Leaves Are Falling, Autumn Events Are Calling in Historic Yorktown

Fall Love Letters Blog

Ah, autumn. There’s a lot to love this time of year! From the smell of freshly fallen leaves to the taste of pumpkin treats and cinnamon spices. Or the crispness of the cooler air to the appetizing, euphoric, and historical activities available in Historic Yorktown in September, October, and November.

Yorktown kicks off the season with a plethora of activities for the whole family: First Responders Market, Oyster Roast, Folk Festival, Art Stroll, and Rhythms on the Riverwalk.


September

Rhythms on the Riverwalk 
Thursdays, Sept. 8 - Oct. 13
6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Rhythms on the Riverwalk

Put on your cozy flannel shirt, fill up your thermos with cider, and snuggle up with your fleece blanket to join fellow concertgoers at Riverwalk Landing to watch one of these jazz, blues, big band, or country bands:

  • September 8: The Michael Clark Band
  • September 15: Runnin’ Shine
  • September 22: Blue Tips Rhythm Revue
  • September 29: The Jason Cale Band
  • October 6: The Whiskey Rebellion
  • October 13: Good Shot Judy
Yorktown Sounds of Summer Concerts Photo

TIP: Take the Yorktown Trolley on concert nights (until 9 p.m.) when you park behind York Hall, the York-Poquoson Courthouse, or the County Administration Building.

Yorktown Market Days – First Responders Market
Saturday, Sept. 10
8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

There won’t be cause for alarm if you’re in Historic Yorktown on September 10. Emergency vehicles and officials will be on site to educate and answer your questions about what it’s like being a first responder. While you’re around, be sure to express your gratitude to the firefighters, sheriff's deputies, emergency communications dispatchers, and public works officials who protect the community. 

You won’t want to miss the York County Fire & Life Safety fire truck, patrol cars, crime prevention trailer, DARE tent, motorcycles, and K-9 unit.

First Responders Market Collage

Watermen’s Museum Oyster Roast
Watermen’s Museum
Saturday, Sept. 10
12 to 3 p.m. $

Shell-ebrate your love for seafood at the Watermen’s Museum Oyster Roast on Saturday, September 10 from 12 to 3 p.m. During this annual fundraiser, enjoy fresh-roasted or raw oysters from various local sources, regular and gluten-free clam chowder with or without bacon, hot dogs, sides, desserts from Carrot Tree, and more.

Tickets are $45 in advance and $50 at the gate for the “All-You-Can-Eat” extravaganza. Non-oyster tickets are available for $40 in advance, $45 at the gate. Children 7-12 years are $25, while children 6 and under are free.

Call 757.887.2641 for more information or stop by the gift shop during regular business hours for tickets.

Watermens Oyster Roast

Watermen’s Museum Folk Festival
Watermen’s Museum, Riverwalk Landing & York Hall
Saturday, Sept. 24 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 25 from 12 to 8 p.m.

If music is your jam, then you’ll love the annual Yorktown Folk Festival, September 24-25. More than 25 bands will take the Watermen's stage and play music the whole family can enjoy – from folk and blues to Celtic and rock and roll. The event is free and open to the public.

Folk Festival Collage Watermens Museum

Yorktown Art Stroll
Freight Shed & Riverwalk Landing
Sunday, Sept. 25
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

See how creators master the art of their unique craft at the Yorktown Art Stroll in the Freight Shed and Riverwalk Landing on Sunday, September 25 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  More than 45 artists will showcase their visual talents – from acrylic, oil, and watercolor paintings to glass, photography, pottery, jewelry, and painted furniture. Acoustical harmony will be provided by Audio Portrait from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Rain or shine. Presented by Yorktown Arts Foundation and York County with support from York County Arts Commission.

Art Stroll Collage

October

In Yorktown, October means more than just pumpkin picking, fall foliage, and bonfires. It’s a time to celebrate the invention of beer and wine, the love of a furry pet, and the birth of our nation.

Yorktown Wine Festival
Riverwalk Landing
Saturday, Oct. 1
12 to 6 p.m. $

You’ll be on cloud wine when you attend the Yorktown Wine Festival, Saturday, October 1 from 12 to 6 p.m. at Riverwalk Landing. Sample some of the state’s finest vino and take your palate on a trip around the world. Sip on irresistible Riesling from Austria, exquisite Gewürztraminers from Germany, and fine bubbly from France. The event features live music, great food from local restaurants, and the work of talented artists. In addition, taste some of Virginia’s finest spirits from local distilleries. Admission is $35 in advance, $40 after August 30 and at the door. Purchase your tickets here.

Wine Festival collage

Sister Cities Yorktown Presents: Soirée en Blanc
Secret Location
Wednesday, Oct. 5
6 to 9 p.m.

Don’t miss an opportunity to share a magical evening with Sister Cities Yorktown during “Soirée en Blanc,” or a dinner in white! The location remains a secret to ticket holders until two days in advance. That is part of the fun!

The event is based on a 30-year tradition that began in Paris when a gentleman wanted to entertain a group of friends he hadn’t seen in a while. He selected a secret location and told them to meet at a predetermined place and to wear white so that they could find each other. The event has been replicated around the world in as many as 70 cities. In Paris, the annual event now draws 12,000 people. This is how it works. Guests bring their own picnic food, soft drinks or wine (no hard liquor), white plates, flatware, white napkins, glasses, and white table decorations. Sister Cities Yorktown provides tables, chairs, white tablecloths and entertainment. Proceeds support Sister Cities Yorktown projects, most importantly, student and citizen exchanges with our twin village of Port-Vendres, France, and grants to York County Schools.

Sister Cities Soiree En Blanc

Yorktown Market Days – Fall Festival
Riverwalk Landing
Saturday, Oct. 8
8 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

You “autumn” love what’s happening at this year’s Fall Festival. More than 40 vendors and artists will be selling seasonal favorites like pumpkins, mums, art, kettle corn, pies, and caramel apples. Kids of all ages can participate in a hayride, hay maze, petting zoo, pumpkin painting, or the Guess the Weight of the Giant Pumpkin challenge. There will also be a pumpkin carving demonstration. Guests can listen to festive music throughout the day and watch a live performance by the Fifes & Drums of York Town at 9 a.m.

Fall Festival Collage

Yorktown Victory Celebration
American Revolution Museum at Yorktown
Wednesday, Oct. 19
9 a.m. to 5 p.m. $

History lovers “musket” to the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown on October 19 for the 241st anniversary celebration of the nation’s unforgettable 1781 Revolutionary War victory at Yorktown. Visitors can interact with war re-enactors, who will fire artillery, teach about military life during colonial times, and perform music.

Yorktown Victory Center artillery firing

Yorktown Day
Victory Monument & Historical Main Street
Wednesday, Oct. 19
9 a.m. to 5 p.m. $

Take a walk down victory lane on Yorktown Day! Commemorate the Siege of Yorktown in 1781 and the Revolutionary War victory that paved the way for America’s freedom. The day starts with a wreath-laying ceremony, followed by a patriotic parade down Main Street. The Fifes and Drums of York Town will also perform. Be sure to stop by all of the town’s historic sites, such as the Nelson House, Yorktown Custom House, York County Historical Museum, Watermen's Museum, and the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown.

Yorktown Day

Yorktoberfest
Riverwalk Landing
Sunday, Oct. 23
12 to 5:30 pm. $

We bring happy hour to a whole new level! During this annual craft beer festival, get unlimited tastings of more than 35 beers and ciders from Coastal Virginia. We have the beer, you bring friends and family! Enjoy music, vendors, and food trucks. Tickets are $30 in advance, $40 at the door. VIPs ($50 per person) gain access to the event an hour before opening to the public. Hosted by the York County Chamber of Commerce. Rain date November 6.

Yorktoberfest 2019

Yorktown Market Days – Paws at the River
Riverwalk Landing
Saturday, Oct. 29
9 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

This pet-ticularly fluffy and adorable event brings awareness to animal rescue organizations and places adorable pets in their “furever” homes. Visitors will discover informational booths and educational opportunities and can purchase doggy delights from FiDough Homemade Dog Treats or at Gangsta Dog at Riverwalk Landing Village. Get a free photo with you and your furry friend from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., and then stick around for the annual Halloween Pet Costume Parade at 1 p.m. This trick-or-treating event features Yorktown businesses and rescue organizations.

Paws at the River Photo Shoot

November

This Thanksgiving, Yorktown will give you a lot to be grateful for – three unique markets and an appetizing, learning experience you won’t forget.

York County Vintage Market
McReynolds Athletic Complex
Saturday, Nov. 5
9 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

If you're an antique lover, we've got a rev-o-lutionary event for you. Classic cars will line the streets. Vendors at York County’s Vintage Market will be selling restored furniture and collectibles, antiques, art, accessories, clothing, jewelry, unique home décor, and much, much more. Live entertainment and food trucks will also be there to add to the jovial ambiance.

Vintage Market
Car Show McReynolds Complex

Yorktown Market Days – Maritime Festival
Riverwalk Landing
Saturday, Nov. 12
9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

H2-Oh, what fun you’re going to have at the Maritime Festival. Visitors can sample some of the best seafood in the area, like oysters, clam chowder, Virginia blue crabs, and fried fish. Guests can also shop for nautical-inspired art and jewelry. 

Pirates will invade the waterfront to talk to kids about seafaring life, and there will be educational information for mariners of all ages. Sing along to live sea shanties on the Riverwalk Landing Stage. Watch a special performance by the Fifes and Drums of York Town at 10 a.m.

At 12 p.m. all “concerned citizens” are invited to gather in front of the Freight Shed for the 1774 Yorktown Tea Party Re-Enactment to hear enticing speeches of “No More Taxation!”, which replicates the same 18th century protest that occurred during Yorktown’s very own Tea Party. Costumed interpreters will also board a boat on the pier to create the symbolic “heave” of two small chests of tea into the York River.

Maritime Festival Collage

Yorktown Market Days – Harvest Festival
Riverwalk Landing
Saturday, Nov. 19
9 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

Get ready to gobble up some goodies for Thanksgiving dinner. More than 50 vendors will participate in this special November market. Shop for turkeys, fruits and vegetables, seafood, farm fresh, milk and eggs, homemade bread, baked goods, and other one-of-a-kind holiday treats. Local artists will also be selling their holiday handiwork around Riverwalk Landing. 

Enjoy a live log carving demonstration, Bluegrass from Ralph Motley, and a special performance by the Fifes and Drums of York Town at 10 a.m. The Virginia Living Museum will present two live animal shows inside the Freight Shed at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. This is free to the public and sponsored by the Riverwalk Landing businesses. Children of all ages can also get in a little fun education with living history shared by interpreters in period clothing from the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown.

Harvest Festival Collage

Foods & Feasts of Colonial Virginia
American Revolution Museum at Yorktown
Friday, Nov. 25 and Saturday, Nov. 26
9 a.m. to 5 p.m. $

Feast your eyes on how colonists prepared meals and preserved food. This Thanksgiving weekend explore the meals, flavors, and cooking techniques of the 17th and 18th century. Discover the cultural dishes of early Virginians to traditional foods during the Revolutionary War. Cooking demonstrations will be done throughout the day for demonstration purposes only.

Foods and Feasts of Colonial Virginia (3)
Foods and Feasts Am Rev Museum at Yorktown farm

TIP: We understand parking for these events can be tricky. Did you know Yorktown offers FREE PARKING? There are several lots located throughout Historic Yorktown, with the most coveted (and quickly snagged) spots inside the two-level parking terrace on Water Street. We suggest you consider parking on the outskirts of town, up at the Courthouse, or County Admin Building, and then riding the free Yorktown Trolley down the hill. The Trolley runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, and on Rhythms at the Riverwalk nights until 9 p.m. when you park behind York Hall, the York-Poquoson Courthouse, or the County Administration Building.