Holiday and Christmas Events in Yorktown December 2021
December is a special time of year with many traditions that we look forward to all year. Yorktown is known for putting on a series of Christmas events that are family friendly and full of cheer. The following list give you and your family many options of ways to herald in your Christmas spirit!
Make sure to get a photo with the LOVE Letters! They are now a permanent fixture at the waterfront!
Christmas in Yorktown Exhibit Featuring Local Artists
Gallery at York Hall – 301 Main Street Yorktown, VA 23690
Visit the Gallery at York Hall to admire holiday creations by local artists. Closed Mondays. Tues – Sat 10 am – 4 pm. Sunday 1 pm – 4 pm. Phone: 757-890-4490
A welcome center for visitors and gathering place for residents, the Gallery features paintings, pottery, jewelry, stained glass, quilts, and other pieces from more than 300 local artists. A portion of the proceeds from your purchase supports performing and visual arts in Historic Yorktown so you can feel good when you shop here. Visit often to see what’s new!
Christmastide in Virginia
American Revolution Museum at Yorktown
Dec. 18 – Dec. 31 (Closed Christmas Day)
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
During your visit to the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, learn about winter camp life and hear accounts of Christmas during the war. Assist the quartermaster in preparing military supplies. And observe exciting artillery demonstrations! At the clapboard farmhouse adorned with greenery—historical interpreters compare and contrast 18th-century holiday traditions with those of modern times. They will also demonstrate a variety of holiday activities, including setting a farmhouse table for a holiday feast and decorating with greenery. Visitors can see open-hearth cooking and watch as period dishes are made in the farm kitchen. Other activities throughout the day include traditional caroling and musical performances, including a special concert from the Fifes and Drums of York Town. And if you are a local resident see how you can get free admission!
In addition to all the special events, Historic Yorktown’s many shops and restaurants will get in the spirit of the season by offering pre-made gift baskets, gift certificates, and other unique stocking stuffer ideas.
The events below have passed – check back in Fall of 2022 for updates!!
Christmas Tree Lighting – Victory Monument & Yorktown Waterfront
Friday, Dec. 3
Monument Festivities begin at 6:30 p.m.
Tree Lighting at 7:30 p.m.
Our events kick off with Yorktown’s annual Tree Lighting Ceremony. This community tradition goes all the way back to 1945. That’s the year that Reverend Claud G. Barkley, Pastor of Yorktown Baptist Church, and staff from the County Clerk’s office, decorated a cedar tree that stood at the corner of Main and Ballard Streets. The York County Historical Committee works hard to keep this ritual going! The tree that is used today is a 20-foot artificial commercial “Giant Everest Fir” tree placed down in Riverwalk Landing.
Everyone is invited to gather at the Yorktown Victory Monument by 6:30 p.m. for live music, including a performance by the Fifes and Drums of York Town. From there, the procession will make its way from the Victory Monument to Riverwalk Landing, where the tree lighting ceremony will begin. Make sure you stay for a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus, eager to hear all those wish lists! More info
Christmas Market on Main
Saturday, December 5 | 10 a.m. to 3 p. m.
Sunday, December 6 | 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Location: Historic Main Street
Whether you’re searching for a holiday gift for family and friends or a treat for yourself—you’re sure to find it at the Christmas Market on Main Street!
This is one of the most anticipated Yorktown events every year. Close to 60 vendors line the street in a socially distanced set-up – selling everything from local art like paintings, jewelry, and photography to breads, sweets, and other goodies. Get your greenery and Christmas wreaths too!
The Town Crier rings in the market at 10 a.m. followed by a performance from The Fifes and Drums of York Town to open the market. Then, Santa Claus himself will ride in on York County’s first fire truck before greeting the crowd. Expect strolling musical entertainment to add to the festive atmosphere. It simply doesn’t get more Christmas than this!
The Market continues on Sunday from 11 to 3, so if you can’t make it on Saturday, you have another chance! For the second day, vendors, artists, and food trucks will line the street in a socially distanced set-up selling everything from local art (including ornaments) to seasonal foods to greenery and Christmas wreaths. Expect strolling musical entertainment to add to the festive atmosphere and a special ice carving demonstration!
Lighted Boat Parade
Saturday, December 4, 2021
If you’re ready to get into the holiday spirit, you’ll want to put this one on your calendar! Join us at the Yorktown Waterfront from 6 to 8 p.m. for the 25th Annual Lighted Boat Parade. Pre-parade festivities start at 6 p.m. and include caroling around a beach bonfire, a musical performance by the Fifes & Drums of York Town, and complimentary hot cider.
The boats will finish out the evening, as they make their way down the river in a dazzling show of lights that starts at 7 p.m. This annual event has been a community tradition for more than two decades, and brings neighbors together to celebrate the season.
As an added safety precaution, families are encouraged to bring flashlights to assist in navigation around town at night. No rain dates are scheduled for the holiday weekend events. In the event weather conditions pose a threat, please call the York County event weather hotline for the most current information at 757.890.3520. This event is sponsored by the Yorktown Lighted Boat Parade Committee.
Viking Yuletide Celebration
Saturday December 4 | 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday, December 5 | 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Location: Watermen’s Museum
This annual event features a Viking encampment, Santa Claus, and a Comparative Christmas display. Vendors include Nordic Craft, Sons of Vikings, and Red Dragons Nest. more info
Cookies with Santa
Sunday, December 5 | 1 to 4 p.m.
Location: Gallery at York Hall – Main Street
The Gallery at York Hall is excited to host Cookies with Santa. It’s free for families and Santa will stay socially distanced. Bring your phones or cameras, wish lists, and your face masks! Don’t forget to stop inside the Gallery on your way out to pick up unique Christmas presents handcrafted by local artists. The Gallery is filled with local one-of-a-kind art pieces from hundreds of local artists, in all types of mediums.
For more information on specific exhibits, call the Gallery at York Hall. This free event is sponsored by the Celebrate Yorktown Committee. 757.890.4490 More info at VisitYorktown.org
Market Days – Mistletoe Market
Saturday, December 11 | 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Location: Riverwalk Landing – Yorktown Waterfront
The holiday shopping season has officially kicked off in Yorktown! Browse the market for chowders and soups; baked goods, including an assortment of cakes, breads, brownies, fudge, and cookies; jams, jellies, and honey; holiday wreaths; candles and soaps; and seasonal art! NEW this year – don’t miss a festive ice carving demonstration! March in the annual Toyland Parade, (family and pet friendly) and don’t forget to hop aboard the Riverwalk Landing Polar Express for a loop around the festivities. A professional ice carver will be set up in front of the Riverwalk Landing fountain providing a fascinating live demonstration.
Wreaths Across America
Yorktown National Cemetery
Saturday, Dec. 18
Fresh Christmas wreaths will be placed on grave markers at the Yorktown National Cemetery in this remembrance ceremony conducted by the Yorktown Coast Guard Station and members of local organizations to pay tribute to our fallen war veterans. This event joins several others across the country that happen on this same day and at the same time. The ceremony is open to the public, with parking at the Battlefield Visitor Center.
All the wreaths are sponsored by numerous civic, veteran, and auxiliary organizations throughout the community. If you’re interested in personally sponsoring a wreath, or volunteering to place them on the graves, please visit this website.