace, paddleboard and kayak rentals are available at Patriot Tours and Provisions. Visitors can also book guided one-hour and two-hour Segway tours. Both have routes along the beautiful Riverwalk and the longer Historical Tour takes riders up to the bluffs overlooking the York River and historic Main Street.

Yorktown Ghost Walks take place Friday and Saturday evenings, after sunset. In an area rich in conflict, there are whisperings of haunted buildings and lingering spirits, and those who are fascinated with the paranormal will enjoy these guided tours of Historic Yorktown’s streets.

The Gallery at York Hall is featuring a special Wildlife Exhibit in June and July, and a Woodwork Exhibit in August. The Gallery is located in York Hall, 301 Main Street. Hours of operation are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. A portion of the proceeds from all purchase supports performing and visual arts in Historic Yorktown.

On the Hill Gallery invites York County children and teens to "sample” art at the Gallery during its Summer Sampler Art Camp in July. Classes will be taught in two three-hour sessions—one in the morning and one in afternoon—in a variety of subjects. Students may take a total of six hours of classes – either on a single day or on two separate days. Space is limited. To learn more about the age specifications and to register, please call the Gallery at (757) 369-1108.

Yorktown’s Independence Day celebration starts with the Yorktown Independence Day 8K run and 5k Walk at 8 a.m., followed by a patriotic parade along Water and Main Streets at 9 a.m. Evening activities include a bell-ringing ceremony at 7 p.m..; patriotic concert with Glen Boswick and Lil’ Bit of Swing at 8 p.m., and an amazing fireworks display over the York River at 9:15 p.m. Detailed holiday press releases to follow.

This is just a small sampling of some of the events taking place in Yorktown this summer! For a complete list, be sure to check the online calendar at  There you will find more information about the above mentioned events, including ticket prices and contact information. You can also access the 2018 Concerts, Festival, and Events brochure under "Travel Tools.”

Free parking is available at the Riverwalk Landing parking terrace, York Hall, York-Poquoson Courthouse, County Administration Building, and other designated public parking lots. The free Yorktown Trolley will also be available from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. with several convenient stops throughout town. You can also dock your boats at Riverwalk Landing Piers. After tying up, it is just a short walk to attractions, restaurants, shops, museums, and special events.


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