This year, the AFL is the primary host and planner of the Yorktown Victory Day celebration.If you have never been to the Yorktown Victory Celebration events held each October, this is the year to attend. This year's events will be hosted by The American Friends of Lafayette. Hosts are rotated through the thirteen participating patriotic societies, and this year is our turn. Consequently we will be seizing this opportunity, and it will be a three-day Lafayette-fest !!!
Unlike years past, we've arranged for an official AFL hotel for this year's Yorktown events. It is the Embassy Suites by Hilton Williamsburg Hotel. Located at 3006 Mooretown Road in Williamsburg, Virginia, this hotel is only twenty minutes driving distance from Main Street, Yorktown (ten minutes from Historic Williamsburg). I've negotiate a great rate of $119 per night which includes a wonderful hot breakfast.
If you can, I'd suggest you stay the evenings of October 17th, 18th & 19th as we have events planned for the morning of October 18th through the afternoon of October 20th.
It is easy for AFL members to book their reservations. You can do so in 1 of 2 ways:
Please book your rooms as soon as possible. There are very few hotel rooms in Yorktown proper. This will be your best opportunity to stay in Virginia's Historic Triangle during this time in October.
Festivities will start with a bang on Wednesday morning, October 18th as we unveil our statue of Lafayette on the Yorktown waterfront. The ceremony will be attended by local dignitaries and Lafayette devotees from all over the country. We will gather to see Lafayette join his paternal friend (Washington) and fellow countryman (de Grasse). After the ceremony, the AFL will host a reception at the elegant Freight Shed on the Yorktown waterfront, only steps from the statue.
After the reception, the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown will host "Lafayette Day" at the museum. We will be given a private tour of the new museum including the special exhibit on Yorktown veterans including General Lafayette and James (Armistead) Lafayette. There will be speakers throughout the afternoon talking specifically about Lafayette including AFL president Alan Hoffman, AFL Curator Diane Shaw and statue sculptor Cyd Player.
That evening, back at the museum, the Yorktown Day Association will be holding its annual dinner hosted by the AFL ($55 pp). We promise an elegant and entertaining evening with a very special surprise guest. The evening will be French-themed with a heaping portion of Lafayette.
Thursday, October 19th begins with another important ceremony sponsored by the AFL and the Friends of Rochambeau. We will gather at the French Cemetery near the Yorktown Battlefield to honour the French soldiers who died during the siege of Yorktown. This is a short yet very moving ceremony that is a must-see.
Following the cemetery observance, we will attend the wreath-laying ceremony at the French Memorial in memory of the French veterans who served in the American Revolution. Then the very special Yorktown Day Parade takes place down Main Street. There are few better examples of Americana than this parade.
The parade ends at the Yorktown Victory Monument where the annual patriotic exercises take place. The pomp and circumstance is significant as hundreds gather to celebrate the victory that propelled Americans towards full independence. The exercises start with a military flag ceremony and singing of both French and American anthems. Attendees are treated to several high-ranking speakers with the keynote address being delivered this year by none other than AFL President Alan Hoffman. Afterwards we will lunch at the historic DAR Custom House ($35 pp) for a special reception hosted by the AFL.
Later that evening we will hold our world famous AFL cocktail party ($10 pp). This year's party will again take place at the Hornsby House Inn. We expect the usual lively gathering providing a great way to conclude the day's festivities.
But wait...we are not done !!! On Friday, October 20th at 8:30am, the AFL will be given a private tour of Fort Wool. This fort visited by Lafayette during his 1824 tour is only accessible by boat. We will be ferried over to Fort Wool on the very comfortable Miss Hampton II. We have negotiated a $30 rate for this tour to include the boat ride to Fort Wool. After our tour we will again be hosted by Katherine & Robert Kelly for a brunch at their home in Fort Monroe. This has always been a lovely and delicious event that should not be missed.
Please be on the look-out for official invitations to this three day event sometime soon. Specific timing and logistics will be outlined then (including parking information). RSVP details are forthcoming as well. Until then, please book your hotel stay and mark your calendars for October 18th, 19th & 20th. This event is not to be missed !!!
Vive Lafayette !!!
AMERICAN FRIENDS OF LAFAYETTE
TREASURER / PUBLISHER / EVENT PLANNER