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Celebrate the Season at Virginia’s Holiday Concerts, Shows, & Performances

Celebrate the Season at Virginia’s Holiday Concerts, Shows, & Performances

 

Add a little holiday cheer to your calendar when you attend a concert, show, or live performance around Virginia this season. Take the kids to see the story of Rudolph set to seasonal hits, witness pyrotechnics and fireworks choreographed to a live show, or even join your favorite Virginia college orchestras and marching bands as they perform traditional holiday songs. Fill the entire family with the spirit of the holidays and make plans to see these festive performances around the Commonwealth.

 

A CHRISTMAS STORY: THE MUSICAL AT FOUR COUNTY PLAYERS—BARBOURSVILLE

Dates: Select dates from November 25 – December 17, 2017

Come and enjoy this retelling of the beloved Christmas movie classic, A Christmas Story. Watch as Ralphie overcomes some hurdles (that darned freezing flagpole) and see if he gets what’s first on his Christmas list. This show is fun for the whole family.

 

BARTER THEATRE’S RUDOLPH—ABINGDON

Dates: November 28 – December 20, 2017

barter theatre christmas

Take the kids to the Barter Theatre’s “Rudolph” for a night they won’t forget. With shows starting on November 28th and running until December 20th you’re sure to squeeze in a viewing of this holiday tale.

 

A COLONIAL CHRISTMAS—JAMESTOWN

Dates: December 1 – 31, 2017

colonial christmas jamestown

A Colonial Christmas at Jamestown Settlement gives visitors the chance to experience holiday traditions, period musical entertainment, and 17th and 18th century festivities— like setting a farmhouse table for a holiday feast. Festivities kick off on December 1st and last throughout the month.

 

HOLLYDAZZLE—NEWPORT NEWS

Date: December 2, 2017

Hollydazzle Newport News

Held each year in City Center at Oyster Point, Hollydazzle combines synchronized fireworks, theatrical lighting, and impressive pyrotechnics during a live performance choreographed to these dazzling special effects. The kaleidoscope of colors reflected off the surface of the park’s five-acre foundation will bring wonder and awe to visitors of all ages. The event draws over 30,000 people to the area each year and includes free children’s activities and holiday performances throughout.

 

HOLIDAYS WITH THE HOOS—CHARLOTTESVILLE

Date: December 3, 2017

UVa Richmond Football Game

Photo Credit: UVA Office of Communications

Celebrate the Holidays with the Hoos as University of Virginia’s 320-member Cavalier Marching Band teams up with 400 high school student musicians from all around Virginia to perform at John Paul Jones Arena. They’ll play everything from UVA school songs and football halftime favorites to timeless holiday classics, and will be featuring several surprise guests and performances during the show.

 

THE NUTCRACKER AT THE BEACH—VIRGINIA BEACH

Dates: December 15 – 17, 2017

Escape to the beach for the Nutcracker. You won’t want to miss this timeless classic, performed with a live orchestra. After the sugar plum fairies and nutcrackers take a bow, head to The Royal Chocolate in Virginia Beach Town Center for a sweet treat.

 

HOLIDAYFEST: BELIEVE—HARRISONBURG

Dates: December 2 – 3, 2017

holidayfest

Photo Credit: Bob Adamek

JMU’s choral ensemble and Symphony Orchestra presents Holidayfest: Believe, held at the Forbes Center for the Performing Arts in Harrisonburg. The groups perform an array of classic holiday favorites, and the event also includes a special holiday reading and presentation based on the book and film “The Polar Express”. Bring the kids and arrive early for the December 3rd show to enjoy crafts, cookies, and hot cider in the Grand Lobby.

 

AMERICAN FESTIVAL POPS ORCHESTRA HOLIDAY POPS: SOUNDS OF THE SEASON AT HYLTON PERFORMING ARTS CENTER—MANASSAS

Date: December 8, 2017

American Festival Pops Orchestra

 Photo Credit: Stan Engebretson

Northern Virginia’s very own pops orchestra welcomes the holiday season with their annual family concert, a Pops Orchestra performance filled with joyful carols and the cherished classics, including selections from Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker”. The seasonal show concludes with a stirring sing-a-long in which the audience gets a chance to share in the memorable holiday experience.

 

 

There’s so much more to see and do this holiday season. Here are a few more shows and performances to add to your calendar:

 

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Exploring 13 Vibrant Art’s Districts Around the Commonwealth

Exploring 13 Vibrant Art’s Districts Around the Commonwealth

Arts Districts are a way to diversify growing economies and shape creative vibes for other local industries. These communities are using the arts to change the face of their town and develop more creative experiences for travelers.

These communities were submitted and chosen based on using art as a catalyst for tourism to shape their town.

 

—NORFOLK—

NEON Festival

In Norfolk, the Neon (New Energy of Norfolk) District uses art as a way to revitalize and differentiate its community. It has encouraged a younger and more contemporary audience for the arts. At the heart of this district is the Chrysler Glass Studio. The Glass Studio offers free daily demonstrations, interactive events, and workshops, giving visitors an experience in the artistic process.

Interest to the area has led to a new boutique art-themed hotel to begin development in 2018.

 

—MARION—

The Wayne C. Henderson School of Appalachian Arts, named for Wayne C. Henderson, a world-renowned guitar instrumentalist and luthier, is leading the charge in bringing arts to Marion. The Henderson School sits on the highest point in Historic Downtown Marion, a three-story brick structure known as the “1908 Schoolhouse”. The school offers classes in song writing, yoga, letterpress, music, crafts, and public paint nights. Anyone is welcome to sign up for classes. The school also offers programs and residencies.

 

—RICHMOND—

Jackson Ward Theatre Mural

Take a tour of Art Works, the art center in Old Manchester. Visit the five galleries and 75 artist’s studios where you’ll see artwork of all types: paintings, sculpture, modern abstract, traditional, jewelry, pottery, photography, and prints. Old Manchester is becoming a hot spot for artists and travelers to experience art, from murals to galleries. Cross the river and experience Richmond’s Mural Project, including over 100 murals popping up all over the city by artists from around the world.

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

Don’t miss Richmond’s art staple, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, featuring more than 35,000 works of art that span 5,000 years of world history. Its collections of Art Nouveau and Art Deco, English silver, Fabergé, and the art of South Asia are among the finest in the world.

 

—STAUNTON—

Explore the Red Brick District to discover world class theatre, great live music, cool art galleries, and museums that bring the past to life. As you walk the streets of Staunton’s cultural heart, you’ll find works of art all around you, quirky cafes, galleries and eateries where painters, photographers, sculptors, and craft artisans display their works. The Blackfriars Playhouse, recovers the joys and accessibility of Shakespeare’s theatre, language and humanity with performances year round in the world’s only recreation of Shakespeare’s own indoor theatre. The Heifetz International Music Institute, a summer program for 80 of the most talented young violin, viola, and cello musicians in the world, holds five concerts per week during the summer and most of them are free to the public.

 

—HARRISONBURG—

Harrisonburg is host to a premiere artist cooperative which is part of the city’s Arts & Cultural District. At OASIS Fine Art & Craft, experience creativity in gloriously diverse forms. You always buy local at the gallery, as the works are nearly all by Shenandoah Valley region artists and artisans. Learn from friendly artists or volunteers who staff the gallery as you shop fine hand-crafted Shenandoah Valley pottery, jewelry, fiber art, wood, metal, glass, wearable art, paintings, and photography. The gallery offers exciting events – one-person shows, theme shows, free live concerts, classes, and more. While there, check out the Smith House Galleries that display monthly exhibitions focused on local artists.

 

—ROANOKE—

Taubman Museum of Art

The Taubman Museum of Art is part of the lively metro mountain mix of arts, culture, and outdoor fun in the heart of downtown Roanoke. The Museum offers eleven galleries as part of the Fralin Center for American Art and hosts 15-20 exhibitions per year. Featured artists have ranged from Kehinde Wiley to John James Audubon and from Yoko Ono to Norman Rockwell. The Museum is also home to a renowned permanent collection featuring the work of artists such as Thomas Cowperthwaite Eakins, John Singer Sargent, Purvis Young, Petah Coyne, and John Cage, to name just a few. A few blocks from the Taubman Museum of Art is Center in the Square, a seven-story regional non-profit cultural center featuring seven cultural and educational organizations and a spectacular 6,000 gallon living coral reef aquarium- the largest aquarium of its type in the Mid-Atlantic Region.

 

—CLIFTON FORGE—

Dating to 1905, when it was originally an opera house and Masonic Lodge in the downtown historic district of Clifton Forge, the Historic Masonic Theatre is Virginia’s oldest continuously operating Theatre and a staple for the area. Get your arts and crafts fix at the Alleghany Highlands Arts & Crafts Center. The center has rotating exhibits and sales of juried regional fine arts and crafts. The gallery and shop facility encourages creative experience and appreciation of the visual arts. Gallery Exhibits change every 4-6 weeks and feature work in a wide variety of media by Highlands and other artists.

 

—STAUNTON—

American Shakespeare Center's Blackfriars Playhouse

The Blackfriars Playhouse, a symbol of Staunton’s dedication to preservation, has attracted a considerable number of tourists, artists, entrepreneurs, architects, chefs, etc. over the years. The Heifetz International Music Institute, a summer program for 80 of the most talented young violin, viola, and cello musicians in the world, holds five concerts per week during the summer and most of them are free to the public.

—MANASSAS—

The City of Manassas has caught the art bug, with art popping up around Historic Downtown. At the heart is The Candy Factory, a building formerly produced five to ten tons of candy daily, now home to The Center for the Arts of Greater Manassas and Prince William County. This art destination sponsors summer camps for children and teens, theatrical productions for children and adults, teaches classes in the arts, and provides community outreach programs for local youth. Also located at The Candy Factory for your performing arts fix is The Arthur Kellar Family Theater. The theater is home to Rooftop Productions, the Center’s own theatre company, which presents a refreshing variety of classic drama, comedy, and musical entertainment. Ballroom dancing takes place the first Sunday of every month.

 

ALEXANDRIA—

Marsha Staiger, painter. Torpedo Factory Art Center. Old Town, Alexandria.

 

Photo Credit: Cameron Davidson

Founded in 1974 in an old munitions plant, the Torpedo Factory Art Center is home to the largest number of publicly accessible working artist studios in the U.S., with 82 studios and six galleries. Art-in-progress is what you’ll find at this world-renowned art center located just outside Washington D.C.

 

—PORTSMOUTH—

Built in 1846, a Greek-Revival building originally served as the Norfolk County Courthouse until 1960. Now it is home to the Portsmouth Art & Cultural Center, and with two spacious galleries of ever-changing exhibits, the Portsmouth Art & Cultural Center is more than just an art museum. It’s a relaxing gathering place where you can learn the art of growing Bonsai trees one week and see a demonstration of glass blowing the next. Every First Friday, the Portsmouth Art & Cultural Center typically offers free musical entertainment. Art classes, lectures, poetry readings, and book signings round out the vast array of offerings.

 

—CHINCOTEAGUE—

Museum of Chincoteague Island

The Chincoteague Island Arts Organization works to create a cultural arts center on Chincoteague Island to share film, performing arts, education programs, and other entertainment with our community and visitors. On your way to visit the wild ponies, check out the Museum of Chincoteague Island, where exhibits display life on this island from before man to the present. The shipwrecks and treasures exhibit features items found in the waters around the Island. The Guilded Age exhibit depicts life in the late 19th century, when wealthy merchants owned large Victorian homes on the Island. Early sailing history comes to life in a models exhibit of vessels used on our bays, creeks, and channels.

 

—HAMPTON—

The Charles H. Taylor Arts Center attracts art lovers of all kinds. Built in 1925, the building served as Hampton’s public library for over 60 years. After careful renovation and restoration, the building now presents changing exhibitions of the best of local, regional, and national artists, as well as classes for children and adults. In efforts to bring more arts and travelers to the area, Hampton has also dedicated two nearby areas of town now known as the Hampton Arts and Cultural District.


© Caitlin Castainca for Virginia’s Travel Blog, 2017. |

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Your Itinerary to the Crooked Road

Your Itinerary to the Crooked Road

Crooked Road Instruments

The Crooked Road: Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail is a driving trail through Southwest Virginia that takes you through one of the most scenic and culturally unique regions of the United States. It also takes you through some of the most musically significant areas in the U.S. for Bluegrass and Traditional Mountain Music. The trail itself is more than 300 miles, including more than 60 cultural music venues across 19 counties, four independent cities, and more than 50 towns.

Many of the venues and institutions that make up the Crooked Road experience have been in existence for years; however, the Crooked Road initiative was launched in 2003 as an effort to link these opportunities together into a more coordinated tourism experience for the traveling public.

The Crooked Road helps a traveler recognize a variety of activities while visiting.  From shopping to outdoor recreation, to cultural or historic attractions, the Crooked Road helps attract tourists, grow businesses, and improve Southwest Virginia’s quality of life for local residents.

Experience first-hand for yourself with the following suggestions when you visit.

 

—DAY ONE—

Arrival into Bristol Tri-Cities Airport, Depart for Abingdon

Heartwood

  • Tour Heartwood: Get a personal welcome to Southwest Virginia’s heritage, craft, music, outdoor recreation, scenic beauty at the gateway to Southwest Virginia craft, music, food and local culture. Shop crafts by local artisans, juried to be the best of the best, and the most complete collection of Crooked Road old time, bluegrass and gospel music. Meet artisans and musicians at live events and in interactive exhibits.

 

Free time in Abingdon

Possible stops:

The Martha

 

Depart for downtown Marion

The Speakeasy Restaurant at General Francis Marion Hotel

Possible stops:

  • Wolfe’s BBQ – Virginia is for Lovers’ 2016 Culinary Challenge winner
  • The Wooden Pickle – come dine where the locals do, sweet spot in Marion
  • 27 Lions – 27 taps – eat, drink, roar
  • Live music at the Lincoln Theatre: Home of the nationally-syndicated “Song of the Mountains” bluegrass television series and an Affiliate Venue of the famous “Crooked Road” Heritage Music Trail, the Lincoln Theatre is one of only three remaining Mayan Revival theatres in America. This Virginia Historic Landmark is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and its history harkens back to the romantic heyday of the grand movie palaces of the “Roarin’ Twenties.”
  • Wayne C. Henderson School of Appalachian Arts in Marion: The School is named for Wayne C. Henderson, a world renowned guitar instrumentalist and luthier from nearby Rugby, Virginia who has become an international ambassador for the music, heritage and culture of the Southern Appalachian region. Check out the “Henderson Happenings” for event listings.
  • Overnight at General Francis Marion Hotel: Named National Geographic’s Top 150 Hotels in North America! The General Francis Marion Hotel, once said to be the most elegant lodging establishment in Southwestern Virginia, reopened in February 2006. After almost two years of renovation and restoration, the grand old hotel was reborn with the comfort, convenience and amenities of a modern hotel while retaining the ambiance of the 1920’s.

 

—DAY TWO—

Depart for Bristol

Birthplace of Country Music Museum

  • Tour Birthplace of Country Music Museum: An affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, this state of the art museum celebrates the influence of the 1927 Bristol Sessions to today’s music and features exhibition space spread over two floors including traveling exhibits from the Smithsonian. Discover a performance auditorium, radio station and an interactive multimedia experience charged with making history come alive.
  • Bristol Brewery and Studio Brew – beer and assorted menu
  • Blackbird Bakery – pastries and sweets
  • Burger Bar – Long-running spot for burgers, hot dogs, shakes, where singer Hank Williams was last seen alive.

 

Depart for Hiltons

Carter Family Fold stage

  • Performance at the Carter Family Fold: The Carter Fold is a rustic, 1,000 seat music shed offering traditional music every Saturday night. The Carter Family was discovered in 1927 by Victor Recording Studio in Bristol and recorded 300 songs between 1927 and 1942. Playing traditional Appalachian music, the family has often been credited as forerunners of modern-day country music. Today, A.P. Carter’s old general store acts as a museum. Recent additions include the newly moved and reconstructed original A.P. Carter Homeplace.

 

Return to Bristol

  • Optional: live music in Bristol (venues along State Street)

Overnight at hotel

 

—DAY THREE—

Depart for Galax

Rex Theater

  • Visit Blue Ridge Music Center: A state-of-the-art performing arts facility built to preserve and promote the historic music of Virginia and the Blue Ridge.
  • Visit the Rex Theater: This historic theater hosts a live radio show every Friday evening featuring stage performers of bluegrass and old time bands.

 

Depart for Floyd

Floyd Country Store

  • Live music at Floyd Country Store, an authentic country store with popular Friday Night Jamboree and Sunday gospel sessions.

 

 

 

 


© jlammay for Virginia’s Travel Blog, 2017. |

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11 Virginia Comic Stores to Spend Free Comic Book Day

11 Virginia Comic Stores to Spend Free Comic Book Day

On May 6, 2017, celebrate Free Comic Book Day at your local favorite comic shop. You can pick up a free comic book and explore the large variety of comics, whether you’re a long time reader or purchasing your very first comic book.

Free Comic Book Day is an annual event created by the comic book industry to help bring new readers into independent comic book stores – and Virginia has no shortage of them. And since Virginia is for comic book lovers, here are 11 places worth checking out on your next comics trip.

Velocity Comics – Richmond
Open since 2003, Velocity Comics offers a wide selection of major and independent comics with a friendly and knowledgeable staff. The store often hosts book signings and other special events.

Telegraph Art & Comics – Charlottesville
Telegraph is a comics and art shop located on the Charlottesville Downtown Mall. In addition to carrying books from the major publishers, Telegraph also features a wide variety of small press, local and independent comics not found in the average shop. It also works with comic artists and illustrators to produce limited edition screen printed posters available only at the shop.

Comic Cubicle – Williamsburg
Owned by comic book enthusiasts, Comic Cubicle has been open in Williamsburg for 25 years and offers a service that is personal, friendly, and full of knowledge about different comics. “The Cube,” as it is known by regulars, has a family-friendly atmosphere and an entire shelving unit filled with children’s comics. There is even a shop dog. This year’s Free Comic Book Day will include a celebration of the store’s 25th anniversary.

Photo provided by Four Color Fantasies

Four Color Fantasies – Winchester
Four Color Fantasies has been serving the comics community in Winchester since 1987. The store offers customers a selection of monthly comics, more than 60,000 back issues, trades, games, and more.

Side note: Comic fans in Winchester can also visit the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley for the exhibit “Superheroes and Superstars,” featuring the works of Alex Ross, one of the world’s most preeminent and well-respected comic book artists. The exhibit runs until May 14.

Victory Comics – Falls Church
A 3,500 square foot comic and game store with an enormous amount of merchandise, Victory Comics offers a huge selection of golden and silver age comics, modern comics, art books, toys, games, novelties, and more.

Photo provided by Local Heroes

Local Heroes – Norfolk
Located in Norfolk’s Historic Ghent District, Local Heroes carries a large selection of mainstream and independent comics, as well as a wide variety of comic and pop culture related toys and gifts. The store often hosts signing events, ladies’ nights, costume contests and more.

Bender’s Books & Cards – Hampton
Serving the Hampton Roads comic book community for more than 20 years, Bender’s Books offers comics, magazines, and other novelties.


Photo provided by B&D Comics

B&D Comics – Roanoke
Located near downtown Roanoke, Virginia, B&D Comics has been taking care of customers locally and nationally for 35 years. With multiple options for finding old comics or requesting new titles, B&D has plenty to offer fans of all ages and interests.

Flashback Comics and Painted Visions Comics – Woodbridge
Flashback and Painted Visions are located across the street from each other, and both stores boast an impressive collection of new and classic comics. Flashback Comics is an intimate shop full new and back issues, original artwork, action figures and more with a friendly and knowledgeable staff that, according to store regulars, treats everyone like family. Painted Visions has a variety of comics and graphic novels for all ages as well as a large backroom of Japanese manga and collectibles.

Stories – Richmond and Colonial Heights
With two locations in Richmond’s West Broad and Forest Hills areas and another in Colonial Heights, Stories caters to all comic fans from the new reader to the serious collector with a large collection of new and back issues.

Have a favorite Virginia comic store that we missed? Let us know in the comments below.


© acothern for Virginia’s Travel Blog, 2017. |

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Save the Dates: The Can’t-Miss Festivals of 2017, Part 3

Save the Dates: The Can’t-Miss Festivals of 2017, Part 3

Still looking for more Virginia entertainment to fill your calendar this year? Here are a few more of the must-attend festivals of 2017 to add to the list!

 

This is Part 3 of a series.

Read Part One.

Read Part Two.

 

Rooster Walk Music & Arts Festival—Axton

May 25-28, 2017

The 9th annual Rooster Walk promotes music, arts, and education in the Martinsville area, with tons of amazing music, kids’ activities, craft beer, food and arts vendors, and gorgeous campsites at Pop’s Farm in Axton, located just outside of Martinsville. Named one of the top five festivals in the state by Richmond Times Dispatch in 2016, this year’s festival has an impressive lineup, featuring The Wailers, Billy Strigs, The Trongone Band, and Greensky Bluegrass. Get Tickets

 

HoustonFest—Galax

June 9-10, 2017

Held annually in memory of a young local musician, Houston Caldwell, HoustonFest displays the strong community love and support found in Southwest Virginia. More than 30 bands perform during this two-day festival, with musical genres ranging from Bluegrass to Gospel. Skilled artisans teach festivalgoers their skills and sell homemade goods, and local vendors cook up a wide variety of foods. So far, the announced lineup for 2017’s HoustonFest includes John Berry, Strictly Strings, The Burnett Sisters, Flatt Lonesome, The Church Sisters, and Emi Sunshine. Festival tickets cost $20 each day, and camping is available for only $15 per night. Get Tickets

 

Richmond Jazz Festival—Richmond

Dates TBA

Richmond Jazz Festival at Maymont

America’s musical roots are on full display during the Richmond Jazz Festival, a four-day performance showcase held at Maymont Park. More than 10,000 people gather to experience jazz from local and national bands, as well as several R&B and Neo-Soul groups. Sample food and drinks from local vendors during the festival, including Virginia wines, then head over to the artisan tents to peruse an extensive selection of arts, crafts, and goods. Stay Tuned for Announcements and Tickets

 

Tazewell Old Time & Bluegrass Fiddlers’ Convention—Tazewell

July 7-9, 2017

Come to the Tazewell Old Time & Bluegrass Fiddlers’ Convention for three days of live musical performances played with banjos, guitars, fiddles, and many other folk-inspired instruments. During the festival, bands compete in their respective categories, including harmonica, autoharp, and bass, for more than $5,000 of cash prizes, pride, and recognition. With full weekend passes selling for $12, children under 12 free, and primitive campsites available at no cost, you can bring the entire family to this affordable festival celebrating Heart of Appalachia’s traditional mountain music.

 

American Music Festival—Virginia Beach

September 1-3, 2017

Get your fill of live performances from rock, blues, jazz, country performers (to name just a few!) at the American Music Festival, held along Virginia Beach’s famous Boardwalk. As the largest outdoor music event on the East Coast, you’ll find big names headlining the festival, with a blend of local and nationally recognized talent filling out the lineup. The 2017 line-up has yet to be announced, but previous big performers included Sheryl Crow, Blue Oyster Cult, Travis Tritt, and the Steve Miller Band. Stay Tuned for Band Announcements & Tickets

 

Appaloosa Roots Music Festival—Front Royal

September 3 – 4, 2017

The Appaloosa Roots Music Festival brings together more than 40 bands on multiple stages, creating two days of nonstop live entertainment that the whole family will love. Music genres at the festival cross entire continents, with Virginia-born Bluegrass acts following Celtic bands to craft an international event in the heart of the Commonwealth. Kids 13 and under get in free, with arts, crafts, and games available in the Kid’s Zone, as well as horseback riding for ages 8 and up. Camp overnight on the festival grounds to get the full Appaloosa Roots experience. Get Your Tickets

 

Lovettsville Oktoberfest—Lovettsville

September 22-23, 2017

Lovettsville Oktoberfest spans a full half mile through the town of Lovettsville, lining the way with beer gardens, live entertainment, over 120 vendors, and food courts. The festival is absolutely free to attend, including free parking, trolley rides to the grounds, musical performances, professional dance groups, and a bevy of other events. Bring money for food, drinks, and any crafts you wish to take home, but otherwise, you can keep your wallet in your pocket at this brew-focused festival. In addition to offering fun for the adults, this is a family-friendly festival, with the Kinderfest area providing activities for kids of all ages, including carnival games, face painting, sports, and a climbing wall.

 

Hoopla—Roseland

September 28-October 1, 2017

Although only the second year in existence, Devils Backbone’s Hoopla is already well known on the Virginia festival circuit. The festival brings music, craft beer, adventure, and nonstop fun together during this four-day extravaganza. Attend workshops, enjoy outdoor activities like hiking, try award-winning craft beers, listen to live music performances, and end the day camping out in scenic Nelson County. Lineup and schedule to be announced in the spring. Get Tickets

 

The Festy Experience—Arrington

October 5-8, 2017

The 8th annual Festy Experience in Nelson County is a festival for those with a deep appreciation for craft beer, great food, local music, and the Great Outdoors. Held on acres of meadows and encircled by miles of hiking trails, this family-friendly festival provides plenty of opportunities for you to stay active the entire weekend. If you’re feeling competitive, sign up to play some of the group sports that the festival provides, such as Disc Golf, Ultimate Frisbee, kickball, soccer, and volleyball. Want to take a break from outdoor activities? Head to the stages for incredible live performances while you savor tasty food and drinks provided by local vendors.

 

Richmond Folk Festival—Richmond

October 13-15, 2017

The Richmond Folk Festival, a continuation of the National Folk Festival, celebrates the roots, richness and variety of American culture through music, dance, traditional crafts and what everyone enjoys, food. Virginia Tourism Corporation, www.Virginia.org

Celebrating a multitude of American cultures, the Richmond Folk Festival incorporates live music, dancing, local foods, and traditional arts and crafts into this weekend-long event. This free festival features over 30 performing groups on 7 stages and Folklife demonstrations throughout the grounds that teach visitors about the cultural richness of our nation. Various regional and ethnic foods are available to purchase, as well as craft beers, wines, and other beverages. With arts, crafts, and lots of children’s activities filling out the schedule, the Richmond Folk Festival is fun for the entire family.

 

Anthem Go Outside Festival—Roanoke

October 13-15 and 19-21, 2017

Presented by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Roanoke’s Go Outside Festival encourages healthy living and outdoor recreation. Try out equipment like mountain bikes, kayaks, and fly rods at the festival, (all for free!) to get a feel for the often-pricey gear before purchasing. Various events, from slacklining to motocross, let visitors discover impressive and adventurous new hobbies from the safety of the sidelines, or they can get involved in active competitions like the Half Marathon and Cyclocross races. Leashed, well-behaved dogs are welcome and visitors are encouraged to bring a tent to camp overnight during the festival.

 

Find even more recommendations in the upcoming Can’t-Miss Festivals Part 4!

 


© pkeppel for Virginia’s Travel Blog, 2017. |

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Save the Dates: The Can’t-Miss Festivals of 2017- Part 1

Save the Dates: The Can’t-Miss Festivals of 2017- Part 1

 

2017 has just started, but we’re already excited for all of the stellar festivals happening in Virginia this year! Mark your calendars and save the dates for these 10 festivals, filled with live music, local food, arts, and outdoor recreation, occurring in every corner of the Commonwealth, from the Chesapeake Bay coastline to the charming mountain towns of Southwest Virginia.

 

HIGHLAND MAPLE FESTIVAL—MONTEREY

March 11-12, 18-19, 2017

Highland Maple Festival

Since 1958, the Highland Maple Festival has been bringing everything maple to residents and visitors of Monterey. This year, the town hosts the 59th annual festival, featuring delicious maple-infused treats from local vendors, live entertainment, and craft tutorials in a variety of subjects. Attend the Sugar Tour to learn about the long and storied history of maple syrup in Highland County, then head to a few of the demonstrations to discover the maple syrup production process. This tasty town festival is a must for anyone with a sweet tooth and a love of Virginia history.

 

VIRGINIA ARTS FESTIVAL—9 COASTAL VIRGINIA CITIES

January 14th through May, with Virginia International Tattoo on April 27-30, 2017

Virginia International Tattoo

The Virginia Arts Festival begins January 14 and runs through May, with nine of Virginia’s coastal cities taking part. A variety of artists and performers come together to display the best of Virginia’s culture and talent during this five-month festival. Individual events occur in separate cities over the span of several months, but the flagship event is the Virginia International Tattoo, a celebration held in Norfolk that showcases American patriotism at its finest. The performances includes acts from dancers, drill teams, choirs, marching bands, and other groups from all over Virginia, and in 2016, the event was chosen as the Number One Event in the U.S. by the American Bus Association.

 

TOM TOM FOUNDERS FESTIVAL—CHARLOTTESVILLE

April 10-16, 2017

Tom Tom Festival in Charlottesville

For an entire week in spring, the Tom Tom Founders Festival takes over downtown Charlottesville with live music, block parties, food and drinks from local vendors, public art displays, workshops, and talks from innovators in a myriad of startup industries. With the festival’s goal of inspiring community leadership, business development, and creative thinking, every event besides the Founders Summit is absolutely free to attend. Last year, the Tom Tom Founders Festival drew over 38,000 people, and they expect an even more impressive turnout for this year’s events.

 

SHENANDOAH APPLE BLOSSOM FESTIVAL—WINCHESTER

April 28-May 7, 2017
Annual Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival

Although apples dominate the fall festival scene, none of the autumn fests can compare to the size and splendor of Winchester’s Shenandoah Apple Blossom festival, now in its 90th year. Apple events like the apple pie baking contest are a given, but the festival has tons of other activities as well. Sample Virginia wines with friends or bring the kids along to the carnival, which features classic fair food and midway rides. There is a golf tournament, a fun run and 10k marathon, live music, the world’s largest firefighter’s parade, and even a Queen’s Ball, which is presided over by the year’s Queen Shenandoah, crowned earlier in the festival. Order individual event tickets by mail, or stay tuned to the website as additional event tickets become available.

 

CHINCOTEAGUE SEAFOOD FESTIVAL—CHINCOTEAGUE ISLAND

May 6, 2017

Chincoteague Island

If you’re a seafood lover, you need to attend the Chincoteague Seafood Festival, held on the Eastern Shore’s Chincoteague Island. The main eating attraction are the Little Neck clams cooked in a bevy of ways, but you’ll find everything from locally harvested oysters to various fried fish delights straight out of the Atlantic. Live beach music fills the air at the festival, and your $45 ticket covers it all, including nonalcoholic beverages (beer is available for purchase). Children 5 and under get free admission to the Chincoteague Seafood Festival. GET TICKETS

 

SPRING TOWN POINT VIRGINIA WINE FESTIVAL—NORFOLK

May 6-7, 2017

Spring Town Point Virginia Wine Festival

The 11th annual Spring Town Point Virginia Wine Festival invites visitors to sample over 200 wines from more than 30 state-wide wineries, allowing you to get the full Virginia wine experience without weeks of travel. Dine on gourmet food samples, shop specialty merchants, and enjoy live performances in downtown Norfolk during this two-day festival. Pick your favorites and take home a few wines by the bottle or the case to enjoy throughout the year. Tickets not yet available.

 

DOMINION RIVERROCK—RICHMOND

May 19-21, 2017

The biggest outdoor sports and music festival in the U.S., Dominion Riverrock brings thousands of participants and spectators (even the four-legged kinds!) together on Richmond’s riverside Brown’s Island for three days of unforgettable fun. Outdoor sports of every kind are demonstrated at the free event, including kayaking, rock climbing, mountain biking, paddleboarding, and slacklining. Live music performances occur throughout, and last year’s festival showcased impressive acts like Keller Williams, the Futurebirds, and G. Love & Special Sauce. There are also outdoor races for those looking to get active during the festival, and if you’re not worried about the mess, the 5K Mud Run is incredibly popular for even beginner-level runners. Music lineup to be announced in late January.

 

CLINCH RIVER DAYS FEST—ST. PAUL

June 1-3, 2017

In its 19th year, the Clinch River Days Fest in St. Paul celebrates the river and mountain heritage of Southwest Virginia. The festival includes a bus tour of Breaks Interstate Park, caving, live music, a farmers market, car show, parade with floats, and of course, kayak and canoe trips down the river. Start off the festival by participating in Friday night’s “Duck Race” (plastic, not real!), then continue with a full weekend of outdoor activities. In addition to these events, classic car shows, a Civil War reenactment, and carnival rides round out this monumental festival. Entry is free, but several of the participating events charge admission. Stay tuned to the official website for more information as the festival approaches.

 

MOUNTAINS OF MUSIC FESTIVAL—VARIOUS VENUES ALONG THE CROOKED ROAD

June 9-17, 2017

Floyd Country Store

For nine days in June, the mountains of Southwest Virginia come alive with musical experiences in more than 20 communities along the famous Crooked Road. The Mountains of Music Homecoming festival pays tribute to the important traditions, culture, and music of the region, with over 200 cultural experiences and 70 folk, bluegrass, gospel, and old time musical concerts. Attend a few of the instrument-making demonstrations to get an even deeper appreciation of the Crooked Road’s historical contributions, then dine on some of the finest locally sourced cuisine available in Virginia. Round out your festival experience with some outdoor activities, like a leisurely river float or a wondrous hike through some of the region’s caves. Purchase Your Tickets

 

SHENANDOAH MUSIC FESTIVAL—ORKNEY SPRINGS

July-September 4, 2017

Shenandoah Valley Music Festival

The official dates and lineup have not yet been finalized, but the Shenandoah Music Festival runs from approximately mid-July through Labor Day weekend. As the longest running outdoor music festival in the mid-Atlantic region, the events draw some big performance names. Previous acts include LeAnn Rimes and Bruce Hornsby & the Noisemakers, and the varied genres of musicians draw guests from all over the East Coast. While the festival hosts some pretty big headliners, the inexpensive ticket prices make the live concerts accessible to all, with front row seats at the best concerts totaling only $59 a person. Another cost-saver? Guests are encouraged to bring their own picnic-style spread to events. Tickets go on sale for individual events starting in early April.

 

When it comes to exciting entertainment for this year, this isn’t all! Stay tuned for part 2 of the can’t-miss festivals, which span the second half of 2017.


© pkeppel for Virginia’s Travel Blog, 2017. |

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