Things to Do: Jamestown Day Saturday May 12th

Marking the 405th anniversary of the 1607 founding  of America’s first permanent English colony

Historic Jamestowne & Jamestown Settlement
Saturday, May 12, 2012

 Jamestown Settlement Godspeed sets sail
One of Jamestown Settlement’s ships will sail in the James River on Jamestown Day, May 12. Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation photo.

Historic Jamestowne and Jamestown Settlement will mark the 405th anniversary of the 1607 founding in Virginia of America’s first permanent English settlement on Saturday, May 12, with family-friendly tours and activities, military and maritime demonstrations, and traditional music, storytelling and entertainment. A day of discovery and fun, “Jamestown Day” features Historic Jamestowne’s ongoing archaeological discoveries of the 1607 fort and one of Jamestown Settlement’s ships sailing in the James River.

Historic Jamestowne
“Jamestown Day” at Historic Jamestowne will feature tours, demonstrations and ongoing archaeological excavations of the 1607 James Fort, allowing guests to share in the moments of discovery while interacting with archaeologists on site.

In the fort, guests can meet Anas Todkill, one of the first settlers to arrive at Jamestown, as well as explore the material culture and life ways of the Tidewater Algonquians through demonstrations and discussions of tool-making, domestic skills, and native flora and fauna.


 Historic Jamestowne archaeological dig
At Historic Jamestowne, visitors can share in the moment of discovery with archaeologists at the 1607 James Fort excavation. Preservation Virginia photo.

A variety of tours and demonstrations highlighting the history of first settlement will be available throughout the day. Rangers will provide guided tours exploring the introduction of tobacco to the Colony by John Rolfe in 1612. The St. Maries Citty Militia will be on hand to demonstrate 17th-century military tactics. Guests also can observe blacksmiths at work in the James Fort site and costumed glassblowers showing one of America’s first industries at the Glasshouse. 

Jamestown Settlement
A highlight of “Jamestown Day” events at Jamestown Settlement is the mid-morning departure of a re-creation of one of the three ships that brought colonists to Virginia in 1607, to set sail in the James River.

Entertainment of the 1600s will be presented, as well as artillery demonstrations and military drills. Visitors can enjoy a 17th-century fair with juggling, magic and puppet shows, and musical performances by Barry and Lynn Trott and The Itinerant Band. Visitors also can hear American Indian folktales and play a variety of period games, such as hobby-horse racing and jousting, stilt walking, hoops, stool ball, and bowling.

Visitors can take part in special family tours of “The 17th Century: Gateway to the Modern World” and a children’s printmaking activity linked to this special exhibition.

Separate Admission to Historic Jamestowne and Jamestown Settlement
There is separate admission to visit Historic Jamestowne and Jamestown Settlement. Free parking and shuttle services are available at both sites.

Admission to Historic Jamestowne is $10.00 for people over age 15, free for people under 16. Jamestown Settlement admission is $15.50 for adults and $7.25 for ages 6 through 12, free for children under 6; complimentary admission for residents of James City County, York County and the City of Williamsburg, including the College of William and Mary. A four-site value ticket for Historic Jamestowne, Jamestown Settlement, Yorktown Battlefield and the Yorktown Victory Center is available for purchase at Jamestown Settlement and the Yorktown Victory Center.

For more information about Historic Jamestowne, call (757) 229-4997 or visit For more information about Jamestown Settlement, call (888) 593-4682 toll-free or visit

About hemphillbrett

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