I was invited to attend this trip and compensated for it on behalf of American Heritage Chocolate & Colonial Williamsburg. As always, all opinions are my own!
Last week I did quite a bit of chatting about a trip that I was taking with my family to Colonial Williamsburg and I wanted to recap that experience for everyone that was curious about it. As most of you know by now, our family is crazy about Halloween! And to find out that one of our favorite spots was hosting a big Halloween festival was crazy exciting.
There’s something magical about walking down the streets of a town like this, teleporting you to a time that’s been lost, to an art form that’s been cast aside. You step on sidewalks that are made with bricks that were crafted by the hands of artisans in Williamsburg, with mud and molds and ovens. You walk across wooden decks that are held together with nails that are forged by blacksmiths in Williamsburg using techniques from back in the day.
As a homesteader (or whatever we call it) I found everything to be so fascinating and educational. We toured the outdoor kitchens and I took pictures so I can show my husband my wishlist of things that I want to build, because I’m fairly certain that this was the era that I was meant to live in. Meat curing, cast iron tools and cooking over a fire:
Cooking venison in a dutch oven.
They had a newly built market with toys for children, fresh bread and vegetables, costumes that you could rent. Boxes and food wrapped up in tidy little packages of newspaper.
And then there were the characters. Everywhere you went there were people to answer your questions. These weren’t simply street actors, they were people who were passionate about the era and learned about everything there was to know at the time. It was such a privilege getting to pick their brains for a day!
And of course, the bell of the ball was the chocolate.
Rich, unrefined and unsweetened cacao combined with fresh spices for a combination of flavors– I’ve never had anything like it before! American Heritage Chocolate is an authentic historic line of products—developed from chocolate recipes from the 1750’s—that celebrates chocolate’s important role in the lives of Americans during the 18th century and is reminiscent of what Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, and Ben Franklin would have enjoyed, combining all natural ingredients and exotic spices.
It’s made with all-natural ingredients and no preservatives, American Heritage Chocolate is an artisanal dark chocolate containing 63% cacao and flavored with spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, chili pepper, orange, anise and vanilla. I promise, it’s like nothing you’ve ever had before!
By sunset things started to change, however, as day-time entertainment gave way to Halloween shenanigans. And although they did consist of your usual antics (skeletons, zombies, pumpkins, etc), there was something much richer to this celebration than most. You see, it was really important to them that Colonial Williamsburg remained a place that was authentic and true to the time. So while they were willing to take a few liberties for the fun of Halloween, they really wanted a celebration that honored the time and taught us a little more about life was like back in the day.
If there is one thing Colonial Williamsburg understands – even celebrates — it is the importance of directly experiencing the world around us in order to make better sense of it. For decades, this has been a place where people have come to connect with the daily lives and labors of their forefathers and mothers. It is not only the sights, but the sounds, smells and even tastes of the Historic Area that cinch the experience – making it not just educational, but personal. In that sense, a Halloween program is a natural fit for the talented folks who already bring the Historic Area to life for our guests, every day of the year.
If there is one “selling point” that truly sets our event apart from the rest, this is it: While most other venues will revert to business-as-usual on Nov. 1, the tale of Blackbeard and his crew will live on here, as one among the many narratives that our actor/interpreters weave from the pages of history. Every day, these individuals find new ways to draw people into the story of early America. And in so doing, make the experience all the more relevant, and all the more real.
Mitchell Reiss, Virginia Gazette
I want to extend my heartfelt gratitude to the gang for inviting me out to experience this. If you’d like to follow Colonial Williamsburg you can visit their website here or catch them on social media on Facebook, Twitter @ colonialwmsburg & Instagram @ colonialwmsburg.
And to see some wonderful pictures of the weekend, including a few of my own, check out #BlackbeardsRevenge #HauntingonDoGStreet and #ColonialWilliamsburg!
The wonderful team that joined us this weekend consisted of other local bloggers. The women from the left to the right: Kelly from Heritage Chocolate, Darcie, Jocelyn, me in the gray and blue shirt, Kath and on the right is Emily. With the chefs in the back, Pastry Chef Rodney Diehl and Executive Chef Anthony Frank.