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Christmas in Colonial Williamsburg
Episode 4526th December 2022 • Talk With History • Scott Bennie
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We give you the tips and tricks for getting the most out of visiting Colonial Williamsburg at Christmas time. If you are a fan of coming here...this is a MUST DO!

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Scott:

Jen, , you did a good job of really saying, here's why these

Scott:

doors are decorated in this manner.

Scott:

Because people would look at 'em and you could tell they were kind of doing double

Scott:

takes or looking longer because there'd be a wreath with like a big circle of apples.

Scott:

Yes.

Scott:

You're like, why is there a big circle of apples on there?

Scott:

And you explained that.

Scott:

We don't have any guests tonight, so we're gonna talk about what you

Scott:

probably saw in the thumbnail, which is Christmas in Colonial Williamsburg.

Scott:

But before we do that, I wanna let the folks know that this episode is brought

Scott:

to you by the hashtag Historic Newsletter.

Scott:

This is our free newsletter that brings you a monthly roundup of history in

Scott:

the news and bite-sized summaries of interesting historical articles, videos,

Scott:

and yes, even other history podcasts that we find so you can sign up for free.

Scott:

You can sign up for the hashtag historic newsletter at www.hashtaghistoric.com.

Scott:

That's hashtag historic.com, so we are.

Scott:

Live streaming here to YouTube.

Scott:

So if you're listening on the, the podcast, if you're one of our

Scott:

podcast listeners, you can always find us usually on Thursday nights.

Scott:

Mm-hmm.

Scott:

. We do our best to to podcast this right after our video goes live.

Scott:

And you can join us there or you can find us on the podcast.

Scott:

You can look up talk with History.

Scott:

So, Jen, let's talk a little bit about Colonial Williamsburg or Christmas.

Scott:

It was quite a treat.

Jenn:

It was awesome.

Jenn:

It was really walking back into time and then of course Christmas decorations

Jenn:

and the feeling of Christmas everywhere.

Jenn:

It was really just a, a really great experience.

Jenn:

So, I mean, to do Colonial Williamsburg is cool, but to do Colonial Williamsburg

Jenn:

at Christmas time is like super cool.

Scott:

Yeah.

Scott:

And one of the, the things that we tried to highlight, we actually had to do

Scott:

two trips to kind of cover everything.

Scott:

So Friday, because it was your birthday not long ago, and

Scott:

birthday, she's a December birthday.

Scott:

So we went down and, and I took the, the day off on Friday.

Scott:

You took the day off on Friday.

Scott:

And so we went down for your birthday.

Scott:

So we spent the whole day down there, did a whole bunch of stuff.

Scott:

And, but on Saturday, and we'll talk about this a little bit

Scott:

later the first three Saturday.

Scott:

Of December.

Scott:

Colonial Williamsburg does something pretty unique.

Jenn:

birthday.

Jenn:

Yes, they do.

Jenn:

What they call the grand illumination.

Jenn:

But it was interesting how we found out about this.

Jenn:

So we had gone for my birthday, like you said, and I had packed the day

Jenn:

full of events, and we'll talk about those events because they were awesome.

Jenn:

But one of the things we did that we've been trying to do, For a while was

Jenn:

they have a veteran's place on the main street where if you're a veteran you

Jenn:

can go in and get like hot chocolate and speak to the people in there.

Jenn:

And they had a bunch of coins.

Jenn:

And I know that one of the, his historic fellow historians we follow on Instagram

Jenn:

did a little thing about challenge coins and military challenge coins.

Jenn:

So they had like racks of challenge coins in there.

Jenn:

And we got our hot chocolate in there and they had said to us, are you coming

Jenn:

back tomorrow for the grand illumination?

Jenn:

And we're like, well, what's that?

Jenn:

And the gentleman there was like, oh, it's awesome.

Jenn:

They used to just do it one time in December, but because they did it

Jenn:

one time and like 20,000 people came,

Scott:

no, he said like

Jenn:

Oh, it's like 50,000 people.

Jenn:

came.

Jenn:

They've spread it out to three nights now in December.

Jenn:

So the first three Saturdays in December from five to seven, they.

Jenn:

Have a declaration of Christmas.

Jenn:

They pretend like it's Christmas 1760, and they, they go to a couple different of the

Jenn:

historic homes and make these declarations and light the candles in the windows.

Jenn:

But the coolest part is the fireworks.

Jenn:

So they do colonial fireworks from the governor's palace, which is the

Jenn:

big building at the end of the green.

Jenn:

and then the capital building.

Jenn:

So those are like the two buildings that are kind of perpendicular to

Jenn:

each other in Colonial Williamsburg.

Jenn:

But another cool thing is they have these baskets of wood along Duke of

Jenn:

Gloucester, which is Gloucester, which is the big street in Colonial Williamsburg.

Jenn:

And they light them.

Scott:

Yeah.

Scott:

And so, so we did our best in the video, which I think folks, probably

Scott:

a couple folks I know who are chat or in the chat saw the video.

Scott:

You know, we, we tried to, there's actually some steps that they

Scott:

use for the horse carriages.

Scott:

Yeah.

Scott:

And so Jen was like, Hey Scott, get up on those steps so you can

Scott:

get a good shot of the street.

Scott:

And so that's what that picture of is.

Scott:

If you watched the, the video, I actually got up on these steps that

Scott:

are there to help actually people get into some of the horse carriages.

Scott:

But the steps were left behind because the horse carriages were long gone.

Scott:

And, and so I tried to get that, that picture with all

Scott:

the torches lining the street.

Scott:

It was very cool.

Scott:

Gave it that very colonial vibe,

Jenn:

a very colonial vibe because we had done a haunted williamsburg

Jenn:

tour, which those are all year long.

Jenn:

So if you ever wanna do a haunted tour and during those haunted tours

Jenn:

they take you to different locations and light like a, like a fire.

Jenn:

Yeah.

Jenn:

And that's kind of cool cuz you're like, this is kind of what they

Jenn:

would use as light in colonial times.

Jenn:

Right.

Jenn:

It would be, lanterns at night or fire.

Jenn:

So it's neat to be there as they light these.

Jenn:

But to see these lit kind of torches, they're like baskets of

Jenn:

fire the whole way down the street.

Jenn:

They have one every couple yards.

Jenn:

It was just super cool and we show you on the video, like our kids are kind of like

Jenn:

looking at it like, wow, that's so neat.

Scott:

Before we kind of dive a little bit deeper into the kind of grand

Scott:

illumination, you know, events, what was the first thing that we did?

Scott:

It was the, the, the market.

Jenn:

So if you watch our, you know, recommendations to visit Williamsburg,

Jenn:

we're gonna recommend you park at the Rockefeller Folk Art Museum because if

Jenn:

you park at the visitor center, it's going to be a bus ride over or a very long walk.

Jenn:

So we recommend parking at the museum and at the museum for

Jenn:

Christmas, they do a Christmas, Williamsburg, Christmas marketplace

Jenn:

an outside kind of farmer's market.

Jenn:

And court street is the street right behind the museum and they close Court

Jenn:

Street and it's just, it's really cool.

Jenn:

Artisans crafts food.

Scott:

They've got little hot chocolate.

Jenn:

chocolate,

Scott:

beer.

Scott:

Beer and wine for the adults

Jenn:

and sell little like cute things that you would buy for Christmas.

Jenn:

I bought some historical photographs that had been colorized,

Jenn:

like of the wasps and stuff.

Jenn:

But they have Santa Claus, so the kids were really happy about that.

Jenn:

And it's free and it's a great way for you to kind of see everything.

Jenn:

But we had parked there because, During Christmas, and this is true, anytime

Jenn:

you're at Colonial Williamsburg, they do little like shows and performances and

Jenn:

I had made reservations to see Merriment and, measles, I think it was called.

Jenn:

Yeah, yeah.

Jenn:

And it's about, it's was so cool.

Jenn:

It's about.

Jenn:

George Washington and Martha Washington's first Christmas

Jenn:

together after they're married.

Jenn:

So they're married January 6th, 1759, and this.

Jenn:

Show is January 6th, 1760.

Jenn:

And so it's the first year of marriage and Martha has just come

Jenn:

down with the measles and she's kind of on the other side of the measles.

Jenn:

And it comes from a letter that George Washington wrote.

Jenn:

Some of his correspondence that he had written saying that, you know,

Jenn:

Martha was really sick and it was touch and go there for a while, he

Jenn:

really thought he was gonna lose her.

Jenn:

They ended up bringing the doctor, they ended up sending the children away

Jenn:

and and that she was feeling better.

Jenn:

Even though he oversaw Mount Vernon, she oversaw the household.

Scott:

So he had to, he had to step into kind of her role, the household role.

Scott:

Yeah.

Scott:

He had to

Jenn:

is taking care of all the people and Wow.

Scott:

the,

Jenn:

Logistics, food and just, and, and it was Christmas time, so, Christmas in

Jenn:

Cologna times is not Christmas today.

Jenn:

I, I tell

Scott:

was interesting.

Jenn:

Christmas during cologna times is a lot, what we think of Thanksgiving today

Jenn:

because we didn't have, than Thanksgiving is a, is a newer tradition probably

Jenn:

within the last 200 years to celebrate it.

Jenn:

Like

Scott:

we did.

Scott:

And so this was supposed to be like sixth night or 12th

Jenn:

12th night, which if you do the 12 days of Christmas, it starts

Jenn:

Christmas day and then the 12 days after, so it's 12th night, which is

Jenn:

January 6th when they're married,

Scott:

saying in the, in the, this little play.

Scott:

12th night.

Scott:

Yeah.

Jenn:

12th night of Christmas thanksgiving is more like a

Jenn:

celebration of thankfulness and you're thanking people who worked for you.

Jenn:

And so really it's for children and for servants.

Jenn:

. Really.

Jenn:

You take, you buy gifts for children and you make sure you're, you,

Jenn:

you kind of give your servants like you're, they're yearly.

Jenn:

Thank you.

Jenn:

Yeah.

Jenn:

It's not really, maybe adults would, would give a, something small, you

Jenn:

know, like this is for Christmas, but they really didn't do that.

Jenn:

It was mostly like,

Scott:

I

Scott:

think that that setting kind of really helped this particular play because

Scott:

he was Colonel Washington at the time.

Scott:

Yeah.

Scott:

So he was younger, right?

Scott:

Yeah.

Scott:

So this was celebrating their first year of, of marriage.

Scott:

Yes.

Scott:

And they talk about Martha's finally feeling better and she's

Scott:

like, well, did you do this?

Scott:

Did you do this?

Scott:

Did you do this?

Scott:

And she touched naming off all these things and he, he.

Scott:

Fires right back and not being mean, but just saying like, oh yes, I

Scott:

did this and here's how I did it.

Scott:

Oh, you mean that, and he's talking about all the stuff that he did, and then they,

Scott:

they kind of have the interplay of, you know, a young married couple and Yeah.

Scott:

But it was, it was interesting all the things that he did during that time.

Jenn:

He, he got, I think he got her book.

Jenn:

and then he was like going through her book and then making sure all the things

Jenn:

that she wanted to get done, giving people their presents and stuff for Christmas.

Jenn:

And taking care of the children and making sure their children got away.

Jenn:

You know, cuz they hadn't had the measles then she kind of felt it unneeded.

Jenn:

Yeah.

Jenn:

Because she's like, well, you're able to do all of this.

Jenn:

I'm unneeded.

Scott:

Yeah.

Scott:

And they, I mean they, without going too far into that aspect of it, they went

Scott:

down into the, the married couple role.

Scott:

But they did a great job.

Scott:

And the, the actress, the.

Scott:

I, I assume that's what we would call her, who plays Martha Washington is

Jenn:

fantastic

Jenn:

The

Scott:

She's so good.

Scott:

We've seen her a couple

Jenn:

times.

Jenn:

We've seen her a couple times.

Jenn:

She knows her primary sources.

Jenn:

Okay.

Jenn:

So she's pulling lines and she's saying things from primary sources,

Jenn:

primary letters and documents that were written about Martha Washington.

Jenn:

So we're recalling like her childhood.

Jenn:

Yeah.

Jenn:

And where she grew up, and her father and her brothers and sisters

Scott:

yeah, so, so all that to say when you go to Colonial Williamsburg during

Scott:

Christmas, they have other plays, other things that they're putting on that they

Scott:

don't normally put on throughout the year.

Scott:

That was definitely one of those things that are worth it.

Jenn:

And then the other one we saw was a Charles Dickens

Scott:

Yeah,

Scott:

that one I don't think we talked about on the

Scott:

video.

Scott:

either.

Scott:

But it was neat.

Scott:

They were playing old instruments.

Scott:

They would read pieces from Charles, different dickens, different works.

Scott:

Yeah.

Scott:

And they would read it.

Scott:

I appreciated the way that they read it because it really brought out

Scott:

his writing style and the, and the.

Scott:

that of the era.

Scott:

Yes.

Scott:

And then that, and then they would play these traditional interns.

Scott:

It was really neat.

Jenn:

They had colonial instruments that Charles Dickens would've seen

Jenn:

being played if he was alive at the time, and they, they can play them.

Jenn:

And then they sang older Christmas carols and like invited us

Jenn:

to join them, which was neat.

Jenn:

And then they really, they focused a lot on a Christmas

Jenn:

Carol and Fie Wings, winks calves,

Scott:

Yeah.

Scott:

Yeah, it was.

Jenn:

And how ca male, men's calves were like the most attractive part of the male

Scott:

They, they highlighted that they, the actors, the, the musicians did a good

Scott:

job of kind of really emphasizing some of these more humorous parts of his writings.

Jenn:

It was great.

Scott:

those shows are tons of fun.

Scott:

Now Mo so it was market, then we did some shows and then if you just go

Scott:

down to the traditional kind of main drag of Colonial Williamsburg, we

Scott:

started kind of down near the ice rink.

Jenn:

Yeah, so we show what does Williamsburg would look like at Christmas

Jenn:

time and a lot of the decoration, cuz that's what you're gonna see that's

Jenn:

different is all the wreaths and the garlands that are on the doors

Jenn:

and, and banisters and it's a lot.

Jenn:

And I talk about what are they decorating with and it's a lot of like a natural.

Jenn:

Food sources and plant life because they're gonna decorate with what they can

Jenn:

find locally as they can gather and make in their kitchens and they can kind of

Jenn:

string together branches and pine cones.

Jenn:

And I talk about the oysters.

Scott:

And, and that was one of the things that I actually kind of like about

Scott:

our video that I bet you won't see on a lot of kind of similar kind of videos.

Scott:

If someone goes and talks about Colonial Williamsburg and Christmas you can

Scott:

kind of walk around and just look at these decorations on the doors.

Scott:

It's like, oh, cool decoration.

Scott:

Jen, , you did a good job of really saying, here's why these doors

Scott:

are decorated in this manner.

Scott:

Because people would look at 'em and you could tell they were kind of doing double

Scott:

takes or looking longer because there'd be a wreath with like a big circle of apples.

Scott:

Yes.

Scott:

You're like, why is there a big circle of apples on there?

Scott:

And you explained that.

Scott:

Why?

Jenn:

So it, like I told you, the Christmas in colonial times

Jenn:

is a lot like thanksgiving.

Jenn:

So you're, you're showing your thankfulness, you're showing your

Jenn:

appreciation for your abundance.

Jenn:

So if you had a good crop, Or you had a good you know, harvest, harvest of apples,

Jenn:

you're gonna take those and decorate with them and to show a, you know, how well

Jenn:

you did and to be thankful for next year.

Scott:

the perfect example was the first place winner one that we, that

Scott:

we showed the bread and the wheat.

Scott:

And

Jenn:

So the, yeah, the winner is beautiful and they made a basket

Jenn:

of bread with wheat beside it.

Jenn:

And so it's, again, they're showing, they're giving thanks for to God,

Jenn:

you know, cuz it's Christmas.

Jenn:

So they're being thankful for, and their religion for the.

Jenn:

Basically the new year and the 12 days of Christmas, we did interact

Jenn:

with an interact with a Reenactor.

Jenn:

The Attorney General of

Scott:

Williamsburg

Scott:

Yeah, we didn't talk about that in the video, so, so this is

Scott:

more special for the podcast and

Jenn:

So I told him Happy Christmas.

Jenn:

And he goes, it's a little early for that.

Jenn:

And I said, oh, when would you say it?

Jenn:

And he goes, you would say it on Christmas day and then the 12 days after Christmas.

Jenn:

Cuz we, we were there for my birthday.

Jenn:

The 9th of December.

Jenn:

So that was early, he said, and then he asked, who do I have

Jenn:

the pleasure of speaking with?

Jenn:

And I said, well, his commander in the rural Navy , because it's 8 17 60.

Jenn:

Right?

Jenn:

So this is like British Navy,

Scott:

British Times.

Jenn:

so royal navy.

Jenn:

So he was very, very, he wanted to talk about that.

Jenn:

He's like, oh, the royal Navy

Scott:

Yeah.

Scott:

He like tipped his hat to me and Yes.

Scott:

Then he started asking us about this

Jenn:

This captain, yeah.

Jenn:

Who wanted to date his daughters

Scott:

He's like, do you by chance, do you know Captain Parker?

Scott:

You know of the Royal Navy?

Scott:

And I told him I kind of.

Scott:

Played along.

Scott:

I was like, well, I'm relatively new, to the area, so he starts talking

Scott:

about this captain who's like pursuing his daughters because of his position.

Scott:

And so it was very entertaining.

Scott:

He, and he kind of went right into it, like he walked by us and yeah.

Scott:

And then just kind of started chatting us up.

Jenn:

So I, that's one of the things I really love about Colonial

Jenn:

Williamsburg is the Interactors.

Jenn:

So that goes into our amazing dinner.

Scott:

So that goes into our amazing dinner.

Scott:

That, so we had dinner with Martha and George Washington

Jenn:

So the same actors who played in the play or earlier were Martha had

Jenn:

played Martha and George for our dinner.

Jenn:

Now they were 10 years later, wasn't it like 1770?

Scott:

Yeah.

Scott:

69 or something like that.

Jenn:

And so at that time, George is getting out of the military.

Jenn:

The seven years war just happened.

Jenn:

So the French and Indian War, he hates the French.

Scott:

but they're, they're dressed for a ball.

Scott:

They're dressed for a ball, and there actually is.

Scott:

So in Colonial Williamsburg, that's one of the things you

Scott:

could have gotten tickets for.

Scott:

Thank you for not doing that because I, I would've felt incredibly awkward.

Scott:

But we, we were chatting with a couple across from us.

Scott:

They actually.

Scott:

They took, they finished the dinner and they ended up going

Scott:

to this, this, to this ball.

Scott:

But they were dressed, I was actually really impressed by their whole garb.

Scott:

I mean, he had this full on white colonial jacket, jacket, kind of

Scott:

the thread uniform style suit.

Scott:

, and then her gown was,

Jenn:

gown.

Jenn:

Yeah.

Jenn:

So like the, the two piece gown with the hoops Yeah.

Jenn:

On the side, like a very French, very bridger tin with the feathers

Jenn:

hair up with the feathers.

Jenn:

And there she was wearing a powdered wig.

Jenn:

He was not, he's still young George.

Jenn:

And George, I don't think George Washington ever

Jenn:

wore a wig, if I'm correct.

Jenn:

His hair went white.

Jenn:

And that was always just his hair.

Jenn:

He never, I don't think he ever wore a wig.

Jenn:

But

Scott:

would, they would come in and out during dinner.

Scott:

Yeah.

Scott:

So they kind of, the courses would be brought out for us.

Scott:

This is, this was her birthday, so this was, this is not

Scott:

cheap . But it was really cool.

Scott:

We ended up having a grand time.

Scott:

Yes.

Scott:

And they would kind of come in and out and talk about the different

Scott:

things that were going on.

Scott:

Interact with us a little bit, let let people ask

Scott:

questions.

Scott:

It was, it was actually a ton of fun.

Jenn:

and the meal we were served was the menu.

Jenn:

If you watch Hamilton.

Jenn:

Thomas Jefferson talks about having the dinner with Hamilton and Madison

Jenn:

when they decide where to put the capitol, and he is like, I picked

Jenn:

the menu, the venue, the seating.

Jenn:

That was

Scott:

room.

Scott:

The whole song.

Scott:

The room where

Jenn:

where it happened, the room where it happened when no one knows what happened

Jenn:

inside the room, but everyone knows where and what they ate and who was there.

Jenn:

We ate what they

Scott:

Yeah.

Scott:

So that,

Jenn:

recreated that

Scott:

It says it right on the menu.

Scott:

This is the menu that thomas Jefferson had, you know, for this, for this

Jenn:

Hamilton and Madison.

Jenn:

So it was good.

Jenn:

It was like a greens and then it was like ham wrapped in bacon.

Jenn:

Yeah.

Scott:

And then some like roast beef

Jenn:

type and then a roast beef and then like a pastry with ice cream.

Scott:

Yeah.

Jenn:

And then they served

Scott:

There was a lot of wine.

Jenn:

It's a lot of wine.

Jenn:

. And then we finished up with a witch trial.

Jenn:

So we saw, so if you look at our video of Grace Sherwood, the witch

Jenn:

who was ducked in Virginia, the last witch child of Virginia, they do her

Jenn:

witch trial at Colonial Williamsburg.

Jenn:

Yeah.

Jenn:

Because it's so close.

Jenn:

And it is, it's, it's famous.

Jenn:

It's famous.

Jenn:

Pretty famous.

Jenn:

And they allow you to interact in the witch

Scott:

They, yeah.

Scott:

So during, they have the trial, so you actually get to walk into.

Scott:

. It wasn't like the, the main courthouse, it was a different

Jenn:

It was the Capitol building

Scott:

courthouse.

Scott:

The Capitol building courthouse.

Scott:

So you get to walk in there and there's probably 20 or 30 people in there.

Scott:

And so we're all listening and they have Reenacters coming in that

Scott:

are actually acting out this whole court case, and people are saying,

Scott:

oh, she's a witch because she'd be witched, me and my pigs died and it's

Scott:

her fault, blah, blah, blah, blah.

Scott:

And then they, they let the, the townspeople ask questions.

Jenn:

Like we're all gentlemen.

Jenn:

Yeah.

Jenn:

Because no women would really be there.

Jenn:

So he says, you're all gentlemen for this evening.

Jenn:

And to be a person who gets to decide a vote in this time period, this is 1709 or

Scott:

Yeah, it's much, much earlier, way before Washington and all

Jenn:

1709.

Jenn:

You have to be male, you have to be white, you have to.

Jenn:

Over 20 and you have to be a landowner to be able to vote.

Jenn:

So that's, that was what he said.

Jenn:

We all were.

Jenn:

And so we were allowed to ask questions and we were allowed to kind of interact.

Jenn:

But it was so funny.

Jenn:

Scott was like, your pigs died.

Jenn:

She's a witch.

Jenn:

Witch.

Jenn:

And honestly, we, we both kept saying, witch, let's get outta here.

Jenn:

Witch

Scott:

good.

Scott:

It, it was, it was, it was again, a surprising amount of fun.

Scott:

So, so that was kind of the first day.

Scott:

The next day when we came back, we took the kids through the Christmas market.

Scott:

So one of the, the cool things, if you end up going and it's again the

Scott:

first three Saturdays in December from five to 7:00 PM but get there

Scott:

a little bit earlier cuz there's gonna be a lot, lot of people there.

Scott:

Not anywhere, but.

Scott:

Quarter to five.

Scott:

So at 4:45 PM they start the initial actual proclamation from

Scott:

the main courthouse on that main street, the Duke of Glo Street.

Scott:

And so they actually had, we were kind of standing there, we start walking

Scott:

over to the courthouse and I was just trying to get some pictures and all

Scott:

of a sudden about like 40, you know, young men dressed, with like fivesome

Scott:

drums, all of a sudden they come out and they just line up in front.

Scott:

I'm like, oh, great.

Scott:

So if you see in the video, I'm right up front.

Scott:

That wasn't planned.

Scott:

I, I, that was just kind of a stroke of luck I got right up front.

Scott:

And they start doing, like, they were very organized.

Scott:

They were.

Scott:

I was surprised at how good they

Jenn:

organize.

Jenn:

They were very good.

Jenn:

And they do a proclamation

Scott:

do a proclamation and then they kind of break it up.

Scott:

So if you watch our video, that's that very first shot.

Scott:

And then we, we reintroduce it a little bit later, but you hang out

Scott:

there for about 15 minutes while they're kind of putting on their show.

Scott:

Yeah.

Scott:

And then from there, they end up marching around to all these

Scott:

different spots around the.

Scott:

The bigger buildings in Colonial Williamsburg, and they do

Scott:

various proclamations all around.

Scott:

We didn't see all of them because there was multiple ones going on in different

Jenn:

there's a lot of people.

Jenn:

So a lot of people and people will be camped out on the Palace

Jenn:

Green to get a good view of the.

Jenn:

Fireworks.

Jenn:

So it's kind of hard to kind of navigate around the Palace Green, but

Jenn:

we were able to see the bells in front.

Jenn:

I think it was William and Mary.

Scott:

Yeah.

Scott:

So, so William and Mary, right.

Scott:

The the college is, is right down the way.

Jenn:

and then we saw like the glee club.

Scott:

Yeah.

Scott:

There was some sort of glee club or some acapella group.

Scott:

It's in the video.

Scott:

Yeah.

Scott:

Again, some church kind of put on like a whole show with like, they were

Scott:

actually playing Christmas songs, but with like these various sized bells,

Scott:

and then at 7:00 PM we get to see the fireworks.

Jenn:

and the fireworks was so cool.

Jenn:

Yeah.

Jenn:

But we'll, let me make a recommendation to you.

Jenn:

If you go and do this and you're hungry.

Jenn:

Yeah.

Jenn:

There will be food booths that are like more well known that have long lines.

Jenn:

But I think for this grand illumination, there'll be certain organizations

Jenn:

that do little pop-up food booths.

Scott:

Yeah.

Scott:

Or just like, they're almost more

Jenn:

fundraisers.

Jenn:

Yeah.

Jenn:

Like

Scott:

fundraiser.

Scott:

We were waiting in this super

Jenn:

Go to those

Scott:

Yeah.

Scott:

We were waiting in this super long line, for, to get something made.

Scott:

And I just kinda look across the way and it looks like you, it's later in the

Scott:

evening and I just kind of zip over there and it's stuff that they had pre-heated,

Scott:

pre-made or whatever like that.

Scott:

But if you're just traipsing around and you'd ha probably with that many people

Scott:

down there, you're gonna have a hard time getting into any of the restaurants.

Scott:

So bring food.

Scott:

But

Scott:

That was definitely kind of a, a good hack for us.

Scott:

If you don't, if you don't bring food with you, look around a little bit because you,

Scott:

you don't have to wait in a super long

Jenn:

got corn dogs for all of us and some pretzels, pretzels.

Jenn:

And we were fine and we didn't have to wait.

Jenn:

And the, by the time we were done eating the place I was in line, still

Jenn:

hadn't gotten to the front window yet.

Scott:

And there's tons of people ice skating right down

Scott:

there in the heart of Colonial Williamsburg, which is really cool.

Scott:

Yeah.

Scott:

And just, they don't have, one thing that I thought they were

Scott:

gonna have that they didn't was actually Christmas style lights.

Scott:

I thought they were actually gonna have lights on the buildings.

Scott:

That's not what it was.

Scott:

Which actually I appreciated after the fact because it, it felt more

Scott:

colonial, more, more a little bit like you were walking back in.

Scott:

Without that.

Scott:

So that was my initial expectation.

Scott:

Yeah.

Scott:

But I wasn't disappointed when I didn't see that.

Scott:

I just didn't know what to expect.

Scott:

And these proclamations were pretty fun because they would be, you know,

Scott:

reading whatever the proclamation is and they would lead like three cheers,

Scott:

you know, and they hip, hip hazah.

Scott:

So everybody said, like our oldest, you'll hear 'em, he's like saying, ha.

Scott:

Yeah.

Scott:

So it was, it was a ton of fun.

Scott:

And we ended up sitting on the Palace Green.

Jenn:

sat on the grass and then we found

Scott:

a spot.

Scott:

We just found a random spot.

Scott:

It wasn't so crowded that you couldn't do that.

Jenn:

I think now because I break it up into the three

Jenn:

nights that it's not as crowded.

Jenn:

Like, like I said, the first three Saturdays of December

Jenn:

five to seven because they break it up, it's not as crowded.

Jenn:

Yeah.

Jenn:

And again, we wouldn't have known about it unless we went to that veterans center and

Jenn:

he told us, you should come back tomorrow.

Scott:

Yeah.

Scott:

We had kind of initially brushed it off, we're like, ah, maybe.

Scott:

And he kind of kept talking it up

Jenn:

like, no, you'll wanna see this.

Jenn:

This is a big deal.

Jenn:

And we're like, and then I think I, we saw some video and I

Jenn:

said, maybe this is a big deal.

Jenn:

Let's go check it out.

Jenn:

And it was, it was worth It

Scott:

was worth it.

Scott:

And it's worth it.

Scott:

And it's nice because you could do fireworks at 7:00 PM It's already dark.

Scott:

Yeah.

Scott:

You're done by seven 20.

Scott:

Like we live about 45 minutes away.

Scott:

, we're home by eight 30.

Jenn:

was

Scott:

it wasn't bad at

Jenn:

Yeah, it was great with kids, cuz usually for 4th of July you have

Jenn:

to stay up late with your kids because the sun doesn't go down till late.

Jenn:

But because the sun sets so early, it was, it was pitch black and perfect,

Scott:

but it, again, it was as a ton of fun and with those torches lining

Scott:

the streets and with the fireworks, it just, it, it felt so much more

Scott:

colonial with that back in time, like you're walking back in time because

Scott:

it's not very often throughout the year where they actually light all of those

Scott:

torches because, Ba basically I have someone watching each and every single

Jenn:

one

Scott:

to make sure grass doesn't catch on fire.

Scott:

So it was, it was an absolute blast and I highly recommend

Scott:

it to anybody that wants to

Jenn:

Ago.

Jenn:

I highly recommend it too.

Jenn:

And since watching this, since doing that, I was, it was been brought to

Jenn:

my attention that Perry Komo filmed a special in Williamsburg in the seventies.

Jenn:

I think it's probably as old as me, , cuz I was born in 77 and I

Jenn:

think it was filmed in 77 because his special guest is John Wayne.

Jenn:

And John Wayne passes away the year I was born.

Jenn:

So, A couple years after I was born.

Jenn:

So, I'm going to do a whole talk with history about what it looks

Jenn:

like today compared to that video and if you wanna see more of what.

Jenn:

Colonial Williamsburg looked like back then with Perry Commo, who

Jenn:

is actually from my hometown in Pennsylvania and the Duke, who I love.

Jenn:

Check it out.

Jenn:

It's on YouTube, but I will, I'm gonna commentate it on

Scott:

yeah, I gotta, I gotta figure out how to do that so that it may

Scott:

be a little bit I'll, I'll give it a shot over our Christmas break.

Scott:

We'll see if we can put something together,

Jenn:

it's very cool.

Jenn:

And Christmasy as well.

Scott:

Yeah.

Scott:

Well, for those who are watching and for those who are listening, thank you

Scott:

so much for listening to the Talk With History podcast and please reach out to

Scott:

us at our website, talk with history.com.

Scott:

But more importantly, if you know someone else that might enjoy this podcast or the

Scott:

video version, please share it with them.

Scott:

And especially if you think that they would enjoy something about

Scott:

Colonial Williamsburg, shoot 'em a text and tell 'em to look us up.

Scott:

We rely on you, our community to grow, and we appreciate y'all every day.

Scott:

Talk to you next time.

Jenn:

Time.

Jenn:

Happy

Jenn:

Christmas.