Juneteenth at Colonial Williamsburg
Join the Williamsburg community as we gather to commemorate, celebrate, and reflect on the Black experience in America at this year’s annual Juneteenth Opening Ceremony on Market Square here at Colonial Williamsburg at 10 am – 11 am. By looking back, looking around, and looking within, we are challenged to evaluate the foundations of inequality and move forward together, committing ourselves to the unfinished work of eradicating systemic racism. This ceremony is free to anyone who wishes to attend and is presented in partnership with William & Mary, The Let Freedom Ring Foundation, The First Baptist Church, The City of Williamsburg, and The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.
Celebrate Juneteenth at Custis Square! – Take a tour of the archaeological site and learn about Pompey, Alice, Jack, and the other enslaved men, women, and children who lived and worked at Custis Square. Free flow exploration from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Guided tours begin at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Conversations with Peter begin at 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. This community event is open to the public. Weather dependent. More info
Loquacious Lucy, Queen for a Day – When Lucy, a gregarious and loquacious enslaved child, learns that her best friend has been sold, her father must teach her hard lessons about slavery and instill in her the pride of her ancestors. Your day pass, Annual Membership or Good Neighbor Pass will get you in to see this live theatre. Showtimes at 11:30 and 12:30 at the outdoor Play House Stage in Colonial Williamsburg. More info
Remembrance: Honoring the Voices – For many of us, the stories of our past and where we come from are passed down through generations by word of mouth. This is especially true for African Americans. Many times, these stories are not written down and survive only in our memory. The joy and the pain are often undocumented. Sometimes the stories are forgotten and lost forever. Remembrance provides the community with an opportunity to hear, honor, and preserve the voices of families, friends, and neighbors so that we can continue to learn, grow, and heal together through the power of the spoken word. This is a free event. No admission ticket is required. 1 pm to 3 pm in the Market Square in Colonial Williamsburg More info
Joy in the Morning – Gather with members of the enslaved community to experience a music-filled message of hope. A spirit-led celebration of songs and stories illuminate the struggles and triumphs of African Americans in 18th-century Williamsburg. Charlton Stage – can be accessed with day pass, Annual Membership or Good Neighbor Pass. 4 pm – 4:35 pm
Freedom’s Paradox Take a 60-minute walking tour of the Randolph Yard, Market Square and Palace Green. Examine slavery’s evolution, and the reliance upon it by patriots like Peyton Randolph, to build a city, a colony and eventually a nation. Explore the paradox of the institution of slavery and the movement for independence by looking at the experiences of the free and enslaved members of the Randolph Household. Space is limited for this program. Tours at 1:45 pm, 2:45 pm and 3:45 pm. Learn More
Juneteenth Feast with Michael Twitty
This special culinary experience features a menu created by Michael Twitty. Come experience his work exploring Black culinary traditions of the south and their connection to the larger world. Let your plate tell the story at this one-day-only event. To see his work visit his blog at Afroculinaria.com. The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation will donate a portion of the proceeds from the Juneteenth Feast with Michael Twitty to the Village Initiative for Equity in Education. 3:30 pm – 7:30 pm Learn more
The Juneteenth programming concludes at 9 p.m. with the debut of Honor & Reflection, a contemplative multimedia installation at the ongoing excavation of the historic First Baptist Church’s first permanent location of South Nassau Street in the Historic Area. The installation will be on view nightly through July 4, 8:30-10:30 p.m. Weather depending.
To see all the events (in case we missed a few visit Colonial Williamsburg Juneteenth page here.