WILLIAMSBURG, Va. — Romans, Vikings, knights. Privateers, sailors, soldiers. Patriotic music and artillery salutes. Make ready for centuries of military history — all in one weekend — during Jamestown Settlement’s time-honored Military Through the Ages event on Saturday and Sunday, March 18-19.
Military Through the Ages features hundreds of re-enactors depicting armed forces from 500 B.C.E. all the way to modern-day soldiers with the Virginia Army National Guard.
As one of the most unique chronological displays of military history held for nearly 40 years, Military Through the Ages invites visitors to explore military encampments and interact with re-enactors to learn how uniforms, weapons and tactics evolved through the centuries.
Timeline from 500 B.C.E. to the Virginia Army National Guard
Nearly 600 re-enactors will portray soldiers and military encounters across the globe from Greek and Roman times, the medieval period, Hundred Years’ War, War of the Roses, American Revolution, War of 1812, Napoleonic Wars and American Civil War. Re-enactors depicting World Wars I and II, the Vietnam War and Operation Urgent Fury in Grenada will take visitors through the 20th century. The National Museum of the Marine Corps and the Virginia Army National Guard 111th Field Artillery will represent the present day. View a complete list of participating units at jyfmuseums.org/militarythroughtheages.
Patriotic Musical Performances
Music will be performed throughout the weekend, featuring the boogie-woogie sounds of the Ladies for Liberty reminiscent of the World War II era. Ladies for Liberty is scheduled to perform at 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Sunday. The Federal City Brass Band, re-creating a Union Army regimental brass band from the 1860s with period instruments, and Field Musick Virginia, offering a mix of American Revolution military music and instrumental history, will present roaming performances during the two-day event.
Artillery & Military Pass-in-Review
Comparative artillery-firing demonstrations will be presented at noon Saturday and Sunday, with weapons ranging from a 17th-century swivel gun to a modern-day howitzer. A military pass-in-review will take place at 3 p.m. Sunday and will feature recognition of re-enactor units judged in the best unit impression competition.
Mobile Veteran Center
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs will display its Mobile Vet Center near the museum’s main entrance during the two-day event. An “office on wheels,” the Mobile Vet provides readjustment counseling, information and resources to veterans for veterans, service members and their families. Find it near the museum’s main entrance.
Share Your LOVE of Military History
In partnership with the Virginia Tourism Corporation and the LOVEworks program, Jamestown Settlement will feature the life-size LOVE artwork in the museum’s Quadricentennial Plaza, offering re-enactors and guests to take photographs and share their love of history on social media using #LOVEVA and #JYFMUSEUMS and #MTA.
Military History at Jamestown Settlement
Arms, armor and military equipment of 17th-century Virginia can be seen year-round in Jamestown Settlement’s extensive gallery exhibits and in the “Reign & Rebellion” special exhibition on display through September 5. Permanent exhibits and films tell the story of America’s first permanent English colony and of the convergence of Powhatan Indian, English and West Central African cultures in 1600s Virginia. Outdoors, visitors can immerse themselves in life of early Virginia in outdoor re-creations of a 1610-14 English fort, Paspahegh Town and three re-created ships that brought English colonists to Virginia in 1607.
Military Through the Ages is made possible in part by grants from James City County and the Virginia Tourism Corporation, with additional support from the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, Inc. Annual Fund.
Admission to Jamestown Settlement, open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily year-round, is $18.00 for adults and $9.00 for ages 6-12. Children ages 5 and under are free. A value-priced combination ticket with the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown is $30.00 for adults and $15.00 for ages 6-12. Parking is free.
Jamestown Settlement is located on State Route 31 near the Colonial Parkway in James City County, just southwest of Williamsburg and adjacent to Historic Jamestowne. For information, call (757) 253-4838 or visit jyfmuseums.org/militarythroughtheages.
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