From Hay Mazes to History—Fall in Love with Yorktown This Season!

Fall Market Hay Maze and American Revolution Museum at Yorktown

Crisp, cool days in Yorktown are filled with autumn-inspired events the whole family will love. Let’s see. There are the annual Fall and Harvest Markets. We have our Wine Festival (which almost always sells out). We just released an amazing line-up for our Thursday night Rhythms on the Riverwalk Concerts. What else? Oh yeah, Yorktown Day! There’s something new happening almost every weekend. So grab your planner and get these events on the calendar. You won’t want to miss a moment of this year’s fall fun!

Fall Love Letters Decorated

We are thrilled to announce the impending arrival of the Virginia Tourism Corporation's life-sized LOVE artwork as part of a state and local partnership to promote tourism in the Commonwealth. This time it's here to stay! The combined letters are 16 feet long and each is more than six feet high. They are an extension of the iconic "Virginia is for Lovers" brand and are the perfect way to capture memorable pictures. Their permanent home will be in the grassy area between the Freight Shed and Water Street Grille, with the beautiful York River as the backdrop. The decorations will rotate out based on the newest event or time of year, so check back often for new photo ops!

Rhythms on the Riverwalk Collage of Bands performing in 2021

September

This transitional month begins in summer and ends in fall—bringing with it live music, fresh seafood, and local art to the waterfront!

Rhythms on the Riverwalk
Thursday Nights
6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Riverwalk Landing

Picture this: you’re lounging in a chair by the beach, your feet propped up, as a cool breeze blows in off the water. The setting sun creates a cascading swirl of pinks and oranges across the skyline. You close your eyes as the sweet notes from the saxophone on stage echo through the night.

While the autumn season doesn’t officially begin until Wednesday, Sept. 22—you can expect concerts at the waterfront to kick off Sept. 9 when The Whiskey Rebellion takes the stage for our first Rhythms on the Riverwalk performance.

Good Shot Judy performing on the Riverwalk Landing Stage

This year’s lineup highlights several genres of music including country, jazz, and yes—even a little bluegrass!

Sept. 9: The Whiskey Rebellion

Sept. 16: The BJ Griffin Band

Sept. 23: Blue Tips Rhythm Revue

Sept. 30: Bobby BlackHat Band

Oct. 7: Dave Cynar Band

Oct. 14: Good Shot Judy

Parking will not be available on the upper level of the Water Street Parking Terrace through October 1 and the lower level may also have limited capacity some evenings. This is so that required maintenance and structural repairs can be completed. On concert nights during parking terrace maintenance, a special shuttle will run attendees from the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown’s parking lot to Riverwalk Landing from 5:30 to 9 p.m. The free Yorktown Trolley will also be running until 9 p.m. on all concert nights to pick up visitors from other nearby public lots including those behind York Hall, the York-Poquoson Courthouse, and the County Administration Building. 

Oyster Roast
 Saturday, Sept. 11
12 to 3 p.m.
Watermen's Museum

Enjoy fresh roasted or raw oysters from multiple local sources; regular and gluten-free clam chowder; hot dogs; sides from Carrot Tree; and more during this annual fundraiser! There will also be live music! This event is sponsored by West Rock Company. Tickets are $35 in advance and $40 at the gate for “All-You-Can-Eat.” They are $30 in advance and $25 at the gate for non-oyster tickets. Tickets for children are $10 (6-12 years) while children under six get in for free. Museum members—don’t forget your special discount! Call to learn more (757.887.2641) or stop by the gift shop during regular business hours.

Watermens Oyster Roast

Folk Festival
Saturday, Sept. 25
10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Sunday, Sept 26
12 to 9 p.m.
Watermen's Museum

Enjoy America’s best music genres during this two-day event featuring more than 20 performances of musicians to include LCV Project (an event founding member), ShantyGrass, Clan McCool Tin Can Fish Band, Ralph Motley and Friends, Winsome, Evermore, Bob and Jeanne Zentz, Dannaka, Nathan Leonard, Scotch and Rye, Nadia, and more. Dance groups include Rose and Sword Academy and Kountry Kickers. Black Pearl and Matchsticks Food Trucks are also scheduled to attend, as well as St. George Brewing Company. On Sunday, the event expands to include the Yorktown Art Stroll along the Riverwalk. This event is sponsored by West Rock Company, Yorktown Arts Foundation, and 1781 Foundation.

Folk Festival Collage Watermens Museum

Yorktown Art Stroll
Sunday, Sept. 26
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Riverwalk Landing & Freight Shed

The Freight Shed and Yorktown Waterfront will be filled with unique works of art—everything from oil, acrylic, and watercolor paintings to glass, drawings, photography, jewelry, pottery, painted furniture, fiber art, handmade soap, wood work, and more. Audio Portrait (acoustical harmony) will provide entertainment 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.

Yorktown Art Stroll Collage of Event Images

Take a Stroll With a Historian Tours
Select dates & times throughout the season
Mobjack Bay Coffee Roasters

There's no better way to experience Historic Yorktown than taking a stroll with a professional historian! Maureen Wiese and J. Michael Moore will provide interesting information and insights not typically found in history books. Most tours meet at Mobjack Bay Coffee Roasters, where you can grab a pastry, sandwich, tea, or coffee before the event gets underway. You could also plan to hang out at a table in the backyard for cheese and wine following the tour. September events are listed below. Visit our Events Calendar or Mobjack's website often for information on future tours and links to purchase tickets.

September 3: Ghost Tour, The Thin Veil of Yorktown
September 5: Battle of the Capes and the British Navy in Yorktown, 1781
September 11: Libation Tour and Tasting
September 18: Original Structures of Yorktown Tour
September 26: Guided Tour of the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown

Mobjack
Mobjack Backyard

October 

This month brings pumpkins, hayrides & a hay maze, patriotism, and even a Halloween Pet Parade to Yorktown!

Wine Festival
Saturday, Oct. 2
12 to 6 p.m.
Riverwalk Landing

Whether you consider yourself a wine connoisseur or an aspiring novice—you don’t want to miss this grand tasting. Not only will you sample some of Virginia’s finest vino, but wines from our sister cities in Germany and France will take your palate on a trip around the world! Enjoy live music, great food from local restaurants, and the work of talented artisans. NEW this year, sample some of Virginia’s finest Spirits from local distilleries.

Tickets are $30 in advance and $35 at the door. This is a closed ticketed-only event. Everyone must purchase a ticket to enter the event area. Unfortunately, due to limited capacity, there will not be any non-drinking tickets available this year. Purchase here.

Wine Festival Collage of Images

Fall Market
Saturday, Oct. 9
8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Riverwalk Landing

During this special farmers market at the beautiful Historic Yorktown waterfront—shop more than 40 different vendors and artists selling seasonal favorites like pumpkins, mums, autumn-inspired art, kettle corn, homemade pies, and caramel apples. Enjoy free activities for kids of all ages, including the annual hay maze, the return of hay rides, a pumpkin painting craft, and fun photo opportunities. There will also be a petting zoo featuring miniature animals, and our professional pumpkin carver is returning to do a live demo. You can also expect fun music, and a live performance by the Fifes & Drums of York Town at 9 a.m. Don't miss our "Guess the Weight of the Giant Pumpkin" game with a pumpkin donated by Allen's Farm & Pumpkinville. Prizes are donated by market vendors and artists.

Fall Market Event Cover

First Responders Market
Saturday, Oct. 16
8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Riverwalk Landing

 It's a morning dedicated to our everyday heroes: firefighters, sheriff's deputies, 911 & emergency communications dispatchers, public works officials, and other first responders who keep our community safe. Several emergency vehicles and officials will be on site that day to educate and answer questions. You won't be able to miss the York County Fire & Life Safety ladder truck! The York-Poquoson Sheriff's Office will also have a patrol car, crime prevention trailer, DARE tent, motorcycles, K-9 unit, and maybe even their drone at the market that day. Public Works will have a large Vactor Truck.

First Responders Market FB Cover

UPDATE FROM NATIONAL PARK SERVICE: 
Yorktown Day is Officially CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC

Yorktown Day
Tuesday, Oct. 19
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Historic Main Street

Due to COVID-19, this year's parade, dinner, and reception luncheon have been canceled. The French wreath-laying ceremonies at the cemetery and memorial, along with the Patriotic wreath-laying ceremony at Victory Monument, will be conducted with minimal attendance. 

Join in the festivities to commemorate the Siege of Yorktown in 1781—and the Revolutionary victory that paved the way for America and freedom. The day begins with a wreath-laying ceremony followed by a patriotic parade down Main Street. Enjoy a performance by the Fifes and Drums and be sure to visit 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. On the Battlefield Tour Roads, visit siege lines, the redoubts, and Surrender Field!
Fifes and Drums Yorktown Day

Don't forget The Gallery at York Hall will have extended hours on Yorktown Day (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.), plus a book signing by three authors from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. so make sure you stop by. A portion of the proceeds from any sale at the Gallery goes right back into the community, paying for performing and visual arts in Yorktown.

The American Revolution Museum at Yorktown will celebrate the weekend before Yorktown Day. On Saturday, October 16, visit the museum from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for Revolutionary War exhibits, interpretive programs, and artillery firings to salute the 240th anniversary of America’s momentous victory at Yorktown.

Victory at Yorktown Cannon Firing

Yorktoberfest
Sunday, Oct. 24
10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Riverwalk Landing

Sip back and enjoy family-friendly fun at this annual craft beer festival. You'll get to sample more than 30 beers (unlimited tastings), ciders, and more from Coastal Virginia, plus experience live music, beer classes, vendors, food, and even coffee! This year, the event is split into two sessions: 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $80 for VIP (pre-sale only); $25 early bird; $35 at the door; $5 non-alcoholic; and children 10 and under are free. There is a break from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m., and the event is rain or shine! Look for more details posted here in the weeks to come.

Brews

Paws at the River
Saturday, Oct. 30
9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Riverwalk Landing

This market was created to bring awareness to animal rescue organizations, and to help place adoptable pets in their “furever” homes. The fun will extend down to the green in front of the Riverwalk Landing businesses where you’ll find informational booths and other educational opportunities! Don’t forget to pick up a special treat from Gangsta Dog inside the Riverwalk Landing Village or from FiDough Homemade Dog Treats—a regular market vendor. Get a free picture with your canine companion (uploaded to our Facebook page) from 9 to 12, and march in our annual Halloween Pet Costume Parade at 1 p.m. There's lots of fun for the kids, too! This year we're bringing back our popular town-wide trick-or-treating event at participating businesses.

Paws at the RIver Facebook Cover2

Don’t forget Yorktown’s home-ported ship, the Schooners Alliance, will continue to book sails through the end of October. And Patriot Tours & Provisions will offer Segway tours—a unique way to admire the fall foliage and learn more about the history of the town.

Alliance Evening Sail by Betty Burton Photography
Patriot Tours and Provisions Guided Segway Tour

November

This is the month when the leaves start to change colors, the air becomes crisp, and our holiday fun begins!

Vintage Market
 Saturday, Nov. 6
9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
McReynolds Athletic Complex

If you enjoy restored old furniture, shopping for vintage clothing and jewelry, or filling your home with one-of-a-kind handcrafted pieces—you don’t want to miss this event. Browse the McReynolds Athletic Complex to search for collectibles, antiques, art, accessories, and unique home décor. Adding to the festive ambiance will be live entertainment and food trucks.

Vintage Market Collage of images

Maritime Market
Saturday, Nov. 13
9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Riverwalk Landing

During this extended farmers market, sample some of the best seafood in the area including oysters and clam chowder. Plus, shop nautical-inspired art and jewelry. Pirates will once again invade the waterfront for this special occasion to talk to kids about seafaring life and there will be educational information for sea lovers of all ages. Witness blacksmiths live in action and don't forget to stop by the Freight Shed for a free History Fair outlining some of the untold stories of our unique location. Sing along to live sea shanties on the Riverwalk Landing Stage. Plus, the beloved Fifes and Drums of York Town will give a special performance at 10 a.m.

Maritime Market Facebook Cover

1774 Tea Party Re-Enactment
 Saturday, Nov. 13
12 p.m.
Freight Shed & Riverwalk Landing Piers

During the Maritime Market, at 12 p.m. – all "concerned citizens" are invited to gather in front of the Freight Shed for rousing speeches of "No More Taxation!" - simulating the same 18th-century protest that took place right here during Yorktown's very own Tea Party. On the pier, costumed interpreters (including Thomas Nelson, Jr.) will board a boat to make the symbolic "heave" of two small chests of tea into the York River.

Yorktown Tea Party Sidney King Circa 1960 Special Collections, John D. Rockefeller Jr. Library, The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

Yorktown Tea Party Sidney King Circa 1960 Special Collections, John D. Rockefeller Jr. Library, The

Harvest Market
Saturday, Nov. 20
9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

It’s a pre-Thanksgiving cornucopia of fun! Shop for turkeys, seasonal treats, and unique holiday pieces from local artists. More than 50 vendors and artists participate in this special November market. Visitors will find seasonal fruits and vegetables; locally sourced seafood; beef, pork, and chicken; farm fresh milk and eggs; homemade breads and baked goods; kettle corn and flavored peanuts; gourmet dog treats; handmade potato chips; and so much more.

Enjoy a live log carving demonstration, Bluegrass from Ralph Motley, and a tentative special performance by the Fifes and Drums of York Town at 10 a.m. The Virginia Living Museum will present a live animal show inside the Freight Shed at 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 Facebook Cover Photo

We know parking for these events can be tricky. It's important to note that 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. A reminder, as mentioned earlier, the upper level of the parking deck will be closed for routine maintenance through Oct. 1. To help alleviate the headache of walking from the farther away lots, we are adding a second trolley into the rotation seven days a week through Labor Day, and then on the weekends until the project is complete. 

Passengers on trolley wearing masks

Cooler weather also means soup, dips, and hot toddy season! Bundle up and enjoy the view when you dine on the patios at Riverwalk Restaurant and Water Street Grille. The Yorktown Pub, Larry’s, Carrot Tree, Umi Sushi, Ben & Jerry’s, and Mobjack Bay Coffee Roasters also have specials throughout October and November so be sure to stop by and check them out.

Bakery Case at Mobjack Bay Coffee Roasters