Summer 2019 Events & Festivals in Richmond, VA
The weather is hot, the river is refreshing, and festival season is in full swing. Food, music, sports, culture, and more, Richmond has a festival (or several) for everyone this summer. Here, the hard work of planning your weekends has been done for you with our list of the best events and festivals to attend in Richmond this Summer. Are we missing something? Let us know, and we’ll add it!
Dominion Riverrock: May 17-19
Richmond’s river system, trails, and outdoor vibes are an integral part of the RVA culture – so much so that there’s a festival for it! And not just any festival, Dominion Riverrock is one of the world’s largest outdoor sports and music festivals. The weekend is packed full of events – mud runs, bike races, white-water kayaking, bouldering competitions, stand up paddle boarding, and more! And you know the high-flying Ultimate Airdogs are back! Anyone (or any dog) can participate in the amateur events, and for all the time between, you’ll find endless music and food!
Flowers After 5: Every Thursday June-September
Every Thursday of the summer (with the exception of July 4), Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens puts on Flowers After 5 Concerts, a music, food, and drink series that allows you to wander the gardens, have a few drinks, and listen to relaxing music as the day starts to cool down.
Richmond Greek Festival: May 30-June 2
Gyros, Souvlaki, Spanakopita, Baklava! The Richmond Greek Festival has arrived. Check out all of the music, dancing, and culture that the festival has to offer while feasting on all the Greek delights! In a rush? Go through the drive through and serve it up on the go or at home. And if you can’t wait until June, you can always pay a visit to Greek on Cary or Stella’s.
Broad Appetit: June 2
When 70+ of Richmond’s best restaurants create $3 dollar mini-dishes for all to enjoy, how could you possibly stay away? Multiple awards are given out at the end of the festival, including a People’s Choice Award. Broad Appetit benefits FeedMore, an organization that helps to solve hunger and nutrition problems in vulnerable areas. More thirsty than hungry? The festival also sells samples of various Virginia beers for just $6.
Richmond Shakespeare Festival: June 6-August 4
Come check out the Richmond Shakespeare Festival in the courtyard of an authentic Tudor home built in the 16th century! This year’s show will feature performances of The Tempest (June 6-30), and The Taming of the Shrew (July 11-August 4), as well as a special performance of The Compleat Wrks of Wllm Shkspr (July 6). Performances start at 7:30 p.m.
Beer, Bourbon, & BBQ: June 8
This festival is perhaps the ultimate afternoon of overindulgence. Featuring 40 types of Bourbon, 60 beers on tap, AND unlimited tastings, Bourbon, Beer, and BBQ is a fun way to spend the day filling up on your favorite vices. A portion of the proceeds go to Spirit of Hope Children’s Foundation.
RVA East End Festival: June 8-9
The RVA East End Festival brings a fun and musical weekend to Chimborazo Park! The festival includes performances by the Richmond Symphony, Legacy Band, Mahogany Soul, Saint Square, Dap Mallory Band, plus food trucks, a Kids Zone, and more! Proceeds aid music education in Richmond Public Schools.
Innsbrook Taste of Virginia Festival: July 6
The Taste of Virginia showcases cuisine from the best local restaurants, each vying for the title of “Taste of Virginia.” The event features an array of flavors, including Virginia wine and craft beer selections. Enjoy live music, entertainment, a kids-zone, and a grand finale fireworks show!
Science on Tap: Togas and Tectonics: July 11
Check out the Science Museum of Virginia’s adult-only Science on Tap event, Togas and Tectonics! Guests can enjoy an astronomy show about volcanoes in space, participate in volcano trivia on a 6-foot-diameter Science on a Sphere®, sample Italian wine and cheese pairings, and create some fun paper mosaic items!
Hanover Tomato Festival: July 12-13
The Hanover Tomato Festival features rides, tomatoes, live music, tomatoes, games, and tomatoes! This family-friendly (and free!) event attracts over 25,000 attendees each year and features over 200 vendors with creative, unique tomato dishes.
AlterNatives’ Bluegrass & Brews: July 20
The Bluegrass & Brews Festival will offer homegrown music, brews, and Southern Cuisine while raising awareness about the work of the Highland Support Project to Protect, Preserve, and Restore mountain regions across the Americas. Admission is free and open to the public, and food and brews will be available to purchase.
Dragon Boat Festival: August 3
Come watch as colorfully-costumed Richmonders race dragon boats down the James River. Or if you’re feeling up for it, be one of those colorfully-costumed Richmonders racing down the river! Between boat races, there will be Chinese cultural performances and plenty of food trucks to keep you nourished.
Richmond Jazz and Music Festival: August 8-11
For one weekend in August, Maymont Park is taken over by beautiful sounds and expressions of creativity in the form of jazz. The festival is a true celebration of the art-form and makes for a full weekend of entertainment. The Richmond Jazz Fest is one of the largest such festivals on the East Coast, meaning you’ll certainly get your saxophone and soul fix here!
Filipino Festival: August 9-10
Engage all your senses in Filipino culture at the annual Filipino Festival. Watch dancers of all ages garnished in traditional attire perform a folk dance, and enjoy traditional music while you eat. The food list includes always-delicious Chicken Adobo, Pork Barbecue skewers, Empanadas, and Turon (a banana roll dessert).
Carytown Watermelon Festival: August 11
Watermelon and summer go together like peanut butter and jelly. Don’t believe us? Just ask the nearly 100,000 people who flock to Carytown each August for Virginia’s largest single-day festival. With more than 3,000 watermelons, 80 musicians, a beer garden, and watermelon-themed goods and edibles, you’ll be full and entertained at the annual Carytown Watermelon Festival.
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