2023 Fall Events & Festivals in Richmond, VA
This fall, get ready to reacquaint yourself with fun! If summer festivals are for loud music, outdoor sports, and sweating, then fall festivals are for eating, culture, and enjoying the last few weeks before it’s too cold to be outside. Here, you can celebrate anything and everything in RVA. So grab your calendar and a pencil, and start marking down the dates of these fall events and festivals in Richmond.
Armenian Food Festival: September 8-9
The Armenian Food Festival has been put on each year (save for 2020) for more than 60 years, so you know it must be amazing! And it is – we think the secret is in the philo dough. Armenian culture isn’t one you might be exposed to very often, so this festival is an exciting opportunity to experience Armenian food and traditions first hand. You’ll probably dream about the Derev (stuffed grape leaves), Lamajoon (Armenian Meat Pie), or the Bourma (rolled philo dough filled with walnuts) all year long.
Festival of India: September 9-10
Did you know that India is so large, it takes up to 30 hours to drive across from east to west and more than 40 hours to get across from north to south?! With such a huge area, it’s no wonder there are so many different subcultures and traditions within the country. The Festival of India, since 1981, has done it’s best to give a well-rounded display of Indian culture, food, music, and dance!
St. Benedict Oktoberfest: September 15-17
Nothing says Fall quite like the arrival of the St. Benedict Oktoberfest! Test your feats of strength with a stein-holding contest (we totally haven’t been practicing all year), eat authentic and sehr-delicious German food, and of course enjoy loads of German beers, both local and not! Prost!
VA PrideFest: September 23
This free, family-friendly festival takes place at Brown’s Island and is planned and implemented by Virginia Pride, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing resources and an open and approachable forum for the LGBT Community. VA Pridefest 2023 will feature national, regional and local entertainment on two stages, more than 120 vendors, food, drinks and fun!
OystoberFest: October 7
It’s pretty simple; if you like oysters, you have to go! The OystoberFest in Ginter Park features live music, good beer, and – you guessed it – lots of oysters (raw, steamed, and fried!) The event is free to attend but a suggested $2 donation will support St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church outreach programs.
Powhatan’s Festival of the Grape: October 7
We love wine, and we love festivals celebrating wine, and we especially love festivals celebrating wine in beautiful weather. Check out the 20th (Mostly) Annual Festival of the Grape! Celebrate in the streets with 7,000 of your closest friends while tasting the best whites, reds, roses, and more that Virginia has to offer.
Richmond Veg Fest: October 7
Vegans, a food festival just for you! You can attend the Richmond Veg Fest at Byrd Park with the knowledge that you’ll be able to eat anything and everything on the menu. Richmond Veg Fest’s mission is “to highlight a vegan diet along with the resources that exist in RVA that make veganism a positive and easy choice.”
2nd Street Festival: October 7-8
The 35th annual 2nd Street Festival returns in October to celebrate the rich culture of the historic Jackson Ward neighborhood! This free festival is put on by Venture Richmond and has grown to be one of Richmond’s (and the Mid-Atlantic’s!) largest festivals, with nearly 30,000 folks visiting Jackson Ward. This year’s festival features headliner Average White Band, regarded as one of the top Soul, R&B and Jazz-Funk groups, and first known for the timeless instrumental hit ‘Pick Up the Pieces.’
Richmond Folk Festival: October 13-15
If you can only go to one festival all year, this one has to be a contender. Some say it’s THE festival in Richmond. The Richmond Folk Festival brings together more than 200,000 people to celebrate great music along the James at Brown’s Island. As the east coast’s largest folk festival, it’s got an impressive lineup of performers, food, beer, wine, and activities. Don’t miss it!
Scott’s Addition Pumpkin Festival: October 21
The free Scott’s Addition Pumpkin Festival is a true celebration of this most notable of fall flavors – pumpkin! Pumpkin everything is accompanied by music good enough to dance to, drinks, and (maybe, but no promises) food that doesn’t include pumpkin.
Richmond Oktoberfest: October 20-21
Wait, isn’t Oktoberfest supposed to be in September? Ja, genau, but we’re not in Munich, are we? Celebrate like the Bavarians a month later with all the brats, beers, and oompa music you can handle. The Richmond Oktoberfest has plenty of all your lieblingsessen in stock: bratwurst, knockwurst, pork roast, potato pancakes, apfelkuchen, and of course, beer. This year, the event is moving to the Farm Bureau Center at the Meadow Event Park, in Doswell, VA.
Lewis Ginter HarvestFest: October 28
Lewis Ginter’s HarvestFest will get you in the fall spirit! Included in the general admission ticket, HarvestFest will have live music, food, adult beverages, and family-friendly activities! Plus, the Garden Cafe and Bloemendaal House tent will feature German fare in the Oktoberfest spirit!
Richmond Zombie Walk: October 28
We can only imagine this event began when someone thought, “What if we got a bunch of people – erm zombies – together to just walk down the street…” Well, 18 years later, the Zombie Walk is quite a hit! To join, all you have to do is show up in Carytown as a zombie or a victim at the walk’s starting point, and scare as many unsuspecting passersby as you can! Plus, the event benefits the American Cancer Society, so you know you’re scaring for a charitable cause.
Halloween on Hanover: October 31
Though it has yet to be confirmed this year, Halloween on Hanover Avenue is truly special, as the residents of 1800-2200 blocks come together each year to create a larger than life halloween trick-or-treating experience. Past years have featured a full pirate ship, complete with the characters of Pirates of the Caribbean giving out candy. And the rest of the neighborhood doesn’t like to be outdone, so you know it’s 4 blocks of all-out Halloween madness!
Inlight Richmond: November 3-4
Put on by 1708 Gallery since 2008, Inlight Richmond has illuminated Richmond’s streets with light-based installations, performances, and interactive projects over the course of a weekend. InLight 2023 will take place along the 200 to 400 blocks of West Broad Street in the downtown Arts District.
Richmond Highland Games: November 4-5
The Richmond Highland Games returns for 2023 in a new location: Dorey Park and Recreation Center in Henrico County. This event will feature all things Celtic including Bagpipe Bands, Highland and Irish Dance competitions, delicious Irish Coffee, Harp and Fiddle Competitions, Gaelic Hurling, Rugby, Heavy Athletic Competitions, Caber tossing, hammer throws, tasty traditional foods, scotch eggs, fish and chips, scones, and many more delicious treats. This is a family-friendly event!
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