Virginia Thanksgiving Festival at Berkeley Plantation
Sunday, November 2, 2014
Noon until 4:00 p.m.
Nowhere can you find a more exciting, more educational or more enjoyable way to add to holiday traditions than a beautiful autumn day at Berkeley Plantation.
Charles City, Virginia Every year on the first Sunday of November, 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. Upon landing on shore, in accordance with orders from London, the Englishmen proclaimed: “We ordain that the day of our ship’s arrival, at the place assigned for plantation, in the land of Virginia shall be yearly and perpetually kept holy as a day of thanksgiving to Almighty God”. Thus began the American tradition of Thanksgiving!
The festival begins with a parade, including horse-drawn carriages and pipe and drum performers. First person re-enactors, musicians and magicians stroll the plantation grounds throughout the day interacting with guests. The Chickahominy Tribal Dancers perform as well as choral groups, including the Chester Community Chorus. Families participate in Colonial period games, dancing, crafts, activities and a corn maze. Vendors showcase their food, arts, crafts and jewelry. Additional catering has been added this year with great foods available for purchase from Catering by Jill and Berry’s Catering. Thanksgiving dinner in a glass is back along with Brunswick stew, ham biscuits, turkey legs, BBQ, desserts and more.
The re-enactment of the landing, moderated by Richmond TV and radio personality Tim Timberlake, begins at 3:00 PM. Following the re-enactment, The Chickahominy Tribal Dancers invite everyone to join them in the traditional Friendship Dance which concludes the day of festivities honoring the first Thanksgiving in English speaking North America. The public is invited to bring lawn chairs and blankets to enjoy the event.
This year’s Virginia Thanksgiving Festival takes place on November 2nd from noon until 4:00 p.m. on the lawn of Berkeley Plantation- 12602 Harrison Landing Road, Charles City, Virginia, 23030, off State Route 5 between Richmond and Williamsburg. There is no charge for admission to the festival and grounds. There is a $5 parking fee to help fund the festival and a nominal charge to tour the 1726 mansion and museum. Tours are conducted 9:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.
For a complete list of the entertainment taking place at the festival and food available for purchase call 1-888-466-6018 or visit: www.virginiathanksgivingfestival.com.