Five fall celebrations in Virginia’s Historic Triangle

Cathy Swormstedt

Ceremonies mark the American victory at Yorktown each October.

October is one of the best months of the year to visit Virginia’s Historic Triangle. In addition to the great weather, there is an endless variety of places to go and things to do for everyone in the family, from hands-on celebrations to taste-filled libations.

Ceremonies mark the American victory at Yorktown each October.
Ceremonies mark the American victory at Yorktown each October.

American Indian Powwow

On Oct. 1–2, Jamestown Settlement presents an American Indian Intertribal Powwow with song and dance, storytelling, children’s activities, and a film.

Visitors will enjoy a parade of dancers and a “Birds of Prey” program featuring bald eagles, falcons, and other raptors. There will also be basket-making workshops each day (registration required). Native American Music Award-winner Kevin Locke will treat the Saturday evening audience to traditional songs from his albums.


Yorktown in the fall

The Yorktown Wine Festival on Oct. 1, noon-6:00pm, brings wineries from throughout the commonwealth, plus art and food vendors, to the Riverwalk Landing along the York River.

On Oct. 8, gather the family together and head down to Yorktown to enjoy the Fall Festival, a fun-filled day of hayrides, face-painting, and children’s games and activities. There will be pumpkins and mums, plus other fall marketplace specialties such as mouthwatering baked goods, fresh produce, meat, and seafood. You’ll also find cut flowers, quality art for sale, and entertainment to set the tone for the day. Yorktown Market Days continue on Saturdays through early November.

Oct. 15 and 16, the Watermen’s Museum is the site for the York River Maritime Heritage Festival, 10:00am-5:00pm. It’s two days of family friendly fun with reenactors, sea chanties, music, displays crafts, and vendors.


Revolutionary War victory celebration

The 235th anniversary of America’s 1781 Revolutionary War victory at Yorktown will also be celebrated on Oct. 15 and 16.

16-10 Hist Tri Yorktown Day2“We are excited to welcome the public to the debut of exhibition galleries and films on Oct. 15 and to tell the amazing story of the American Revolution in a unique and exciting way,” said Peter Armstrong, of the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, referring to the blend of immersive gallery settings, artifacts, films, and interactive displays featured in the 22,000-square-foot exhibition space.

Outside, you can visit the Continental Army Encampment where there will be musket and artillery firings and visitors can learn about soldiers’ provisions and sleeping quarters and the always-fascinating topic of espionage. You can also expect military music to be in the air on this special day.

At nearby Yorktown Battlefield, you can witness the firing of a Revolutionary War cannon. And on Oct. 15, a volunteer unit representing the 2nd Continental Artillery Regiment, which saw action at the Siege of Yorktown, will present artillery programs used by the American Army during the Yorktown battle.


Recharge with food and drink

In addition to the wine at the Williamsburg Winery, you’ll find casual fare at the Gabriel Archer Tavern, fine dining at the Country Hotel, or, for creative, fresh cuisine, Café Provencal. Wherever you choose to eat, you can also treat yourself to favorite wines.

If you prefer stronger spirits, you might want to stop by the Copper Fox Distillery near the Historic District for a taste of handcrafted whiskey. Just around the corner on Second Street is the Virginia Beer Company. York County is home to the AleWerks Brewing Co., as well as the Brass Cannon Brewery.

Colonial Williamsburg’s historic taverns and restaurants offer a different opportunity to imbibe with actual 17th-century libations.


Before you go:

Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation:

York Co. Tourism:

Yorktown Battlefield:


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