Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Jamestown Festival Park
Jamestown Festival Park was established at Jamestown, Virginia in 1957 to mark the 350th anniversary of the founding of the Jamestown Settlement. At the National Park Service site, the reconstructed Glasshouse, the Memorial Cross and the visitors center were completed and dedicated. Full-sized replicas of the three ships that brought the colonists, the Susan Constant, Godspeed, and the Discovery were constructed at a shipyard in Portsmouth, Virginia, and docked at Jamestown, where they may be toured, and seen by water from the nearby Jamestown Ferry system operated by VDOT. Other events included army and navy reviews, air force fly-overs, ship and aircraft christenings and even an outdoor drama at Cape Henry, site of the first landing of the settlers.
The 1957 celebration continued from April 1 to November 30 with over one million participants, including dignitaries and politicians such as the British Ambassador and U.S. Vice President Richard Nixon. The highlight for many of the nearly 25,000 at the Festival Park on October 16, 1957 was the visit and speech of Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain and her consort, Prince Philip. Queen Elizabeth II loaned a copy of the Magna Carta for the exhibition.
Although the 1957 celebration is long past, many of the attractions remained and some have been enhanced in the years since. There is now a working reconstruction of the settlement. The original replicas of the three ships that brought the colonists, the Susan Constant, Godspeed, and Discovery which had been constructed at a shipyard in Portsmouth, Virginia have been rebuilt, and are still very popular with tourists, especially school groups.
Archaeological work at the site continues and is expanding knowledge of what happened at Jamestown in its earliest days.
The park is gearing up for Jamestown 2007, an upcoming celebration of the 400th Anniversary.
See main article Jamestown, Virginia.
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