Every second Sunday in Colonial Williamsburg, Prince George Street is filled with artists showcasing their crafts and musicians performing up and down the street.
The 2nd Sundays Festival takes place every month, except for January and February, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. It goes along the upper block of Prince George Street and extends down North Boundary Street. Local artists pay in order to showcase their work while multiple musicians preform live at different stages throughout the festival. The director of 2nd Sundays, Shirley Vermilion, created the event in 2010. Vermilion grew up in the Northern Neck of Virginia and lived in both Seattle and Richmond before she moved to Williamsburg in 2001.
“Williamsburg for a long time felt like it was all about history,” Vermilion said. “It was all it really did and Colonial Williamsburg kind of did everything, and that was what drove it.”
Vermilion was surprised when she found out that some of her neighbors in Williamsburg ranged from mystery novelists and children’s book authors to potters. However, Vermilion found out that it was difficult for them to display their work unless they left Williamsburg, as local opportunities were limited.
Vermilion originally decided to reserve her local clubhouse and feature around 15 local artists in a show she called First Colony Arts Bazaar. According to Vermilion, the show was well-attended and well-loved.
Some of the artisan-friendly booths at the festival. COURTESY PHOTO / SHIRLEY VERMILION
“I always thought, ‘here we are a tourist town; we need something like this downtown,’” Vermilion said.
In 2010 Vermilion contacted the Blue Talon Bistro executive chef and owner David Everett and general manager and owner Adam Steely to ask if they would help her facilitate an art festival on Prince George Street.