Four hundred years after English colonists made their first permanent North American settlement at Jamestown in Virginia, the state celebrates the historic event on the spot where it occurred. "America's Anniversary Weekend" will offer three days of history, exploration and music for all ages.
Music fans will not be disappointed. Saturday's main attraction is "400 Minutes of Music," a day of live performances featuring Bruce Hornsby, Chaka Kahn and Ricky Skaggs, among others. Actor James Earl Jones will also appear Saturday to read stories to children, and a 400-piece orchestra and 1,607-voice choir will wrap up the event Sunday night.
The main attraction, of course, is the settlement itself. Archaeological digs at Historic Jamestowne have unearthed many telling treasures that are on display at a new "Archaearium" and museum. New incarnations of the tall ships Godspeed and Discovery will be docked nearby for visitors to board. NASA will be on hand with interactive displays showing the similarities between the settlers' voyage across the ocean and our modern reaches into space.
The celebration runs Friday-May 13 at Jamestown Settlement, Historic Jamestowne and Anniversary Park, a new area set up across Route 31 from Jamestown Settlement. Tickets are $30 per day for adults and $15 per day for children ages 6-12. Children younger than 6 are admitted free. Call 866-400- 1607 or go to americas400th anniversary.com.