Musket fire rings in Christmas in Colonial Williamsburg

jojacobs@vagazette.com

Colonial Williamsburg welcomed Christmas with a bang when muskets were fired in celebration of the holiday Sunday evening.

Small groups of Colonial Williamsburg interpreters who portrayed Continental Army soldiers and militia fired their muskets to salute the season as several hundred onlookers took in the demonstration on Duke of Gloucester Street.

The event was a nod to the 18th-century custom of firing cannons and muskets to celebrate Christmas and express joy, according to Colonial Williamsburg.

While musket demonstrations are a common occurrence in Colonial Williamsburg, the Christmas decorations lent the event a unique seasonal flavor, said Williamsburg native Laura Townsend.

“It’s traditional.” Townsend said. “We’re all in the same spirit."

Randy Moyles, another Williamsburg native, echoed Townsend’s sentiment, calling the event a fun tradition on the holiday calendar.

“It’s what we did as kids,” Moyles said.

Thomas McVey, of Yorktown, also made a special trip to the event with his family. He appreciated how the firing demonstration was divided among several groups of interpreters around Duke of Gloucester Street, a departure from previous events he has attended where interpreters were grouped together.

“It allowed everybody to spread out more,” he said of the event, which also featured a torch-lit march of fifers and drummers.

“During the summer you don’t get the candle lights, the wreaths, the Christmas tree,” McVey said. “And then you got the fifes and drums. It’s a really cool visual effect.”

Jacobs can be reached by phone at 757-298-6007.

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