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  • psst … I’m a Realtor! Thanks for stopping by my website. I would love to help you find your dream home and community in the Hampton Roads or Williamsburg area or to sell your existing home. This website is authored by local resident and REALTOR, John Womeldorf. John is known around town as Mr. Williamsburg, for both his extensive knowledge of Hampton Roads and the historic triangle, and his expertise in the local real estate market. His websites, WilliamsburgsRealEstate.com and Mr Williamsburg.com were created as a resource for folks who are exploring a move to Williamsburg, VA , Hampton Roads VA and the surrounding areas of the Virginia Peninsula. On his website you can search homes for sale , foreclosures, 55+ active adult communities, condos and town homes , land and commercial property for sale in Williamsburg, Yorktown, New Kent, Poquoson, and Gloucester, VA as well as surrounding markets of Carrolton, Chesapeake,Gloucester, Hampton, Isle of Wight, Portsmouth Mathews, Newport News Norfolk, Poquoson, Smithfield, , Suffolk, Surry, Va Beach, Yorktown and York County Virginia You can reach John by email John@MrWilliamsburg.com or phone @ 757-254-813
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    • Give the Gift of Colonial Williamsburg with a Present from the Past!
      Looking for meaningful gifts this holiday season? Delight your loved ones by giving a gift that makes a difference: a Present from the Past from Colonial Williamsburg. Our mission to preserve and impart the story of our past is vital, now more than ever. Whether your passion is our beautiful gardens, Fifes and Drums, or...Read More »
    • Welcome to Fall with the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Leadership!
      Editor’s Note: The Colonial Williamsburg Center for Teaching, Learning, and Leadership is joining the Making History blog to bring education-related resources and news straight to your inbox, along with the latest news and “freshest advices.”  With classes underway in the nation’s schools, educators nationwide have Colonial Williamsburg on their side in tell […]
    • Art Museums Reach New Audiences Online Through Sotheby’s Partnership
      When you have world-class collections such as we have at the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg (known individually as the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum, now celebrating its 60th anniversary year, and the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum), you want to share them with as broad an audience as possible beyond the visitors who...Read More » […]
    • Haunting on DoG Street Returns!
      Join us as we celebrate the Halloween season with new evening programs, ghost tours, spooky carriage rides, museum talks, and trick-or-treating on DoG Street. Special Events Trick-or-Treating on DoG Street Saturday and Sunday, October 28 and 29 | 2:00 – 5:00 p.m. This Halloween season, Colonial Williamsburg depicts a world turned upside down. The British hav […]
    • John Ross Hamant, 1949 – 2017: An Appreciation
      It is with heavy hearts that we note the passing of longtime Colonial Williamsburg Foundation employee and veteran character interpreter, John Hamant.  Mr. Hamant, a Baltimore native, earned a bachelor’s degree in theater production and a master’s degree in acting and directing from the University of Arizona, but it was his love of archaeology that first...R […]
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Chownings Tavern re-opens as Ale House in Colonial Williamsburg

Benjamin Franklin once said "Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." Returning guests to Chowning’s Tavern are going to be very happy indeed. Chowning’s opens for the season today, reimagined as an authentic 18th-century ale house with a new menu, hours and décor.

chownings tavern
Alewerks Brewing Company has created three craft beers based upon authentic beer recipes from the 18th century. Old Stitch, Dear Old Mum and a brand new selection are served along with other beers, Virginia wines, cocktails, root beer, soft drinks and other beverages. In the arbor garden behind the tavern, a full-service bar and dining tables overlook Market Square.
The interior of the tavern has also had a makeover. “Thanks to paint research, we know more about the interior finishes of taverns and similar structures. What we’ve found is that interiors were much brighter than we previously thought,” said Matt Webster, director of the Grainger Department of Historic Architectural Preservation. “So, we have repainted the interiors to better represent these findings. Using paint from Benjamin Moore’s WILLIAMSBURG color palette, the ceilings are painted hardwood putty, mimicking whitewash, and the woodwork is now a rich cream called bracken biscuit. The dark finish has been removed from the floor, which has been treated to look as if the boards are unfinished as they would have been, even though they do have a protective coating.”
A display cabinet inside the entrance to the ale house holds archaeological fragments from the excavations of tavern sites throughout the Historic Area.
“Our Historic Trades tinsmiths at the Anderson Armoury site have created tin wall sconces which add to the authentic look of the interior,” said Webster.
Chowning’s now opens daily at 11:30 a.m. and remains open until 11 p.m., with no reservations required. Menu changes include shepherd’s pie and light fare served all day, including pork sliders, flatbreads, corn chowder, trenchers and salads. Favorites such as Welsh rarebit are still found on the menu, as are Chowning’s famous desserts.
“We’re located in the heart of Colonial Williamsburg’s Revolutionary City,” said Seth Farrell, director of Historic Area hospitality operations. “We invite guests to stop in any time all day long, whether for a full meal, a refreshing drink or a dessert. The atmosphere at Chowning’s is informal and welcoming, but the authenticity of the tavern that people have come to love remains intact.”
On April 18, Chowning’s launches a new beer tasting event, “Beers in the ’Burg,” from 4-7 p.m. in the arbor garden. The featured brewer for the event is Alewerks Brewing Company. Guests will taste 10 different beers, including Old Stitch, Dear Old Mum and a third beer Alewerks created exclusively for Colonial Williamsburg. Tickets for the event are $25. For those who want to enhance the experience, light fare to accompany the beer tasting will be available for purchase during the event.
Additional Beers in the ’Burg tastings are tentatively scheduled for May 23, June 20, Aug. 8 and Sept. 19. Tickets are available at all Colonial Williamsburg ticket locations or by calling 855-296-6627 or online at colonialwilliamsburg.com/plan/calendar/beers-burg/
Chowning’s Tavern is located at 109 E. Duke of Gloucester St. in the heart of Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Area. Free parking is available in the tavern parking lot located on Francis Street just west of Blair Street any time, or after 5 p.m. in the employee parking lot located on Franklin Street just east of Botetourt Street, accessible via Lafayette Street.

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New guidebook printed by Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg has published its first fully revised official guidebook since 1985. 

imageAt 256 pages, “Colonial Williamsburg: the Official Guide” is the first to focus on what happened in Williamsburg and why it mattered – then and now. For onsite help, pricesAt 256 pages, “Colonial Williamsburg: the Official Guide” is the first to focus on what happened in Williamsburg and why it mattered – then and now. For onsite help, prices, programming and directions, Colonial Williamsburg’s Explorer app, available by free download from the Apple App or Google Play stores, provides current information the way today’s travelers have come to expect. 

“We wanted our new guidebook to delve into the Revolutionary history behind the people, buildings and trades in the Historic Area,” said Bill White, the Royce R. and Kathryn M. Baker vice president of productions, publications and learning ventures for Colonial Williamsburg. “The Revolution sparked on the streets of Williamsburg changed the world. This is the book to consult before and after visiting to remember that this story – Colonial Williamsburg’s story – is the story of every modern citizen devoted to the ideals of the Declaration of Independence.” 

The book features a comprehensive history of Williamsburg during the Revolution, site-by-site and architectural histories, information on historic trades, profiles of Revolutionary figures, famous and not-so-famous, and a sampling of works from the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg. Also included is everything guests need to plan their visit, including information on hotels, taverns and restaurants, recreation and shopping. The guidebook has stunning new photographs, illustrations and maps and places Williamsburg in the context of its location between Yorktown and Jamestown. Additional information about the guidebook is available on Colonial Williamsburg’s 
“Making History” blog at http://bit.ly/MHGuideReview.

The new guidebook was printed in the United States and is available for $19.95 at WILLIAMSBURG Booksellers at the Regional Visitor Center, Everything WILLIAMSBURG in Merchants Square, at Colonial Williamsburg’s official hotel gift shops, online at 
www.williamsburgmarketplace.com or by calling 800-446-9240.

Colonial Williamsburg offers Pass Member Exclusive Offer: Bring a Friend for FREE!*

Annual, Good Neighbor and Collegiate pass members of Colonial Williamsburg can bring their friends and family for FREE beginning November 1 through December 15, 2014. Limit 10 tickets per household.

Not a current pass member?

Find out more about getting or renewing your Annual Pass.

Find out more about getting or renewing your Good Neighbor Pass.

Find out more about getting or renewing your Collegiate Pass.

More details here

Annual, Good Neighbor and Collegiate pass members of Colonial Williamsburg can bring their friends and family for FREE beginning November 1 through December 15, 2014. Limit 10 tickets per household.

Colonial Williamsburg Welcomes Production of AMC Revolutionary War Drama “TURN: Washington’s Spies

Colonial Williamsburg Welcomes Production of AMC Revolutionary War Drama “TURN: Washington’s SpiesThe Colonial Williamsburg Foundation welcomes production of AMC’s hit spy drama “TURN: Washington’s Spies” to the Revolutionary City this week.
Based on the book “Washington’s Spies: The Story of America’s First Spy Ring,” by historian Alexander Rose, “TURN: Washington’s Spies” attracted an average of 2 million viewers in its first season earlier this year. Production of the show’s second season starts this week, with shooting scheduled for Wednesday evening at Colonial Williamsburg’s Governor’s Palace.
“The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation strives to accommodate media productions that are consistent with the Foundation’s core educational mission. The HBO miniseries ‘John Adams’ stands as a leading example,” said Janet Eason, Colonial Williamsburg’s director of marketing communications. “We believe that our collaboration with “TURN: Washington’s Spies” will be highly advantageous for both the Foundation and the community as a whole, and we are working with the production team in hope of forging an ongoing partnership.”
The show’s success coincides with growing popularity of Colonial Williamsburg’s technology-assisted alternate reality games RevQuest: Save the Revolution!, which the foundation promoted on AMC during “TURN: Washington’s Spies” first season. In the games, would-be Colonial agents tap classic spycraft to aid the cause of independence, first at home on their computers, then using their mobile devices in the Revolutionary City itself. More than 43,00o people played last year alone.
“TURN: Washington’s Spies” stars Jamie Bell as Abraham Woodhull, a farmer living in British-occupied Long Island during the Revolutionary War, who bands together with a disparate group of childhood friends to form the Culper Ring. Together they risked their lives and honor, and turned against family and King, for a fight they believed in passionately, ultimately helping George Washington turn the tide of the War in favor of the rebels.
The series production in Williamsburg is also slated to include filming on the Historic Campus of the College of William & Mary, and was facilitated by the Commonwealth through the Virginia Film Office.
To accommodate filming, the Governor’s Palace will close to tours at 4 p.m. Oct. 1. Ticketed evening programs will proceed as scheduled in the mansion’s advance buildings. The public is welcome to visit the Revolutionary City that evening, although scheduled production activity will not be visible from accessible areas on Scotland Street and on the Palace Green.
In addition to Bell, the series also stars Seth Numrich as Ben Tallmadge, Daniel Henshall as Caleb Brewster, Heather Lind as Anna Strong, Kevin R. McNally as Judge Richard Woodhull, Meegan Warner as Mary Woodhull, Burn Gorman as Major Hewlett, Angus Macfadyen as Robert Rogers, JJ Feild as Major John André, Samuel Roukin as Captain John Simcoe and Ian Kahn as George Washington. Joining the cast for season two are Ksenia Solo as Peggy Shippen and Owain Yeoman as Benedict Arnold. Its first season was also filmed in Virginia at several locations including Richmond, Petersburg, and the Shirley and Scotchtown plantations.
Other AMC series include “Mad Men,” the winner of four consecutive Emmy awards for outstanding drama series, the current back-to-back drama series winner, “Breaking Bad,” and “The Walking Dead,” the most-watched drama in basic-cable history.

Free passes to Colonial Williamsburg for Hampton Roads residents…

Starting Friday August 8, 2014 Colonial Williamsburg is offering an unbeatable end-of-summer deal to residents of the region – free one-day tickets to Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Area and Art Museums August 8 -15 for adults and accompanying children.
imageResidents of Williamsburg, James City County, York County and Gloucester County are eligible for the free tickets, as are those who live in Newport News, Hampton, Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk and Virginia Beach.
“We are extending this offer to people who live in communities that have been strong supporters of Colonial Williamsburg,” said Skip Ferebee, director of consumer strategy and sales. “Colonial Williamsburg is a national treasure located close to home. We invite our neighbors to experience all that a visit to the Revolutionary City offers – the interactive spy game, ‘RevQuest: The Old Enemy,’ 19 historic trades, the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum and Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum, 90 acres of gardens, 88 original structures and nearly 500 buildings reconstructed on the basis of extensive research and, last but not least, the engaging Revolutionary City street theater that puts visitors in the heart of a town in the throes of war.”
The free ticket offer is only available at Colonial Williamsburg’s Regional Visitor Center, located at 101 Visitor Center Drive, accessible via the Colonial Parkway, Virginia Route 132 and U.S. Route 60 Bypass Road. The ticket counter is open from 8:45 a.m. until 5 p.m. daily. Proof of residency is required to qualify for free ticket. Members of the military who have temporary residence status should provide military ID and a piece of mail or other document that includes local address. Ticket must be used on the date of issue.
Details about the offer are available here

The regular price of a one-day ticket is $43.95 for adults and $38.75 for children 6 to 15. Children under 6 are free.

Colonial Williamsburg offers substantial savings to Virginia residents

Colonial Williamsburg offers Virginia residents an opportunity for considerable savings — pay for one day and get the rest of the year free.

Back by popular demand, the Salute to Virginia promotion encourages the purchase of a Colonial Williamsburg pass for the price of a single day admission — a 30 percent savings. The offer is valid from March 21 through May 31. 20144

The James Anderson Armoury complex reconstruction is complete, including the new Tinsmith Shop. The museums are opening new exhibitions, plus families will enjoy playing the newest version of our popular alternative reality game, ‘RevQuest: The Old Enemy.’”

The Salute to Virginia offer is designed to appeal to Virginians who love history and want to experience Colonial Williamsburg season by season. This Colonial Williamsburg pass encourages guests to see and experience the variety of programming, special events, annual celebrations and the classic beauty of the restored capital city of 18th-century Virginia.

Highlights for 2014 include:

• Daily presentations of Revolutionary City, the award-winning interactive outdoor street-theater presentation

• The newest alternate reality game — "RevQuest: The Old Enemy," available through Nov. 30.

• A groundbreaking new exhibition in the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg, “A Rich and Varied Culture: The Material World of the Early South”

• Entertaining and engaging evening programs

• Signature events such as Independence Day and Grand Illumination.

The Salute to Virginia Pass includes the following benefits:

• Unlimited admission to the Revolutionary City and its 35 exhibition sites and 19 Historic Trades shops

• Access to Colonial Williamsburg’s world-class museums

• Complimentary shuttle bus service

• Free special walking tours (reservations required)

• 25 percent discount on most other tours and evening programs

• Seasonal discounts on admission tickets for family and friends

• Advance information about coming attractions and new events.

Salute to Virginia Passes are valid through the end of the calendar year. For more information or to purchase Salute to Virginia Passes, visit www.colonialwilliamsburg.com/salute or telephone (855) 296-6627. Admission ticket income supports the mission of The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.

Merchants Square in Williamsburg announces 2014 Calendar

Colonial Williamsburg’s Merchants Square announces its complete 2014 calendar of events. The calendar includes many of the events that Williamsburg area residents and visitors have come to love plus a few additions that will round out a full year of good memories in the Square. This year the Square will host the Williamsburg Farmers Markets, road races, art and food events as well as concerts, car shows and the much-anticipated return of the “Merchants Square Birthday Bash.” There is no better place to enjoy music, art and other cultural events, coupled with great shopping and superb dining. A detailed calendar is maintained at www.merchantssquare.org/calendar.

Highlights of the 2014 season include:
  • Williamsburg Farmers Market launches an expanded new schedule with a March 8 season opening. A perennial favorite, the Williamsburg Farmers Market returns to Duke of Gloucester Street with 30 producers and vendors. Weekly Saturday continue through November, with one additional Holiday Market.
  • The Summer Breeze Concert Series will kick off with the fan favorite Independence Day Concert on July 2, and run each Wednesday through August 27. The July concerts will feature the following “not-to-be-missed” party bands from 7 to 9 p.m.:

July 9      – RareMixx

July 16    – Kings of Swing

July 23    – Karnival

July 30    – Slapnation

The USAF Air Force bands and TRADOC Army bands will entertain audiences each
Wednesday in             August, from 7 – 8:30 p.m. All concerts are free, and concertgoers are advised to bring a lawn chair.

  • Car Shows in the beautiful setting of Merchants Square have become a crowd pleaser. Along with the 6th Annual Williamsburg Invitational Car Show on Sunday, June 8, sponsored by the Colony Auto Enthusiasts, Merchants Square will add a second show on November 2 with the inaugural Williamsburg Jaguar Gathering.
  • Merchants Square is excited to announce the return of the overwhelmingly popular “Birthday Bash” on October 3. The concert will again feature the renowned party band “Right On” and include the great food of the Merchants Square Restaurants. Rain date is Friday, October 10.
  • Other favorites returning in 2014 include:
    • Prince George Movie Nights, Sundays beginning June 15, at dusk. The popular outdoor movies on Prince George Street will return throughout the summer, ending on September 7.
    • An Occasion for The Arts, October 4-5, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. The 46th annual downtown Williamsburg arts event features more than 160 juried artists.
    • Constitution Day Concert, September 17, 7-8:30 p.m.
    • Holiday Entertainment each weekend in December, and daily beginning December 8. Merchants Square will again host festive holiday entertainment, including strolling musicians, Santa Claus and Father Christmas, and the family favorite “A Christmas Carol” in 30 minutes performed by the VA Theatre Machine.

For the most up to date listing of the current calendar of events, additional detail and contact information for individual events please refer to the calendar section of the Merchants Square website at www.merchantssquare.org/calendar

Williamsburg is located in Virginia’s Tidewater region, 20 minutes from Newport News, within an hour’s drive of Richmond and Norfolk, and 150 miles south of Washington, D.C. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s website at www.history.org.