Crowds return to historic triangle for 4th of July


WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (WAVY) — Before we were a country, we were colonists and in the colonial capitol of Williamsburg, the Forth of July could be considered it’s Superbowl.

Events are scheduled all weekend long in both Colonial Williamsburg with fireworks over the Governor’s Mansion expected to cap off the night.

It’s a far cry from the scene a year ago, where no fireworks, fifes or drums could be found on account of COVID-19.

The regions hospitality industry paid the price as well. Data from the Dragas Center for Economic Analysis shows that hotel revenue fell by 80% in Williamsburg leading up the July 4 in 2020 from the same time in 2019. That was the largest drop out of all markets in Hampton Roads.

However in the month of May, the hotel industry in Williamsburg saw the largest increase year to year at 845%.

Neal Chalkley, president of the Williamsburg Hotel Motel Association, who works at the Best Western on York street said things are “much better.”

“Williamsburg will be close if not a sell out with an increase ADR (Average Daily Rate) for weekend of 20 to 30%,” Chalkley said.

Those who help entertain guests also are noticing the difference.

“Yeah it’s one of the best places to be on this weekend,” said DC Alan, who plays his red tenor saxophone along duke of Gloucester street. “There is a noticeable difference yeah. And Colonial Williamsburg did a good job of adapting to the circumstances last year, so visitation was really good. But it is noticeably larger this year.”

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