Bluegrass, Butterflies, and Bassoons in the ‘Burg this weekend

Well, it’s the first weekend of August- the beginning of the end of summer (womp womp). There is a lot of music, dancing, and art going on this weekend- so get in your kicks while you can! I’ve only highlighted a very small portion of the events going on this weekend below. You can find all the rest- including about half a dozen live music shows per night- on the calendar.

Blue Moon Contradance at the Waterman’s Museum– Friday 7/31, lesson at 6:30

This is totally not the actual tent you will be dancing under. But it will still be lots of fun and pretty, you'll see!

This is totally not the actual tent you will be dancing under. But it will still be lots of fun and pretty, you’ll see!

I like to tell people that contradancing is just about the most fun you can have sober. It’s like line dancing in that the steps are all laid out so you know what to do. It’s a little geometrical, as there are patterns to figure out. And you get to spin around! Wheeeeeeee!

The Norfolk Contra Dancers are having their Blue Moon dance Friday at the Waterman’s Museum in Yorktown. It’s a beautiful setting right on the river. Carrot Tree will be serving Blue Crab with fixins starting at 5pm, but participants are also encouraged to bring potluck dishes. Tickets are only $10 and I guarantee you will have fun! Will it be hot? Yes! Will it be worth it? Absolutely!

Plus, the Wampler Brothers will be playing that night at the Water Street Grille in case you get hot or tired but still want some tunes.

Butterfly Festival at the Williamsburg Botanical Gardens- Saturday and Sunday 9-5

Butterfly FestivalHave you noticed all the butterflies around town lately? Here’s your chance to learn more about them and view many beautiful varieties. Together Williamsburg Botanical Garden and Virginia Master Naturalists Historic Rivers Chapter are presenting a Butterfly Festival at Williamsburg Botanical Garden this Saturday and Sunday. Walk through the Butterfly House and hold and feed a variety of butterflies that are native to Virginia. There will be information about what plants can attract butterflies to a garden and about the decline of the Monarch butterfly population and what you can do about it. At 1 and 3 pm, bring your kids, because the first 10 families to attend programs at that time will get a live pupa they can take home and watch as it transforms into a butterfly! For more information, the WY Daily has an article about the event.

Art in the ‘Burg– Saturday 10-4

Art in the Burg

Art in the ‘Burg is a new bi-weekly art festival featuring Historic Triangle artists and craftsmen hosted by Colonial Folk Art. It’s held in Williamsburg’s Art District (yes, it really exists, it’s around Lafayette and Richmond Road between Extraordinary Cupcakes and the Dunkin Donuts; 110 Bacon Ave for your GPS).

Summer of Freedom Music Festival– Williamsburg Symphonia

VSO Matoaka

This weekend, the Symphonia is playing a bunch of outdoor concerts at Lake Matoaka Ampitheater. The most affordable concert is Sunday at 11:30 am- Peter and the Wolf for the kiddos ($5 for lawn tickets). They’re also doing a night of romantic songs on Friday and a movie music concert on Saturday for $25 a person. Buuuuuuut if you want to wait for a FREE outdoor symphony concert, the VSO is playing at Lake Matoaka on September 3 and at Yorktown the Saturday of Labor Day weekend . . .

Want more? Check out the free admission at PFAC this weekend, or the kids fishing tournament, or the programs free for residents over on the calendar page. There is really so much to do in Williamsburg! Thank you for reading and have a great weekend.

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Link Up: July 27-30

Hey all! Admittedly Monday and Tuesday are a little empty, but I’m out of town this weekend and I had to schedule this on Thursday, before a lot of the information came out for next week. Nevertheless, still lots to do, especially Wednesday and Thursday!

6:30pm: the breathless costume romance Far From the Madding Crowd at the Kimball– $8
7pm: Meditation class at the UU church– free, donations accepted- hosted by Ben, who is not “woo-woo” at all but rather very down-to-earth- highly recommended!
7pm: Yorktown Story Slam- theme: “Worst Day Ever” at the Yorktown Pub
8pm: Trivia at Greene Leafe

6:30pm: Far From the Madding Crowd and Sunshine Superman both at the Kimball– $8
7:30pm: Open Mic Night at Yorktown Pub

6pmPort Warwick Summer Concert Series: free, family-friendly, bring blankets, chairs, picnics! Tonight’s act is The Janitors, they play oldies
7pm: Open Mic Night at Cogan’s with Liana Dagmar
7pm: Concert on Merchant’s Square- Slapnation performs! 1970’s Disco, and Top 40 Dance music from the 1980s to today- so get out and DANCE YOUR PANTS OFF!
7:30pm: $5 yoga class at Berrybody– with soothing lavender towels!
8pmLukas Nelson & Promise of the Real in Concert at the Kimball- $15- described as “cowboy hippy surf rock”?? but hey it’s a national act so they must be good right?
9pm: Karaoke at Bourbon Street

6pmHey! Hey! Hooligan (“punk rock party band”) at The Mariners’ Museum
6pmBen Lassiter and Steal the Pint Night with Stone Brewery at Berret’s
6pm: Thursday Night Adventure Night– last week is was a Softserve Showdown- this weeks it’s a Geocache Dash!
6:30pmShagging on the Riverwalk in Yorktown– free- this week it’s The Holiday Band
7:30pmOpen Mic Night at Aromas
10pm: Karaoke at Corner Pocket

Here’s some things you may have missed on Facebook:

I wrote a guest post for Colonial Williamsburg about their new live comedy, A Servant of Two Masters. It is really funny and great for all ages! You can win free tickets if you make a comment on the post, so don’t miss out!

Two Masters

What’s Happening Williamsburg is now on Instagram! Follow @whatshappeningwilliamsburg to get real-time updates on events in the Burg.

Guys, I’m sorry this posted late. I made a mistake in scheduling the post.

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What’s Happening in Williamsburg this weekend- July 24-27

Well it looks like it’s gonna be a pretty nice weekend! The perfect opportunity to enjoy all there is to do in Williamsburg:


6pm: Yorktown Music Jamboree at the Waterman’s Museum featuring the LCV projectCarrot Tree will be selling blue crabs and other sides and drinks- no cover, but donations are gratefully accepted!
6pm: Uncorked Friday at Saude Creek– a beautiful setting, and you’ll get to hear all sorts of different music from area musicians! Tasting and food available, but you can also bring your own picnic
8pm: Zumba Glow Party at En Pointe Dance Academy! $10 in advance, $15 at the door, $3 per child for childcare
8pm: Jacob Testa and the Gang at Aromas
8pm: Timeline Jazz Quartet at the Williamsburg Lodge– good beer, good cocktails, good food, and good jazz- it’s a classy scene
8pm: Absolute Acoustic at Cogan’s
8pm: The Travelin’ Hillbillies at Yorktown Pub (time approximate)
9pm: TypeCast at Bourbon Street

8am-noon: Farmer’s Market! eggs, melons, corn, tomatoes, plums, peaches
11am-2pm: Silt is running its first Burgers Out the Back Door event- this high-end farm-to-table restaurant is selling burgers, fries, and a soda for $15. This is a great opportunity to check out this place at an affordable price!
noon-4pm: the Muscarelle is open and they have paintings by Florentine masters and exhibits curated by arts students- $10
2-5pm: Wine Tunes at Saude CreekBBQ, music, and a beautiful setting! BYO picnic if you’d like
5pm-midnight: Oceans and Ale‘s Summer Luau! This looks fun, music by Signal Fire (“reggae rock”) and Kona Beers will be featured- I always have a great time when I go to this place. No cover, but they do recommend that you make reservations.
8pm: Jeremy White at Aromas
8pm: Good Shot Judy plays at Triangle (have you been there yet? It’s great!)
8pm: London plays at Cogan’s– I have to recommend that you follow their Facebook page, because their promo pics are so ridiculous, they will really brighten up your feed! For example:

8pm: Hector at Water Street Grille in Yorktown- please click on this link if only to see this guy’s hair. It’s epic.

noon-4pm: the Muscarelle is open again!
2-5pm: Music & Wine at Saude Creek– again, the Scottish Pig will provide the Q and Ron Fetner will provide the tunes
5pm: Lou Vangieri performs outdoors in Yorktown. Grace Episcopal Church has this sweet little Sunday night free concert series going on throughout this summer. Picnicking encouraged!
6pm-9pm: AnneMarie Sewell performs at Triangle
around sunset, or about 8:30: Hook plays on Prince George Street– Dustin Hoffman and Robin Williams star in this 90s adaptation of Peter Pan (a Gen Y childhood classic!)

Oh and here’s something else- the above list is NOT comprehensive- check out the calendar for the full listing.

Aaand, here’s some stuff from the Facebook feed you may have missed this week:

A statement from the artist that designed the bicycle sculptures currently in Williamsburg:

Why bicycles? “I have a vested interest in making bicycles an expression of my concerns for life, including my own, and for society. As art vehicles, bicycles will help change the behavior of individuals, which is very fundamental for civilization to continue existing, and also so that other important things will not run out, like oil.”

Save the date- September 5 (that’s the Saturday of Labor Day weekend)- free Virginia Symphony Orchestra concert in Yorktown!

VSO 9-5

Top Places to Paddle in Hampton Roads

Butterfly Festival coming up August 1&2 at Williamsburg Botanical Gardens!

Butterfly Festival

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Ft. Monroe’s Orchestra: A View from Inside the Moat

Fort Monroe in the early evening is a downright bucolic scene. There might be a soccer game going on, people will be fishing off the bridges and walking their dogs, and if it’s a Tuesday night, you might hear the sounds of a symphony orchestra coming from inside the moat- that would be the Hampton Roads Philharmonic.

Ft. Monroe moat

When I was first asked to play in this new community orchestra, I had never heard of Fort Monroe, nor did I know how far it was down the peninsula. So the first time I drove down from Williamsburg, took the “Last Exit Before Tunnel” and then had to drive through a tiny stone passageway to get to the rehearsal space, I was mildly alarmed at what I had gotten myself into – and excited to discover this new place.

Ft. Monroe with lighthouse

That first summer I drove down every week with my viola, crossing the bridge from Phoebus to Ft. Monroe to see gorgeous sunsets on the water, the sun glinting off the surface, and the boats bobbing at the marina. Pulling up to our rehearsal building I’d hear the familiar cacophony of an entire orchestra warming up, with the occasional squawk or squeal alongside orderly scales going up and down. I’ll never forget our first concert. I was thrilled to be playing with this group of musicians – I was so proud of the way we sounded, and I beamed when we all stood up to accept the applause.

We have a concert this weekend and would be thrilled for you to be there. It’s going to be fun! The big, romantic, epic piece will be Grieg’s Norwegian Dances, which has every mood from soft and forlorn to huge and loud and majestic. The Berlioz Hungarian March is fun, loud, recognizable, and if you want a laugh, listen for the “cha-cha-chas”. The Mozart overture is light and fun, with lots of fast notes. And the last piece is something I have never played in my life – a double-bass concerto. The soloist, Matt Gold, cuts a lanky and boyish figure and brings his youthful exuberance to the music. He makes the bass sound positively joyous in this charming classical piece by Bottesini.

Now that I’ve played with the Philharmonic for a couple of years, some of that first excitement has inevitably worn off. But the thrill of the concert is still there. And the feeling of being in the midst of and a part of this huge symphonic sound – with the brass and winds booming at my back and the grounded sound of the strings all around me and the vibration of my instrument under my fingers – well- that never gets old.

Our concerts are Saturday at 7:30 pm at the Fort Monroe Theater and Sunday at 3 the First Presbyterian Church in Hampton. Both shows are free, so please come, and sign up for our email list so you can come to our concerts next year as well! Thank you!

Here are some samples from last season- I think we sound pretty good!

Saturday 9th 7:30p @ Ft. Monroe Theater (42 Tidball Rd., Hampton, VA 23669)
Sunday 10th 3pm @ First Presbyterian Hampton Church (514 S Armistead Ave, Hampton, VA 23669)

Sneak Peek: Grand Illumination Week

There is so much more than this going on this week: meditation, ice skating, trivia, Home Alone, $5 yoga, Christmas lights, Christmas carols, free dance lessons, a lighted boat parade, and more! Seriously, check the calendar for more things to do. For the top highlights, check below:

Friday- 5pm- Merchant’s Square

Featured Event this Week! (I will be there, come join!)
A Christmas Carol

A Williamsburg Christmas classic! The Virginia Theatre Machine brings its witty production of the Charles Dickens classic “A Christmas Carol,” performed in less than 30 minutes. Free! See the calendar for more showings (in general, Fridays at 5, and Saturdays and Sundays throughout the day.

Friday at 7pm and Saturday at 5pm-  Williamsburg United Methodist Church (full disclosure- my church!) FREE

Handel’s Messiah

Sunday 4pm- Post Theater, Fort Monroe

FREE Holiday Symphony Concert by the Hampton Roads Philharmonic


Ok, so this one’s a little further than 30 minutes from Williamsburg, but I’ll be playing, and this is my blog, so I get to post about it 🙂 For recordings of our orchestra check our Facebook page. We’ll be playing a bunch of Christmas music, the Nutcracker Suite, and “Gloria” by John Rutter.

Grand Illumination– Sunday (Dec 7) 4:45-7:30 pm

Grand Illumination

I can’t not mention this–the annual crowding of Duke of Gloucester Street complete with lots of musical acts in the afternoon and topped off by colonial-style fireworks.

I hope you all have a great week! I didn’t mention it above but there’s also the Christmas parade this weekend (Saturday at 8:30am), like a million concerts and don’t forget the indie movies at the Kimball. Lots of free and low cost things to do in Williamsburg this week and weekend, so y’all have a great time!