Come Celebrate America’s 1781 Revolutionary War Victory at Yorktown – events at the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, Yorktown Battlefield and Historic Yorktown during October 16-19, 2021
The 240th anniversary of America’s decisive Revolutionary War victory at Yorktown will be celebrated Saturday through Tuesday, October 16-19, with a multi-day salute of events and activities at the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, Yorktown Battlefield and Historic Yorktown.
On October 19, 1781, following a nine-day bombardment, British forces in Yorktown under General Charles Cornwallis requested a cease-fire and then surrendered more than 8,000 soldiers and sailors to the combined American and French armies commanded by General George Washington. This was the last major military action of the American Revolution, effectively securing independence for the American colonies following a six-and-a-half-year military struggle.
Below are events for Historic Yorktown, American Revolution Museum & Yorktown Battlefield….
Historic Yorktown Events Oct 16 – 19, 2021
Take the Yorktown Trolley to Enjoy the following Weekend Events & Outdoor Activities in Historic Yorktown
- First Responders Market – On Saturday, October 16, from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., shop the inaugural First Responders Market, dedicated to all the men and women who work year-round to keep the community safe, a tribute especially fitting during the pandemic.
- Victory at Yorktown Weekend – Along Water and Main streets, the Watermen’s Museum will hold a Victory at Yorktown Weekend living-history programs, maritime and folk music, arts and crafts, children’s activities and vendors.
- Acoustical Guitarist Lou Vangieri – On Sunday, Oct. 17 from 12 to 2:30 p.m , will perform in the Gallery at York Hall lobby.
- Book Signing Event 13:30 PM – 3:30 PM – Tuesday, October 19, the Gallery at York Hall by three authors .
- Unveiling of a statue of Rochambeau at Riverwalk Landing on Monday, October 18, at 11 a.m. In another nod to the Franco-American alliance that led to victory during the Revolutionary War, York County will unveil a statue of Rochambeau at Riverwalk Landing on Monday, October 18, at 11 a.m. The public is invited to witness this dramatic addition to the waterfront honoring the four great leaders of the Yorktown campaign: Lafayette, Washington, Grasse and now Rochambeau.
- Historic Walking Tours – Mobjack Bay Coffee Roasters Oct 16, 17 & 19. Also in Historic Yorktown, Mobjack Bay Coffee Roasters will have several ticketed historic walking tours October 16, 17 and 19, including visits to Yorktown Battlefield Surrender Field, exploring everything from the beginning of the Yorktown campaign to the climactic final week of the siege. For more information about Historic Yorktown events and programs, call (757) 890-5900 or visit visityorktown.org.
America Revolution Museum at Yorktown – Saturday Oct 16, 2021 Events:
Revolutionary War Programs, Artillery Firings, Musical Performances, Immersive Exhibits & Films
At the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, stories of citizens and soldiers of the American Revolution unfold daily at the expansive history museum through immersive films, exhibition galleries and outdoor re-creations of a Continental Army encampment and Revolution-era farm. During “Yorktown Victory Celebration” on October 16, visitors can enjoy musical performances and take part in interpretive demonstrations, including cooking, fabric dyeing and artillery.
Artillery demonstrations 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 3:45 p.m – will showcase the varied roles of an artillery crew, will take place in the outdoor amphitheater at ., each followed by the crew firing a salute in honor of the victory at Yorktown.
Fifes and Drums of York Town – 12 noon and 1:30 p.m.: Visitors can enjoy musical performances by the Fifes and Drums of York Town at 12 noon and 1:30 p.m. in the Continental Army encampment.
“Great American Sing-Along,” – At 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3:15 p.m. in the Education Center, the Old Cigar Box String Band will perform the “Great American Sing-Along,” featuring popular tunes from American history that everyone knows by heart. Visitors are encouraged to sing along as songs are performed on fiddle, banjo and bones.
The American Revolution Museum at Yorktown and Gift Shop, open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily, are located on Route 1020 in Yorktown. The event is included with museum admission: $16.00 for adults, $8.00 for ages 6-12, and free for children age 5 and under. Residents of York County, James City County and the City of Williamsburg, including William & Mary students, receive complimentary admission with proof of residency. Event activities are presented in part by the York County Arts Commission. For more information, call (757) 253-4838 or visit
Free Admission for Military on Oct 19, 2021 at the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown
FREE ADMISSION FOR MILITARY** – On October 19, the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown will offer free admission to active duty, reserve and retired military personnel and up to three direct family members with military identification.
Yorktown Battlefield Events – October 16-19, 2021
- Self-Guided Battlefield Tours and Outdoor Ranger Information Station Colonial National Historical Park at Yorktown Battlefield, site of the climactic 1781 siege, is open for self-guided tours. A free tour app is available at nps.gov/york/yorktown-guide-app.htm.
Park Rangers are available to provide information about Yorktown Battlefield, tour roads, and Colonial National Historical Park outside the Yorktown Battlefield Visitor Center from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, weather permitting.
- Wreath-laying Ceremonies – 3 PM & 4 PM on Tuesday, October 19, will honor British and Canadian forces. A 3 p.m. ceremony honoring the British will take place in the Garden at the Nelson House near the plaque honoring Lt. General Charles, Earl Cornwallis, followed by a 4 p.m. ceremony honoring the Canadian Queen’s Rangers near the commemorative plaque along the York River waterfront.
- Stop by the Eastern National Park Store in the Visitor Center, daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., to purchase items to commemorate your visit to the park. The Visitor Center is located at 1000 Colonial Parkway at the eastern end of the Colonial Parkway, 12 miles from Williamsburg. Visitors are also encouraged to follow the park’s Facebook and Instagram for posts and programs related to Yorktown Day. For more information, visit nps.gov/colo.
**Even thougth the annual Yorktown Day parade and public commemorative ceremony are cancelled this year in response to COVID-19, there will be many other programs and events to mark the historic occasion.
Visitors can take the free Yorktown Trolley to various Yorktown attractions between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. daily, following safety protocols.
Vehicular access to the following streets in historic Yorktown will be restricted to residents and their guests on Tuesday, October 19, from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
· Zweybrucken Road (closed to vehicular traffic until 12:30 p.m.)
· Bacon Street (closed to vehicular traffic until 12:30 p.m.)
· Comte de Grasse (closed to vehicular traffic till 12:30 p.m.)
The Yorktown Trolley will deviate from its normal route to accommodate the patriotic exercises commemorating the 240th anniversary of the American and French Revolutionary War victory at Yorktown. The trolley will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. following this schedule:
· 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. – National Park Service Visitor Center to the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown via Ballard Street to Water Street and return via Water Street and Ballard Street.
· 1 to 5 p.m. – (Returns to normal route) National Park Service Visitor Center to the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown via Zweybrucken Road, Comte de Grasse Street and Water Street and return via Water Street and Ballard Street.
All public parking areas in historic Yorktown will be open to the public. For more information, call Tourism Development at (757) 890-5900, email Colonial National Historical Park (CNHP) at Colo_Info@nps.gov or call CNHP at (757) 898-2410.