Things to Do on July 4th Weekend in Yorktown!
There are so many reasons to visit Yorktown VA on July 4th! Lots of free family-friendly celebrations featuring a full lineup of events leading up to the big fireworks finale!
The entire community is invited to celebrate Yorktown’s 42nd Independence Day Celebration on Sunday, July 4. This free family-friendly event has activities on Historic Main Street and also at the waterfront at Riverwalk Landing. Visitors can take advantage of special programming at the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown (additional tickets are required for non-York County, James City County, and Williamsburg residents).
4th of July Schedule of Events
· 8 a.m. The Yorktown Independence Day 8K Run/Walk (Virtual & In-person Location for Walk & Run: Surrender Field. Race Day packet, t-shirt, and medal will be distributed at the finish line
· 9 a.m. Patriotic Parade Coordinated by VFW 824 Festive Music Provided by DJ Ron Herrick Locations: Water & Main Streets
· 1 p.m. Family Activities Outdoor Games, and Kids Activities – presented by Riverwalk Landing Business Association Hot Dog Eating Contest – presented by Carrot Tree & Toby’s Dog House Location: Riverwalk Landing
· 4 p.m. Evening Event Parking Opens
Location: Yorktown Battlefield (Cook Road & Ballard Street) Will close at capacity
· 4 p.m. Patriotic Food Pavilion Opens – Location: Riverwalk Landing
· 7 p.m. Sounds of Liberty Bell Ringing Ceremony, Location: Riverwalk Landing Performance Stage
· 8 p.m. Super Jazz Band Concert featuring Conni Ironmonger Location: Riverwalk Landing Performance Stage
· 9:15 p.m. Spectacular Fireworks Display Location: Over York River – Visible from Yorktown Waterfront & Victory Monument
Independence Day 8k Run or Walk
Start your 4th of July day off by participating in the 2021 Yorktown Independence Day 8K. The York County Historical Museum is still accepting registrations for its annual Independence Day 8K Run/Walk and is offering both in-person and virtual options this year. The race takes place along the scenic roads and trails of the Yorktown battlefield—the same path American and French allies took to win the last major battle of the Revolutionary War and secure our nation’s independence. Participants will begin and end near Surrender Field and all swag including the race packet, t-shirt, and medal will be presented at the finish line. Registration is $40, no matter how you participate. After July 3, the fee increases to $45. You can pre-register right now by clicking here. There will be no post-race party this year nor is there a 5K option.
Patriotic Parade along Water and Main Street!
Enjoy the annual parade along Water and Main Street in Historic Yorktown at 9 am as musicians, performers and local groups pass by and pass out flags. The route starts at the Beach Picnic Area on Water Street (by the fishing pier), and makes its way down Water Street up Ballard Street, and then takes a left onto Main Street, ending at the Victory Monument.
Food Trucks, Hotdog Eating Contest and Daytime Activities
Make a whole day of it and stay in Riverwalk Landing. Enjoy corn hole, hula hoops, and other outdoor games. Don’t miss the Hotdog eating contest!
What’s more American than a hot dog eating contest on the Fourth of July? You’ll have five minutes to see how many dogs you can down during an epic battle of appetite and willpower. This is the week to sign up to participate in the 2021 event! Just call 757.988.1999. If there are still spots left the day of, you can also register on site. You have to be at least 18 and you do have to sign a waiver. This community tradition is sponsored by Carrot Tree’s Glenn Helseth who also owns Toby’s Dog House in Williamsburg. It’s a great way to pass the time if you’re hanging out at Yorktown Beach on Independence Day. The fun kicks off on the Riverwalk Landing concert stage starting at 1 p.m. So what do you get if you win? 𝐅𝐑𝐄𝐄 𝐓𝐎𝐁𝐘’𝐒 𝐇𝐎𝐓 𝐃𝐎𝐆𝐒 𝐅𝐎𝐑 𝐀 𝐖𝐇𝐎𝐋𝐄 𝐘𝐄𝐀𝐑 for you and three guests! You’ll also receive a $25 gift certificate to Carrot Tree Kitchens Yorktown. Second place is a Toby’s t-shirt and a dog toy from our newest baller business, Gangsta Dog – Great stuff for really good dogs. The big question is whether this year’s winner will top “Jumpin’ Jimmy” who devoured nine hot dogs in five minutes back in the summer of 2019.In 2018, it was Barbara Davis who took home the prize after her sons convinced her to enter. She downed six dogs in the allotted time!
Activities from 1-9:45pm. Food trucks and vendors includes local favorites like Carrot Tree (hot dogs), Kona Ice, Chef Joseph (fried fish and shrimp), SMOKE BBQ (BBQ & brisket), Boyd’s Tasty Dogs (hamburgers), Pop’s Kettle Corn, and Coastal Thirst (seasonal offerings with fresh ingredients).
Schooner Alliance Sails
Reserve your seat on Yorktown’s homeported tall ship for a kid centric Pirate Adventure Cruise, daily history sightseeing voyages, or romantic sunset sails. The ship leaves Riverwalk Landing Piers, morning and afternoon departures. Book your tickets here.
Liberty Celebration at American Revolution Museum at Yorktown
Interpretive programs, artillery demonstrations and learn about the challenges that faced our nation’s founders, including those who signed the Declaration of Independence, as well as those for whom the new nation’s rights of freedom and liberty did not yet apply. Indoors and out, enjoy these liberty experiences from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m…More info here
Patriot Tours & Provisions
Another fun activity is the Patriot Tours & Provisions they have a guided Segway tour, kayaks, bicycles, and paddle boards to explore the water and go at your own pace, more information here.
Spend the day enjoying the beach, it’s always a lively place with everyone decked out in their 4th of July beach attire!
Sounds of Liberty Bell-Ringing Ceremony
Every Independence Day, after the reading of the Declaration of Independence, each of the 13 colonies is acknowledged along with the original signers from the Second Continental Congress who together formed the United States of America. The ceremony begins a 7pm at the Riverwalk Landing Stage.
Patriotic Concert performance by the Super Jazz Band featuring Conni Ironmonger
Come & get your swing on with the Super Jazz Band performing on the Riverwalk Landing Stage. Concert begins directly after the Liberty Bell-Ringing Ceremony.
Fireworks are set over the York River and they are magnificent! The show starts at 9:15 and lasts about 15-18 minutes.
The Yorktown Trolley will run from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. It is free, air-conditioned, handicap accessible, and includes several convenient stops. More info on the trolley here.
The Yorktown Trolley, the only form of public transportation in Yorktown, will run from approximately 10 a.m. (following the parade) until 5 p.m. It is free, air-conditioned, handicap accessible, and includes several convenient stops:
· York County Courts & Office Complex
· Intersection of Main and Ballard Streets (York Hall)
· Riverwalk Landing
· Yorktown Battlefield Visitor Center
· Watermen’s Museum
· American Revolution Museum at Yorktown
Important Parking Information
All-day street traffic blockades include Zweybrucken Road, Comte de Grasse Street, and Main Street (from Zweybrucken to Ballard). The Beach Picnic Area will also be closed to vehicular traffic. Pedestrian traffic only. Church, Nelson, Smith, and Bacon Streets will be restricted to residents only.
Beginning at 4 p.m., unless you are a Yorktown Village resident, Riverwalk Landing business owner, or have an official pass—you will not be able to enter Historic Yorktown. Visitors attending the evening activities must park on the Yorktown Battlefield at the corner of Cook Road and Ballard Street which can be accessed by Cook Road or the Colonial Parkway. The Battlefield will remain open to the public until it reaches capacity.
Morning parade closures include Water Street (Comte de Grasse to Ballard) from 8:30 – 10 a.m., and Ballard Street (from Water to Main Streets) from 9 – 10 a.m. Traffic coming in off George Washington Memorial Highway on to Alexander Hamilton from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. will also be directed away from the parade route. The town will re-open to traffic following the parade.