Virginia Thanksgiving Festival
On the first Sunday in November, step back in history as the Virginia Thanksgiving Festival commemorates America’s First Thanksgiving with a historic celebration reminiscent of Colonial Virginia. This annual tradition dates back to December 4, 1619 when Captain John Woodlief and his crew of 35 men landed on the shores of the James River at what was to become Berkeley Plantation.
Festival activities for the entire family begin at 11:00 a.m. and include colonial period re-enactors, encampment, parade, and musicians. Jonathon Austin will entertain the kids with his juggling and magic show. Experience the humorous and death-defying antics from the Seven Seas with Lamar Banister of Past-Ports to History. The Chickahominy Tribal Dancers perform as well as the Itinerant Band and Colonial Singers of Williamsburg. Families participate in games, dancing, and demonstrations, while vendors showcase handmade arts, crafts, and jewelry. For an additional fee, mansion tours are also available throughout the day.
The re-enactment of the landing, moderated by Bill Bevins, begins at 3:00 p.m. Following the re-enactment, the Chickahominy Tribal Dancers invite everyone to join them in the traditional Friendship Dance which concludes the day. The public is invited to bring lawn chairs and blankets to enjoy the event. Comfortable walking shoes are recommended.