April 20, 2023
All ye mateys are invited to travel back to the Golden Age of Piracy as Riverwalk Landing and the Watermen’s Museum are invaded by seafaring marauders on April 29 and 30 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Enjoy live blacksmith demonstrations, sing along to sea shanties, witness the live dance performance “Pirates & Mermaids of Yorktown,” take part in a town-wide treasure hunt, and experience cannon demonstrations. Stop by York Hall for live Pirate Puppet Show performances. When you’re done with the Pirate Puppet Show, head down to The Freight Shed for the History Fair from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. indoors and the Summer Camp Expo in the tent behind the building with a breathtaking view of the York River.
That’s not all you’ll find at the Pirates Invasion of Yorktown! Enroll your kids in Pirate School where they will learn how to walk, talk, and act like pirates. Don’t miss the captivating Pirate Trial at York Hall. The fun continues at the Waterman’s Museum with a pirate encampment, food vendors, and various live performances throughout the day.
“X” Marks the Spot
Treasure Hunt for Hearties
Children can collect pirate’s booty including coins, jewels, and eye patches at various businesses and attractions in a town-wide Treasure Hunt. Be sure to download the treasure map at www.visityorktown.org and at Visit Yorktown on Facebook to see why “X” marks the spot at local businesses. Participating businesses include Auntie M’s American Cottage, Gallery at York Hall, Gangsta Dog, Mobjack Bay Coffee Roasters, On the Hill Gallery, Patriot Tours & Provisions, Watermen’s Museum Gift Shop, Water Street Grille, the Yorktown Bookshop, and the Yorktown Freight Shed. Kids can keep their treasures as souvenirs of the event.
Arrr Ye Hungry?
Grub for Starving Sailors & Scallywags
All Historic Yorktown restaurants will be open, and in the spirit of the event, Yorktown Market Days will run until 3 p.m. with several food truck options. Coastal Thirst, Boyd’s Tasty Dogs, Chef Joseph’s Seafood, and Kathi’s Clam Chowder will be in attendance from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday. Coastal Thirst and Boyd’s Tasty Dogs will be serving at the event from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday.
Water Street Grille welcomes walk-ins beginning at 10 a.m. and will serve special-themed menu items. Carrot Tree has several grab-and-go picnic options available, perfect for guests to eat lunch along the Riverwalk or down at the Beach Picnic Area. The Yorktown Pub is serving lunch, so families can grab something to eat before or after enjoying the fun. And up the hill on Main Street—Mobjack Bay Coffee Roasters & Petite Cafe has sandwiches, salads, dips, and desserts.
Weigh Anchor and Furl the Ship!
Best Ways to Navigate the Event
Free parking is available at the Riverwalk Landing parking terrace, York Hall, York-Poquoson Courthouse, County Administration Building, and other designated public lots. The complimentary, wheelchair-accessible Yorktown Trolley runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Also Happening Around Town
Pirate Invasion Farmers Market: Take advantage of the extended hours at Yorktown’s waterfront farmers market from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 29. Enjoy live music, food trucks, and a variety of vendors and artists.
American Revolution Museum at Yorktown: Learn more about our nation's story through exciting indoor galleries with period artifacts and immersive environments and films. Don't miss “The Siege of Yorktown,” shown on a 180-degree surround screen complete with dramatic special effects like smoke and vibrations from the cannon and musket fire!
In the outdoor areas, you'll find a re-created Continental Army encampment to learn about the life of a soldier and to take in daily demonstrations of medical treatment, camp life and cooking, and flintlock musket firings. Explore a Revolution-era farm, based on a real-life 18th-century family, where you can help with chores related to the house, kitchen, tobacco barn, gardens, and crops. The museum has adapted operations with safety protocols for everyone's enjoyment. The Museum is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free to James City County, York County, and City of Williamsburg neighbors with proof of residence.
Yorktown Battlefield Walk (45 mins) 10 am & 3 pm: Join a park ranger for a short walk across the Battlefield to gain insight into the many aspects of the 1781 Siege of Yorktown. Visitors should be prepared for a walk up to a one-half mile. Limited seating is found along this walk, visitors should plan to stand for much of this presentation. Each ranger-led walk begins at the Regimental Flags in front of the building
Ranger Talk: (20 mins) 1:30 pm: Join a park ranger for a brief exploration into the people, places, and/or events in Yorktown during the American War for Independence. Each ranger has developed a different presentation exploring different stories. Park staff will meet their audience at the Regimental Flags in front of the park’s Visitor Center and travel to a specific location. This program requires limited walking.
Additional Event Info:
- York County Weather Event Hotline: 757-890-3520
- Facebook, Instagram & TikTok: Visit Yorktown #visityorktown #piratesinvadeyorktown
Additional photos available at http://bit.ly/3TXgIAK
Pirates Invade Yorktown is sponsored by Riverwalk Landing Business Association, York County Arts Commission, York County Economic and Tourism Development, and Watermen’s Museum. Generous support provided by Patriot Tours & Provisions, Water Street Grille, Carrot Tree Kitchens, Chef Josephs Seafood, Ben & Jerry’s, Libre Dance USA, Boyd’s Tasty Dogs, Yorktown Bookshop, Auntie M’s American Cottage, Gangsta Dog, Mobjack Bay Coffee Roasters, and the Yorktown Arts Foundation.