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The Good-To-Know Guide for All Your AOFTA Questions

We can’t wait to see you at An Occasion for the Arts on Oct. 7-8 in Merchants Square. Get a jump on your shopping, sample delicious local fare from area restaurants and enjoy live music on the eve of the festival. An Evening for the Arts on Friday, Oct. 6 is a ticketed event.

Here are the answers to all of your logistics questions!

How do I get there again?

If you’re driving . . . 

Find An Occasion for the Arts in Colonial Williamsburg’s Merchants Square at 134. N. Henry St. From I-64, take Exit 238 toward Colonial/Williamsburg. Turn left onto Capitol Landing Road (signs for VA-143 E/Williamsburg/Jamestown/Yorktown). Turn left onto VA-132 S. Stay straight on VA-132 S for Merchants Square.

If you are going to the Colonial Williamsburg Visitors Center at 101 Visitor Center Drive, follow the route above and after turning left onto Capitol Landing Road, turn right onto VA-132 S. Follow for 1.2 miles. Turn left onto US-60 E/Bypass Road and right onto Visitors Center Road. Turn left onto Visitors Center Drive.

If you’re biking . . . 

Take the Capital Trail to Merchants Square or bike along the scenic Colonial Parkway. You will find racks to lock your bike that are convenient to the festival.

If you’re taking public transit . . . 

Williamsburg Area Transit Authority (WATA) is proud to officially endorse Transit as the best app for trip planning in real-time information. Using Transit, you can easily plan your trip with up-to-the-minute accuracy and view departure times for nearby routes. Download the Transit app today.

If you’re riding the rails . . .

Take Amtrak’s Northeast Regional to the Williamsburg, VA Station (WBG) and hail a taxi to Colonial Williamsburg. It’s a five-minute ride.

Does it cost anything to attend AOFTA?

AOFTA is a free, volunteer-run festival.

Tickets purchased in advanced are required for An Evening for the Arts from 5-9 p.m., on Oct. 6. Purchase tickets here:

How early should I arrive?

Festival hours on Saturday and Sunday are 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.

Where should I park?

Parking is free at the Williamsburg Visitor Center. The CW buses are now a part of WATA and this route is free to all visitors, whether they have a CW ticket or not and will drop off in Merchants Square. Note that other WATA bus stops do not have a free shuttle to Merchants Square.

For other areas around Colonial Williamsburg:

Download the Passport Parking app in advance. With the app, you can pay, extend and manage your parking session with just a few taps. Park your car where you see Passport Parking app signs (lot P-6 and the parking lot behind the bookstore), pay from your phone, and you’re ready for AOFTA.

The Prince George Parking Garage at 230 N. Henry St., has 362 spaces as well as two charging stations for electric vehicles. Two universal charging stations are on the first level and two Tesla charging stations are on the second level. Credit and debit cards only. No cash accepted. Create an account using the Parking Portal.

What are the options for ADA mobility?

For scooter rentals, visit and

When I see something I like in an artist’s booth, can I send a photo of it to my friend?

Please ask the exhibiting artists before taking any photographs or videos of their work.

Snap all the photos you want in front of the LOVEworks sign on Duke of Gloucester Street. Use the tagline #AOFTA2023 and share the love!

What’s the policy on alcohol?

Purchase and consume all alcoholic beverages in the designed area near the main stage where signs are posted for food, beer and wine.

Is smoking permitted?

Smoking is not recommended near any of the tented areas due to safety reasons. Please smoke in designated areas only.

Can I bring my dog?

AOFTA is an outdoor festival and leashed pets that are under control of the owner are welcome. No pets are allowed in the ticketed areas of Colonial Williamsburg. For animal emergencies, visit Coastal Animal Care Referral Emergency, which is open 24 hours during  AOFTA. Call 757-703-0199 prior to arrival.

Do I have to go into a business to use a restroom?

Rest assured that Merchants Square has its own restrooms. Signage will direct you to the closest one.

Can I refill my water bottle?

Patrons can refill water bottles at Baskin Robbins and illy Caffè. Water station refill is also outside of the Colonial Williamsburg restrooms.

If possible, bring your own bag for your personal items and to carry your purchases.

Recycling bins at An Occasion for the Arts are provided and managed by Colonial Williamsburg’s Merchants Square. Colonial Williamsburg encourages recycling in the Historic Area by providing well-marked recycling receptacles.

What should I leave at home?

Firearms and weapons are prohibited at AOFTA.

What if I have more questions?

The AOFTA information booth will be staffed during festival hours. Please feel free to ask any questions!