Virginians know how to have a good time during their long and lazy summers. It’s the peak festival season, with bashes and blowouts, shindigs and soirees held all over the state, from the Blue Ridge to the Tidewater.
The key ingredient to any good festival? A bounty of eats and drinks, naturally! Read on for our low down on Virginia’s food festivals, and see how many you can hit up in 2017!
Tom Tom Founder’s Festival
Charlottesville: April 10-16, 2017
This citywide celebration around Thomas Jefferson's birthday (aka Founder's Day) includes forums, workshops, film screenings, and loads of live music. Between 60 diverse bands and 200 inspiring speakers, you're spoiled for cultural choices here. Food's at the heart of the Tom Tom proceedings. The free concert block parties at Lee Park come with food trucks and a craft beer garden, while Charlottesville’s best eateries offer prix fixe dinners during the festival’s Farm to Table Restaurant Week. From their downtown chili showdown to their community picnic, you won’t be short on foodie activities to partake in. And if you’re into watching some friendly competition, keep an eye on their craft cocktail competitions and iron chef competition!
More April festivals:
35th Annual Pungo Strawberry Festival
Virginia Beach: May 27-28, 2017
More than 100,000 attend this family-friendly, booze-free country jubilee, which includes parades, live music, 4H displays, and (it's important to emphasize) pig races. But of course the whole affair’s centered around luscious strawberries: You can chow down on fresh-picked fruits and also all kinds of strawberry-based confections, from shortcake and ice cream to chocolate-dipped delights.
More May festivals:
Deltaville Art and Seafood Festival - May 13, 2017
¿Qué Pasa? Festival of Virginia - May 6, 2017 (Richmond)
Smith Mountain Lake Beer & BBQ Festival - May 6, 2017 (Moneta)
The Mariners’ Craft Beer Festival - May 7, 2017 (Newport News)
Virginia Beer Festival - May 20-21 (Norfolk)
Virginia Aquarium Sensible Seafood Fest - May 26, 2017 (Virginia Beach)
Richmond: June 4, 2017
Bring your appetite to Broad Appétit: For a mere three bucks per sample (five if you want dessert), you can taste your way through more than 50 of Richmond’s standout restaurants. That’s not all: The West Broad Street fiesta will also include a slew of local meat, produce, dairy, baked goods, and other eats for sale—plus craft beer and wine!
More June festivals:
Vintage Virginia Wine and Food Festival - June 3-4 (Centreville)
Fredericksburg Food Truck Festival - June 24, 2017
Vine on the Waterfront - June 24, 2017 (Alexandria)
Norfolk Bayou Boogaloo & Cajun Food Festival - June 23-25, 2017
Richmond Vegetarian Festival - June 24, 2017
Northern Virginia Summer BrewFest - June 24-25 (Centreville)
25th Annual Giant National Capital Barbecue Battle - June 24-25 (DC)
Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Festival - June 10, 2017 (Richmond)
Floyd: July 26-30, 2017
Bringing sounds and stylings from all over the world to the gorgeous Blue Ridge Mountains, FloydFest is a beloved music festival tucked into the woods. Besides all the great tunes going down on multiple stages, you’ve got some excellent food vendors and plenty of libations (as in the Pink Floyd Beer and Wine Garden) to keep those clapping hands and grooving feet fueled up.
More July festivals:
Virginia Craft Brewers Festival
Charlottesville: August 19, 2017
There’s some fabulous craft beer being brewed in the Commonwealth, and one of the best overall showcases for it is this hugely popular festival in downtown Charlottesville thrown by the Virginia Craft Brewers Guild. More than 100 breweries hailing from every corner of the state serve up their best stuff. Hope you’re thirsty!
More August festivals:
Great Grapes! Wine & Food Festival
Leesburg: September 9, 2017
It comes as a surprise to many that Virginia’s one of the top grape-growing states in the country. Gain some firsthand experience with the dazzling breadth of homegrown vino at Great Grapes!, which pours more than 150 different wines from better than a dozen Virginia wineries. Cheers!
More September festivals:
Taste of the Mountains Street Festival - September 2, 2017 (Madison)
Hoptoberfest - September 3, 2017 (Culpeper)