Fall 2021 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 the River City. So grab your calendar and a pencil, and start marking down the dates of these fall festivals in Richmond.
Armenian Food Festival: September 10-12
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.
St. Benedict Oktoberfest: September 17-19
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!
Festival of India: September 25-26
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 does it’s best to give a well-rounded display of Indian culture, food, music, and dance from around the country. Be sure to stay for the Bollywood and Bhangra dancing, it’s amazing!
Richmond Oktoberfest: October 1-2
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 event takes place at the Richmond International Raceway, and tickets are cheaper if you purchase them in advance!
Richmond Veg Fest: October 2
Vegans, a festival just for you! You can attend with the knowledge that you’ll be able to eat anything and everything on the menu. For those with a less restrictive diet, the Richmond Veg Fest can still be a super cool experience, because let’s be honest, who doesn’t love a food festival?!
Powhatan’s Festival of the Grape: October 2
We love wine, and we love festivals celebrating wine, and we especially love festivals celebrating wine in beautiful weather. Check out the 18th 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.
2nd Street Festival: October 2-3
The 33rd 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 largest festivals, with nearly 30,000 folks visiting Jackson Ward. This year’s festival will feature headliner Plunky & Oneness on October 2, and many other amazing artists will be showcased over the two-day event.
Richmond Folk Festival: October 8-10
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!
OystoberFest: October 16
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.
Scott’s Addition Pumpkin Festival: October 16
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 Zombie Walk: October 30
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, 16 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.
Central VA Celtic Festival & Highland Games: October 30-31
The Central Virginia Celtic Festival and Highland Games has an extensive lineup of events of which you might never have heard. The games hold fiddle competitions, bagpipe contests, and sword fights. Those aren’t up your alley? How about the sheepdog competition? Or maybe it’s the whiskey tasting? It’s impossible not to find something for everyone here.
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 12-13
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. This year’s version takes place at Great Shiplock Park, Chapel Island, and nearby sites along the Virginia Capital Trail and Low Line in Richmond. Artists are invited to propose projects that engage with and expand upon the multiple themes and histories that can be found at these sites.
VA PrideFest 2021: TBD
This free, family-friendly festival usually 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. The 2021 PrideFest is TBD and planning for at least some virtual programming!
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