Yorktown Presents Nine Holiday Events
that Represent the Spirit of the Season
It’s the most festive time of the year in Historic Yorktown!
Bright lights are strung. Holiday wreaths are hung. Stores are stocked with seasonal gear.
Santa Claus is in town. Children are running around. And fun Christmas events are near.
During December, Yorktown is pleased to give to thee,
nine events full of glee and wonderful memories.
Christmas Tree Lighting
Victory Monument & Yorktown Waterfront
Friday, Dec. 2
Monument festivities begin at 6:30 p.m.
Tree lighting at 7:30 p.m.
On the first event of Christmas, Yorktown gave to thee, a Christmas tree lighting you must go see.
Christmas officially begins in Historic Yorktown when the community gathers for the illumination of its 20-foot artificial “Giant Everest fir.” This tradition goes all the way back to 1945, when Reverend Claud G. Barkley, pastor of Yorktown Baptist Church, and staff from the County Clerk’s office, decorated a cedar tree that stood at the corner or Main and Ballard Streets. The York County Historical Committee works hard to keep the ritual going!
Be sure to bring the kids to this event. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be waiting to greet nice little boys and girls to hear what’s on their holiday wish lists this year.
Christmas Market on Main
Historic Main Street
Saturday, Dec. 3 | 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 4 | 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
On the second event of Christmas, Yorktown gave to thee, shopping galore on Main Street.
Yorktown’s Christmas Market on Main gives shoppers the opportunity to find one-of-a-kind items for anyone still on their Christmas gift list. During this two-day event, nearly 100 vendors will line the street to sell everything from festive paintings and handmade soaps to Christmas wreaths and wooden toys.
On both days, kids can create a Colonial ornament craft. Strolling entertainers Dickens Trio (Saturday) and The SantaBones (Sunday) will serenade guests with Christmas classics like “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” and “Silent Night.”
On Saturday, the Town Crier will ring in the market, and the Fifes and Drums of York Town will perform. Watch model trains trek around a festive holiday display in the basement of York Hall. Best of all, stop by to say hi to Santa, who will ride in on York County’s first fire truck.
On Sunday, observe how a talented sculptor transforms a block of ice into a frosty, shiny piece of art.
Lighted Boat Parade
Saturday, Dec. 3 | 6 to 8 p.m.
On the third event of Christmas, Yorktown gave to thee, dazzling lights sparkling on the sea.
You’re sure to get into the holiday spirit with this annual seaside tradition. Join us at the waterfront from 6 to 8 p.m. for the Lighted Boat Parade. Arrive at 6 p.m. to pick your spot on the beach. While you wait for the parade to begin, sit by a bonfire, sing Christmas songs, and sip on complimentary apple cider. At 7 p.m., watch captains cruise their boats along the York River. Then vote on your own for the vessel you consider Best in Show. As an added safety, be sure to bring flashlights to assist in navigation around town at night.
Viking Yuletide Celebration
309 Water Street
Saturday, Dec. 3 | 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 4 | 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
On the fourth event of Christmas, Yorktown gave to thee, a Viking lesson and yuletide jubilee.
Continue your Christmas journey to experience a unique, “mari-time” event at the Watermen’s Museum. Join Odin and local Vikings as they celebrate the Yuletide. Observe a Victorian age reenactment and hear St. Nicholas contrast both eras’ contributions to today’s holiday celebrations. The Museum will be hosting games, crafts, shows, and more.
Cookies with Santa
Gallery at York Hall
Sunday, Dec. 4 | 1 to 4 p.m.
On the fifth event of Christmas, Yorktown gave to thee, Santa, kids, and irresistible treats.
Sweeten up your child’s day by joining Santa for cookies at the Gallery at York Hall. Be sure to bring your cameras and wish lists to this free event. While you’re there, stop inside the Gallery to peruse the aisles for ornaments or seasonal mementos to add to your expanding holiday décor collection.
An Enchanted Evening on Main Street
Historic Main Street
Friday, Dec. 9 | 5 to 9 p.m.
On the sixth event of Christmas, Yorktown gave to thee, an unforgettable, eventful evening.
During Yorktown’s first-ever An Enchanted Evening, immerse yourself in the magic of the season amid festive music, hot apple cider, and even chestnuts roasting on an open fire. Bring a date or your entire family to partake in the delightful activities this event has to offer.
The Fifes and Drums of York Town will kick off the event. Kids (young and old) can make crafts, pet animals at a live nativity scene, or visit Santa so they can share what they desire for Christmas.
Sample roasted chestnuts or snuggle up for a fireside chat at Mobjack Coffee Roasters and Petite Café. If you get hungry, you can grab dinner at the food trucks stationed on Main Street.
For your entertainment, singers will be ambling down the street to perform classic Christmas carols. An ice carving demonstration will also take place in front of York Hall.
Saturday, Dec. 10 | 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
On the seventh event of Christmas, Yorktown gave to thee, food, music, mistletoe, and holly.
During our last Yorktown Market Days event of the year, you’ll find almost everything you need to make your family’s favorite recipes. Vendors at the Mistletoe Market will be selling cheese and chowders, baked goods and jams, as well as wreaths, soaps, and seasonal arts and crafts.
The day will be full of festive activities. Guests will be able to dance to Christmas music thanks to the snazzy holiday DJ who will be stationed at the Riverwalk Landing Stage.
Santa will be ready to take pictures with good little girls and boys in the Freight Shed. Feel free to snap a picture with the man whose belly is like a bowl full of jelly.
While you’re there, observe model railroad cars navigating miniature holiday displays. Then wander to Water Street to hop on a trackless train for a ride around Riverwalk Landing.
At 1:30 p.m., join fellow community members to march in the annual Toyland Parade. Dazzle onlookers with your handmade signs and Christmas costumes. Everyone -- even your pet -- is invited to walk in the Toyland Parade led by the Fifes and Drums of York Town.
Wreaths Across America
Yorktown National Cemetery
Saturday, Dec. 17 | 12 p.m.
On the eighth event of Christmas, Yorktown gave to thee, wreaths for fallen military.
Join fellow patriots at Yorktown National Cemetery to memorialize fallen U.S. veterans, honor those who serve, and teach children the value of freedom for Wreaths Across America Day. Fresh Christmas wreaths will be placed on grave markers at the Yorktown National Cemetery during this remembrance ceremony conducted by the Yorktown Coast Guard Station.
The ceremony is open to the public, with parking at the Battlefield Visitor Center. All wreaths are sponsored by numerous civic, veteran, and auxiliary organizations throughout the community. If you’re interested in personally sponsoring a wreath, or volunteer in wreath placement, please visit this website.
Christmastide in Virginia
American Revolution Museum at Yorktown
Dec. 18-31 | 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Closed Christmas Day)
On the ninth event of Christmas, Yorktown gave to thee, revolutionary holiday history.
Get a glimpse of 17th- and 18th-century holiday traditions through interpretive programs and demonstrations at the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown. Learn about winter camp life and hear accounts of Christmas during the Revolutionary War. Observe exciting artillery demonstrations and assist the quartermaster in prepping military supplies. View demonstrations of holiday activities, including setting a farmhouse table for a holiday feast and decorating with greenery. Enjoy festive holiday musical performances daily at 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.