The Tea Party activists have been drawn to Colonial Williamsburg and its portrayal of the Founding Fathers this past year. The executives who oversee the events here have noticed the influx of those who are trying to discover the founding fathers and connect with them. According to the Washington Post:
“If people . . . can recognize that subjects such as war and taxation, religion and race, were really at the heart of the situation in the 18th century, and there is some connection between what was going on then and what’s going on now, that’s all to the good,” said Colin Campbell, president and chairman of Colonial Williamsburg. “What happened in the 18th century here required engagement, and what’s required to preserve democracy in the 21st century is engagement. That is really our message.”
The foundation that runs the programs at Colonial Williamsburg is nonprofit and nonpartisan, so neither Campbell nor other employees would venture an opinion on the significance of the tea party. But they welcome the business. Like most museums and historical sites, Williamsburg suffered during the recession; even before that, attendance had been dropping for more than a decade. In the late 1990s, annual ticket sales topped 1 million. Last year, that number had dropped to 660,000.
There is a great deal more interaction with the actors who portray Virginia’s prominent ancestors. People don’t always get the responses they want:
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