The 10 Best Festivals in Virginia!

Virginia is in a constant celebratory state–and why shouldn’t we be? Between the strong military background, deep-rooted historical ties and incredible love of culture, the Old Dominion has a festival for everyone. Here are 10 must-visit Virginia festivals from throughout the year. 

1. Neptune Festival, Virginia Beach, VA

Every September, King Neptune reigns over all of Virginia Beach. The annual Neptune Festival is a celebration of the city’s “sea faring heritage featuring seafood, arts and crafts, and entertainment.” This free festival includes live music, arts and craft stalls, the international sand sculpting competition, and the annual wine festival. People from all over the world visit to grab an Orange Crush and pay their regards to the King. 

2. Ella Fitzgerald Music Festival, Newport News, VA

The First Lady of Song. Queen of Jazz. Lady Ella. These are just some of the names given to Ella Fitzgerald, Newport News native and namesake of the aforementioned jazz festival. This annual celebration is of her music and jazz in general. Make sure to book your tickets for the April show early, as they often run out!

3. Virginia International Tattoo Festival, Norfolk, VA

The Virginia International Tattoo festival “has become renowned as the most patriotic of the world’s Great Tattoos.” The name can be a bit misleading. You won’t find gnarly ink tattoo artists strutting their stuff at this festival (although they’re welcome to join in on the festivities). Tattoo “refers to what developed as a ceremonial performance of military music by massed bands.” Norfolk has the world’s largest naval base, so you can only imagine the pageantry of such an event. But why imagine when you can experience it for yourself? Come visit historic Norfolk in late April for this world-renowned fest. 

4. Norfolk NATO Festival, Norfolk, VA

The Norfolk NATO Festival is the “longest continuously running Festival in the Hampton Roads region, and the only one of its kind in the United States which honors the NATO Alliance and its member nations.” Norfolk is home to the only Command in North America, known now as the Allied Command Transformation and mostly serves as a think tank. Celebrate one of the most successful and long-lasting international alliances in this proud military city.

5. Pungo Strawberry Festival, Pungo, VA

Held annually on Memorial Day Weekend, the Pungo Strawberry Festival is a local favorite, with over 100,000 people regularly in attendance. Besides strawberry picking, the festival boasts a parade, three stages of live entertainment, a carnival, arts and crafts, delicious food vendors, and more! Celebrate the start of summer with your very own freshly picked strawberries.

6. East Coast Surfing Championships, Virginia Beach, VA

Coastal Edge and Vans sponsors the annual East Coast Surfing Championships every August. One of many major professional surfing events, hundreds of surfers come to Virginia Beach to compete for “East Coast surfing titles, prizes, history, and the sheer love of surfing.” Other festivities, including beach sports, swimsuit contests, and live music round out the show. Surf’s up, dude.

7. Oceana Air Show, Virginia Beach, VA

Southern Virginia is military country, and the Oceana Air Show is another tribute to the robust military history and generational pride that permeates Virginians young and old. This annual air show takes place on the Oceana Naval Base and features the U.S. Navy Blue Angels. The Blue Angels are world famous as “positive role models and goodwill ambassadors for the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps.” Other performers include Rob Hollad, the GEICO Skytypers, Scott “Scooter Yoak, and Bill Leff. Don’t recognize the names? All you need to know is that the grace, power, and excitement of flight is all on display at this annual celebration. It’s well worth the trip.

8. Richmond Folk Festival, Richmond, VA

The Richmond Folk Festival celebrates the artistic spirit of Virginia. Last year, the festival attracted 125,000 people to take in the international music, food, and culture on full display. Come enjoy this free event every October in the state’s capitol. 

9. Virginia Film Festival, Charlottesville, VA

The Virginia Film Festival is a four-day celebration of Virginia’s unique filmic history. Guest speakers, such as “Breaking Bad” creator and Virginia native Vince Gilligan, often headline. Make sure to check out their website for a full listing of films showing so you can properly plan out your time. “Today, the Festival stands as one of Virginia’s most important cultural landmarks, and one of the most respected regional destination film festivals in the United States.”

10. Virginia Highlands Festival, Abingdon, VA

Every summer, historic Abingdon, Virginia, hosts the Virginia Highlands Festival. Founded in 1949, the Festival now celebrates the culture and art of the entire Southwest Virginia region. Enjoy the antiques market, the Celtic celebration, the juried arts and crafts, performing arts, photography, and youth and teen events, all while taking in the natural beauty of the surrounding area. A great summer festival for family members of all ages. 

Select a Virginia town to find the Best Things-To-Do and Places To Go around you
Find Festivals, Fairs and Parades Near You
Enter City / State or Zip code below
Select your town to find the Best Things-To-Do and Places To Go around you:

Accomack County

Albemarle County

Alleghany County

Amelia County

Amherst County

Appomattox County

Arlington County

Augusta County

Bath County

Bedford County

Bland County

Botetourt County

Brunswick County

Buchanan County

Buckingham County

Buena Vista City County

Campbell County

Caroline County

Carroll County

Charles City County

Charlotte County

Chesapeake City County

Chesterfield County

Clarke County

Colonial Heights City County

Covington City County

Craig County

Culpeper County

Cumberland County

Danville City County

Dickenson County

Dinwiddie County

Essex County

Fairfax County

Fauquier County

Floyd County

Fluvanna County

Franklin County

Franklin City County

Frederick County

Fredericksburg City County

Galax City County

Giles County

Gloucester County

Goochland County

Grayson County

Greene County

Greensville County

Halifax County

Hampton City County

Hanover County

Harrisonburg City County

Henrico County

Henry County

Highland County

Hopewell City County

Isle Of Wight County

James City County

King And Queen County

King George County

King William County

Lancaster County

Lee County

Lexington City County

Loudon County

Loudoun County

Louisa County

Lunenburg County

Lynchburg City County

Madison County

Manassas Park City County

Martinsville City County

Mathews County

Mecklenburg County

Middlesex County

Montgomery County

Nelson County

New Kent County

Newport News City County

Norfolk City County

Northampton County

Northumberland County

Norton City County

Nottoway County

Orange County

Page County

Patrick County

Petersburg City County

Pittsylvania County

Poquoson City County

Portsmouth City County

Powhatan County

Prince Edward County

Prince George County

Prince William County

Pulaski County

Radford County

Rappahannock County

Richmond County

Richmond City County

Roanoke County

Rockbridge County

Rockingham County

Russell County

Salem County

Scott County

Shenandoah County

Smyth County

Southampton County

Spotsylvania County

Stafford County

Staunton City County

Suffolk City County

Surry County

Sussex County

Tazewell County

Virginia Beach City County

Warren County

Washington County

Waynesboro City County

Westmoreland County

Wise County

Wythe County

York County