The beautiful state of Virginia has long since been one of the most vibrant states in the United States of America. This article will give you all an insight into some of the popular festivals in Virginia.
With its increased proximity to the Appalachian Mountains and the Atlantic Ocean, the Commonwealth of Virginia has retained its beauty and splendor throughout the years.
Its rich history has had many significant influences on the country.
Top Festivals in Virginia
The state is instrumental in carving out many historical events, such as the Civil War. Its residents include some of the most famous American citizens like Thomas Jefferson and George Washington.
As one of the most popular states that are known for its culture and fine arts, Virginia is a state that has a myriad of festivals.
If you are someone who loves music and arts, then you must participate in tons of festivals in Virginia that are conducted throughout the year in various parts of the state, and here is the list of the best 16 festivals in Virginia.
1. Richmond Folk Festival
The Richmond Folk Festival is a grand event that draws plenty of visitors from all over the country.
Conducted in the historic riverfront area of downtown Richmond, the three-day festival is one of the largest festivals in Virginia.
Its roots can be traced back to 2005- 2007 when it began as a National Council for the National Folk Festival.
The uniqueness of the festival remains in its performing groups that have a specialty in displaying a wide variety of traditional cultural fare on six different stages.
2. American Music Festival
The American Music Festival is an ongoing music event that has been regularly conducted for the last two decades.
In its twenty-fifth year, the festival has never failed to impress anyone who simply loves music. One would love to hear all the varied sounds of jazz, blues, country music, and more.
As one of the long-standing festivals of Virginia, music lovers flood the Virginia Beach oceanfront area during the Labor-day weekend.
Further, as one of the biggest music festivals in Virginia Beach, the American music festival is a fantastic music event that brings together some of the most famous musicians and local artists from across the country.
It’s noteworthy to mention that the proceeds of the festival go towards noble charities.
3. Virginia International Tattoo Festival
If you are patriotic, then Virginia International Tattoo Festival is for you. As one of the world-famous festivals in Virginia, it is a unique inspirational patriotic celebration celebrated every year in April.
But why is it named a tattoo festival when it does not celebrate tattoo artists? The term ironically relates to a stunning and perfectly synchronized performance of selected military music played by talented bands.
Incidentally, Norfolk has some of the most significant naval bases in the area. Beyond all others, it boasts of pageantry and the extraordinary splendor of the famous event.
If you are excited enough to read about it, then be sure to come by to experience the event yourself.
As a famed event happening at historic Norfolk city, you will witness an extravaganza that will blow your mind.
With Norfolk boasting the world’s most extensive naval base, this event’s pageantry and splendor are beyond compare.
Don’t just imagine the excitement – come experience it for yourself! Make your way to the historic city of Norfolk in late April to witness this world-renowned extravaganza that will leave you spellbound.
4. Shenandoah Valley Music Festival
The Shenandoah Valley Music Festival has entertained audiences with its mesmerizing live music performances for over fifty years. Truly one of the most classy festivals in Virginia, it has captured many hearts.
The festival is held in the little town of Orkney Springs. A yearly event at the breathtaking Shrine Mont offers a perfect setting of tranquility for music lovers to listen to some of the most fantastic music to revel in and enjoy.
Moreover, if you want to listen to top-notch live great music performances, then Shenandoah Valley Music Virginia Festival is the place to be.
Although the festival is held in an open-air pavilion, the location is magnificent with its perfectly secluded sport and mineral spring spa and resort.
So go on a musical journey to experience a one-of-a-kind thrilling concert!
5. Virginia Beach Neptune Festival
The Neptune Festival is one of the most extraordinary Virginia festivals that will leave you breathless and still asking for more.
An annual event held every September is at the heart of the spectacular Virginia Beach boardwalk.
It has plenty of food, scores of entertainment and much more.
As a one-of-a-kind music festival, you will find 32 different boardwalk blocks and over 25 performance places, and you will be entertained with daily musical concerts that will charm and delight you all the way.
So, the next time you visit Virginia, do let it coincide with the Neptune festival that features live musical performances of internationally known artists and exquisite fine art and craft shows.
Further, you are in for a delightful boat show, an 8k race, and a volleyball tournament on the beach.
6. Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival
The Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival is a family-friendly festival that is organized during the spring months of April to May each year.
Of course, the delightful Virginia Festival is about apple-based treats and goodies that kids and adults love to indulge in.
Still, there are an array of exciting adventures that everyone would love. You will witness live entertainment by popular bands, a 10k race, and fabulous parades of beautiful floats featuring spectacular performers.
Furthermore, the celebrity appearances at the festival make it even more memorable.
So whenever you are in Frederick County during the summer, attend the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival for a spring celebration of good old-fashioned family fun and frolic.
You will agree that it is one of the best festivals in Virginia
7. Virginia Highlands Festival
For a little over seven decades, the Virgina Highlands Festival, following the visionary Robert Porterfield, has celebrated the arts and the splendid culture of Southwest Virginia.
The arts festival has over 200 events and has become one of the most glorious festivals in Virginia for tourists and visitors from all over the country.
Families visit to enjoy the Antiques and Vintage markets and the arts and crafts exhibitions.
Visit the Mother State Park to experience a magnificent outdoor experience or go on a fantastic walking tour of the vineyards.
To learn more about Appalachian history and its food culture, speak to some of the most passionate experts.
The Virginia Highlands Festival is one of the most prominent festivals in Virginia, and it promises a beautiful experience for all its visitors.
8. Pungo Strawberry Festival
Endless fun and juicy strawberries are the highlights of the Pungo Strawberry Festival.
Celebrating memorial day weekend can never get better than heading to Virginia Beach to enjoy many activities like pie-eating contests, carnival, pony rides, and an exquisite youth art exhibit.
As a strawberry-themed festival, you will have various food and beverage samples to indulge your tastebuds.
For art lovers, you have a section dedicated to arts and crafts vendors to display some of their lovely works.
Finally, music lovers would love to witness live concerts at the festival.
Pungo Strawberry Festival may not be one of the grand festivals in Virginia, but it sure has provided outstanding entertainment to everyone who has visited it.
9. Hampton Jazz Festival
A musical extravaganza held every year between June 23- 25th showcasing the very best of Jazz is Hampton Jazz Festival for you.
One of the most characteristic festivals in Virginia, it also features pop, blues, R&B, and soul music genres.
The event has only improved with every passing year, and Hampton University, which is one of the sponsors of the event, wishes it to be a symbol of family celebration.
So for anyone and everyone who enjoy spending time with friends and love the music and culture of American Music, you must join the fun at the Hampton Jazz Festival.
10. Urbanna Oyster Festival
For over seventy years, the Urbanna Oyster Festival has struck a chord with over 50000 people that flock to the town of Urbanna for two days of oyster-filled fun.
Known as Commonwealth’s official oyster festival, it is literally “heaven” for every foodie. You can taste the oysters raw, roasted, steamed, fried, stewed, or in a pie.
There is a fireman parade, an official Oyster Festival Parade, and an Oyster Shucking Contest that are sure to give you a thrill of a lifetime for the whole family.
Watch out for the historical boats and exhibits lined up on the Chesapeake Bay. Revel in all things “oyster” at one of the most famous foodie festivals in Virginia.
It will be one of the most precious times you have ever spent at a seafood festival
11. Chautauqua Festival
Chautauqua Festival is an awesome eight-day annual art and music celebration in Wytheville, Virginia.
As a family-centered event presented by the Wythe Arts Council, visitors look forward to nightly entertainment of a variety of music genres, from the likes of rock, and Celtic music to gospel.
The entire festival is generously supported by local sponsors so it is one of the best festivals in Virginia to offer world-class music all for free!
Other engaging leisure activities include art displays, food vendors, and an authentic crafts bazaar.
Children and adults can look forward to a lovely performance of funny clowns and talented actor perform at the picturesque Elizabeth Brown Park.
12. Chesapeake Bay Reggae Festival
Love the rhythm of reggae? Then, you ought to visit the Reggae Festival at Chesapeake Bay. Listen to some of the best music as the festival returns for the seventh year at Hampton’s Mill Point Park.
As one of the most delightful festivals in Virginia, it features over ten international and regional acts that are performed on two entertainment stages.
Formerly known as the Buckroe Beach Reggae Festival, it was rechristened as the Chesapeake Bay Reggae Festival to occupy a larger downtown area in 2015.
The festival has drawn many visitors from all over the country to listen to some of the most compelling beats and infectious vibes of reggae music.
So, enjoy the fun and groove along to exciting songs all weekend!
13. Lockn Festival
Lockn Festival, previously known as the Interlocken Festival, began in 2013. The first music concert featured top-in-class musicians, “My Morning Jacket,” Willie Nelson, and Santana.
Since then, it has earned a much-coveted name for itself. Music enthusiasts believe it to be an unforgettable experience to participate in the Lockn Festival.
The annual four-day musical retreat held in Oak Ridge Farm every August promises a high-class extravaganza featuring some of the most famous musicians in the country.
Known for showcasing the best jam-band music artists and talented local artists, Lockn Festival remains one of the most celebrated festivals in Virginia.
To all those looking to spend quality time with family and friends, Lockn Festival organizes a camping ground that offers excellent facilities.
A music festival like no other is the five-day FloydFest for you. The musical extravaganza is a mix of diverse genres; FlyodFest is one of the top festivals in Virginia to listen to rock, bluegrass, folk, and reggae.
And that’s not all because you also have an opportunity to enjoy Yiddish and African music—a music festival with a unique difference that celebrates the spirit of music, art, and culture.
The festival showcases activities that delight and expand your horizons to no end. Venture into morning yoga or captivate yourself by listening to a story or a poem.
The “Children’s Universe Tent” brings out a new theme each year for kids to join in the fun. Among the amenities at the festival is the on-site camping facilities.
So for all the curious visitors, FloydFest is a magical experience to witness music, art, and a sense of togetherness.
15. Caledon Art And Wine Festival
Do you wish to be a part of sophistication and creativity? Then, it would be best if you took the time to visit the Caledon Art and Wine Festival in King George, Virginia.
Named one of the greatest of all Virginia festivals, with perfect art, and delectable wine, you will discover the best of both worlds here at this sensational event.
Virginia is known for its delightful vineyards, so the Caledon Art and Music Festival gives an excellent opportunity to partake in locally manufactured wine.
Enjoy mesmerizing art at the exclusive exhibitions curated by local artists while enjoying a glass of their choicest wine.
The festival is quietly gaining popularity year after year and has become one of Virginia’s most looked-forward festivals.
16. Hot Air Balloon Rally
What can be more magical and outstanding than to experience the perfect ride on a Hot Air Balloon Rally in the beautiful Rockbridge town of Lexington?
The spectacular event has become one of the unique festivals of Virginia and remains the oldest form of air transportation known to man. Want a little more than that?
You have scintillating music and tempting food carts offering the best of everything for the entire family.
The most incredible part of the event is that the proceeds go towards charities, making it a meaningful way to spend a lovely day with your family and friends. So soar high and don’t miss a day of unforgettable memories.
Here are few of the frequently asked questions about festivals in Virginia that one must know before experiencing these beautiful Virginia festivals.
1. What are some of the essential benefits of festivals in Virginia?
Festivals in Virginia celebrate music, culture, and great local food. It helps to break the routine and take some time to bond and relax with friends.
2. Why are music festivals in Virginia so popular?
Due to its diverse range of genres, music festivals are quite the rage in Virginia. People can experience live musical performances by various well-known artists on one stage.
3. What are some of the things to do at a music festival?
Music festivals have various activities such as dances, drum circles, kid’s areas and impromptu jams, and arts and crafts vendors.
4. Do many people attend music festivals?
A report states that 2022 had the most number of participants in music festivals as compared to 2019. So, yes, many people still attend music festivals
What is that one ingredient that sets apart the festivals in Virginia? It is their uncanny ability to showcase special events most awesomely.
With a lovely combination of its rich culture and history, Virgina has all the proper settings to make every event memorable.
You can choose from music to art or wine festivals. Virginia is one of the best states to experience the joys of cultural charm and the uniqueness of history.
Taste the wine from the best local producers, and get to know all about its welcoming locals.
For history or music lovers, the festivals of Virginia will be perfect for anyone and everyone who loves to have a great time with family and friends.