In the Loop

Yorktown Celebrates Fall Arts with Exhibits, Concerts, Festivals & More!

Fall Arts Month

Yorktown is happy to help kick off another exciting fall arts season! It all starts tonight with the Celebrate Yorktown Committee’s Annual Opening Night Art Show. If you're interested in attending, it isn't too late. Tickets are still available for $35 at the door, and all proceeds go right back into our community to support the arts and visual arts. The event is from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Freight Shed, and will feature an exhibit of work from On the Hill Gallery. It will be a night of art, live music, catered food, and a silent auction—all with a view of the beautiful York River!

This fundraiser kicks off an explosive autumn filled with more than 100 different arts, crafts, music, theater and culinary events taking place throughout Yorktown and the Greater Williamsburg area. Here are just a few of the highlights, specific to our hometown.

Virginia Symphony Concert Under the Stars

Virginia Symphony in Yorktown

Every year, the volunteer-run Celebrate Yorktown Committee of the Yorktown Foundation works diligently to raise the $24,000 needed to cover the cost of presenting this evening of FREE music to the public. The concert was initially scheduled for Sept. 2 at 7:30 but has been rescheduled to Sept. 13 at the same time. Under the baton of Adam Turner, The Virginia Symphony Orchestra will perform at Riverwalk Landing and you're encouraged to pack a picnic, bring a lawn chair and blanket, and get there early! The award-winning Fifes and Drums of York Town will kick things off at 6 p.m. and blue ribbons will be awarded to the most creative picnic set-ups prior to the event.

Rhythms on the Riverwalk

Rhythms on the Riverwalk_Riverwalk Landing_Yorktown (2)

These free outdoor performances will be held through most of September and into the first Friday in October. All the fun takes place along the historic waterfront from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. and we are really excited about this year’s diverse entertainment line-up. You can expect several musical genres including jazz, big band, and even a little country!  

  • September  8      Williamsburg Classic Swing Orchestra  
  • September 15     Super Jazz Band featuring Conni Ironmonger Wood
  • September  22    Dave Cynar Band
  • September  29    Little Country
  • October  6           Good Shot Judy

As with all of our outdoor concerts, you bring your own seat to this one! You may also pack your coolers, but please note that food will be available on site for purchase. Free parking is available in the garage on Water Street, York Hall, the York-Poquoson Courthouse, County Administration Building, and other designated public parking lots throughout town.

Yorktown Market Days

Market Days Artists

During the next two months, you’ll find the largest number of artists at any given Farmers Market. There are close to 30 local painters, photographers, jewelers, and woodworkers who will be showcasing their work every Saturday morning (rain or shine) at Riverwalk Landing. This amazing local talent produces everything from beautiful sea glass jewelry to original and ornate wood carvings.

Jerry Dance (Paintings)Nancy Comley (Photography)Sheila Moore (Painted Glass)
Marion Meeker (Glass)Chanée Hall (Jewelry)Michael Kunzinger (Photography)
Susan Sweder (Painted Gourds)Jessica Thompson (Jewelry)Larry Krussel (Photography)
Marilou Rock (Garden Art)Jay White (Jewelry)Seth Fisher (Photography)
Christina Micket (Paintings)Brooke Hairston (Jewelry)Bob Leek (Photography)
Paula Dooley (Paintings)Ellen Pollock (Jewelry)Tiffany & Scott Heiser (Mixed Media)
Tiffany & Scott Heiser (Paintings)Barbara Meier (Stained Glass)Sandra & Billy Ruby (Wood)
Debbie Werner (Wood)Jennifer Stanley (Wood)Art Wolz (Wood)
Mark & Amy Lydic (Wood)Kino Alpacas (Alpaca Products)

Each market also presents live musical performances covering everything from blues to rock to acoustical harmony!

Taste of Love with Bart and Jan
Audio Portrait
Ron Fetner
Stephen Christoff
SOJORN
Henley Fork
Phil Poteat

Following the close of our weekly market season on October 28, we’ll have additional holiday-related markets on Nov. 11, Nov. 18, and Dec. 9 with extended hours from 9 a.m to 3 p.m.

Yorktown Art Stroll

Art Stroll

Take a walk through the imagination of local artists on Sunday, September 24! Select Riverwalk Landing businesses along with the Freight Shed—on the Yorktown waterfront—will be filled with unique works of art. On display will be a range of oil, acrylic and watercolor paintings; stained and infused glass work; drawings; photography; jewelry; pottery; woodwork; and the list goes on!

This event is free and open to the public. Not only can you visit the artists and learn more about their inspiration, but you can also sit and watch as some demonstrate their work. Don’t miss special musical performances by acoustical guitarist Robbie House playing a variety of popular hits from 1 to 4 p.m. The Art Stroll show and sale is sponsored by the Yorktown Arts Foundation, York County, and through special funding from the Yorktown Arts Commission. Lean more here.

Gallery at York Hall

Gallery at York Hall 1

The Gallery at York Hall will host several special exhibits and events to celebrate Fall Arts. In September, look for a “Pottery” exhibit featuring the amazing and popular work of artist Keith Shamburger. October will feature the opening of the “Yorktown Art” exhibit highlighting Historian Chris Bonin.

There are several other art demonstrations and author meet-and greets taking place both months, including two American History writers who will be signing books on Yorktown Day.

September 10:      Watercolor Art Demo by Hazel Camp
September 17:      Woodturning Demo by Tom Duke
September 24:      Wildlife Photography Art Stroll by David Mitchell

October 19:           Author Jenny L. Cote: The Voice, the Revolution & the Key
                              Alan R. Hoffman: Lafayette in America in 1824 & 1825: Journal of a Voyage to the United States
October 22:           Author Michael Cecere: The Invasion of Virginia 1781


Customers who mention “Arts Month” the entire month of September will get a 10% discount off their entire purchase. It’s the perfect time to do some holiday shopping and get truly unique gifts. You’ll find one-of-a-kind pieces including quilts, handwoven baskets, stained glass, jewelry, and more. Need another reason to shop? Part of every purchase goes back into the community to help support arts and performing arts, 30% to be exact.

In case you missed our recent blog about this fantastic volunteer-run Gallery—get caught up here!

Yorktown Wine Festival

Yorktown Wine Festival Riverwalk Landing

On Saturday, October 7 - not only will you sample some of Virginia’s finest vino, but your palate will get to go on a trip around the world! Yorktown shares more than just history with our sister cities Zweibrücken and Port-Vendres. In a nod to both countries, you'll be able to sample Rieslings and Gewürztraminers from Germany and indulge bubbly from France—the only place where true champagne is created! The festival, at Riverwalk Landing will feature live music, great food from local restaurants, and the work of talented artisans. This is a rain or shine event. Click here to learn more and to purchase tickets which are $30 in advance and $35 at the door.

American Revolution Museum at Yorktown

American Revolution Museum at Yorktown

Now through November 27, the special AfterWARd exhibition will be on display at the Museum to chronicle the post-war lives of veterans of the Siege of Yorktown. You are probably familiar with these famous names that include Henry Knox, Alexander Hamilton, James Lafayette, the Marquis de Lafayette, George Washington, and Charles Cornwallis. You'll also learn about some of the lesser-known veterans who made contributions to a new America. 

Throughout the 5,000-square-foot special gallery, you'll find portraits, artifacts, illustrations, and short films. Museum admission is free to all York County, James City County, and Williamsburg residents with proof of residency. The College of William & Mary students also get in free! During Fall Arts in September and October, there are several special programs being offered, many of which are included with your tickets. 

September 16: “Meet Alexander Hamilton” – A young Alexander Hamilton recounts the trials and tribulations of the War for Independence.

September 17: “Alexander Hamilton: Legacy of a Founding Father”Lecture – and Scholet, president of the Alexander Hamilton Awareness Society, and Michael Newton, Hamilton biographer, will discuss the ongoing impact that Alexander Hamilton has had on America as the nation’s first Secretary of the Treasury.

September 29-30: “The American Soldier, 1774-2015” – Broadway actor Douglas Taurel reveals the struggles American soldiers face at war and challenges to come back home.

October 5: “Brothers at Arms” Lecture – Larrie D. Ferrerio, an author, history and technology professor at George Mason University and military serviceman, discusses his book “Brothers at Arms: American Independence and the Men of France and Spain Who Saved It.”

October 12: “The Revolutionary War Lives and Letters of Lucy and Henry Knox” Lecture – Phil Hamilton, history professor at Christopher Newport University, launches a new biography that delves into the personal life and marriage of Washington’s chief of artillery.

October 18: “Lafayette’s Grand Tour of 1824” Lecture, – Alan Hoffman, President of the American Friends of Lafayette, recounts Lafayette’s momentous return to America 43 years after the end of the Revolution.

October 18: “Lafayette and Human Rights” Lecture – Discover how the Marquis de Lafayette’s influence in the world went beyond America’s Revolution. Diane Shaw, director of special collections at Lafayette College, traces his work with human rights. Included with museum admission.

Click here to learn more including the times of each event and how to secure your spot!

These are just a few of the exciting events taking place in Yorktown during Fall Arts. Be sure to follow us on Facebook to learn more about special events, programming, and live music taking place at the waterfront. And click here to learn more about what's going on in the other two points of the Historic Triangle, Williamsburg and Jamestown!

Blogger: Jessica A. Wauhop

Jessica Wauhop Blogger

Jessica is the marketing & event specialist for the York County Tourism Development Office. The Emmy-award winning writer has experience in television news producing, photography, and content marketing. She loves to inspire others to #visityorktown by sharing beautiful pictures and telling engaging stories. She's also excited to keep you "In the Loop" about everything happening in our historic waterfront town, not just here on the blog but on our new Visit Yorktown social media accounts.

Jessica is a die-hard Hokie and she and her husband (a York County native), are happy to call Seaford home. When she isn't writing or posting to Instagram, you'll find her out exploring Hampton Roads with their three pups! Have a blog idea you'd like her to consider? Email her!