Celebrate the Exciting Fall Arts Season in Greater Williamsburg

Enjoy an explosion of arts, crafts, music, theater and culinary events in Williamsburg, Yorktown and Jamestown.

Yorktown Art Stroll
Yorktown Art Stroll
Yorktown Wine Festival
Yorktown Wine Festival
2nd Sundays Art Festival
2nd Sundays Art Festival
Virginia Symphony Orchestra
Virginia Symphony Orchestra at Lake Matoaka

Water, Water Everywhere

The sixth annual Fall Arts season opens with a rare opportunity to see art inspired by America’s waterways, oceans, rivers, marshes, ships, boats, nautical history and sea life. Meet America’s greatest painters of water life, the juried members and Founding Fellows of the American Society of Marine Artists (ASMA), as their 2016 National Tour runs at the Muscarelle Museum of Art at the College of William & Mary from Sept. 9 through mid-November.

Start your fall arts experience at Celebrate Yorktown Committee’s Annual Opening Night art show, which will celebrate “Art of the Water” against the backdrop of the scenic York River. Sail on over to the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown on Sept. 11 to hear a free lecture by the U.S. Coast Guard’s Admiral Papp (Ret.), as he shares his Adventures of the Arctic.

In an Opening Week that celebrates America’s nautical wonders, you will have two waterfront opportunities to enjoy the Virginia Symphony Orchestra as they present water-inspired programs at Yorktown’s Riverwalk Landing and the Lake Matoaka Amphitheatre at W&M. The Williamsburg Art Gallery is hosting “Making Waves: An Exploration of the Maritime World of Art,” an invitational art exhibition, consisting of works by America's foremost marine artists and sculptors from the ASMA.

The Sounds of Fall

Nothing conveys the American music scene quite like blues music and beach music! The two-day “Big Bluesy” Culture-fix blues festival takes place Sept. 17 and 18 at the Jamestown Beach Event Park. Hosted by bluesman Bobby “BlackHat” Walters, the festival features nonstop music for 12 hours both days. Just four miles down the road at Lake Matoaka, Parrot Heads will be dancing under that stars at the 6th Annual Jimmy Buffet tribute concert — and yes, they will be selling “cheeseburgers in paradise.” If you crave more elegant fare, you’ll be treated like family as you pull up a chair for a farm-style meal at Trellis Farm to Table dinner in Merchants Square. On Sept. 16, head over to the Kimball Theater, where you will be mesmerized by acclaimed Irish storyteller Clair Murphy at the 7th annual Tucker-Arnold Storytelling Concert.

On Oct. 23, plan a full day of music and fun on the waterfront. Bring your running shoes to Riverwalk Landing; the TACL 10K RUNforARTS benefits regional Sculpture Art Playgrounds and includes live music by the Smith Wade Band, beer and libations. That night will close the Fall Arts Season with a benefit concert by country music super star Canaan Smith, who will be playing his hits like Hole in the Bottle and Love You Like That.

Arts and Crafts

The 50th Anniversary of W&M Family Weekend brings with it the Williamsburg Celebrates Art Contemporary Artisans Show and Plein Air Festival on Duke of Gloucester Street on Sept. 24. Artisans at this event demonstrate how fine American craft is made. On Sept. 25, the shops, galleries and restaurants in Historic Yorktown Village host Virginia artists and artisans for the 6th annual Yorktown Art Stroll at Riverwalk Landing. Join the locals for a seafood lunch on the waterfront.        

For nearly 50 years, visitors have come to Williamsburg in the fall to enjoy An Occasion for the Arts! This national top 20 art show, which takes place during the first weekend of October, is refreshed with more music, a juried list of America’s top visual artists, “An Occasion for Taste” culinary art event and the Williamsburg Book Festival. Also enjoy an exhibition of art by the The College of William & Mary faculty.

During the weekend, enjoy James River views along the Colonial Parkway to Jamestown Settlement for a rare opportunity to attend a two-day American Indian Intertribal Powwow; a celebration of Native American music and handmade crafts. Stay on the Parkway as you travel along the York River to the annual Yorktown Wine Festival Oct. 1, where you can sample the best Virginia wines, oysters and barbecue. After a day on the waterfront, you’ll be ready to enjoy the closing night’s performance of Jekyll & Hyde by the Williamsburg Players.  

In celebration of American Craft Week, regional galleries; craft beer, mead and spirits makers; and restaurants will present the 10th Art Escape Weekend Oct. 7, 8 and 9. Nothing celebrates America’s culinary art culture quite like a bowl of chili, and every restaurant in town thinks their recipe is the best. You be the judge at New Town’s Chili ‘n Tunes on Oct. 8.

Complete your Art Escape Weekend at the shops and restaurants around Prince George Street at Second Sunday art and music festival — three stages of live music and more than 100 artists are present at this free monthly event. Janna Hymes, conductor of the Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra, invites you to stay in Williamsburg after the weekend for the Soprano Sensation Concerts featuring Julia Bullock at the Kimball Theater on Oct. 10 and 11.  

Celebrate your Freedom

The American Revolution was won at Yorktown 235 years ago. Be among the first to preview the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown with the debut of new exhibition galleries and an introductory film on Oct. 15 and 16 as part of its annual Yorktown Victory Celebration event. Commemorative events take place Oct. 19 at Yorktown Battlefield and in historic Yorktown. While you are in town, enjoy Rigoletto by the Opera in Williamsburg and a ghoulish “Art in the Burg” art show in the Williamsburg Arts District.

These events are just a sampling of the more than 100 arts and culinary opportunities that will fill your fall days with beauty and your nights with music and performance. Join us as Williamsburg celebrates Fall Arts!