Written By Blair Koster
Outdoor Summer Festivals Full of Frolic & Fun
Ah, the sweet days of summer, with cloudless mornings and calm, starry evenings. Don’t miss the many exciting festivals of the season, celebrating wine, pork, tomatoes, peanuts, peaches and juicy watermelon. Watch the sky explode with the confetti of fireworks, kick back and listen to bluegrass and band favorites, take in a play, and simply enjoy the simple sweet freedom of summer.
Wednesday, July 4
Stars & Stripes Explosion
Virginia Beach Oceanfront
Hours: All day; 8 to 9:30 p.m., performances by Symphonicity (the symphony orchestra of Virginia Beach) and the Virginia Beach Chorale.
Fireworks show: 9:30 p.m.
Featuring: Multiple live performances with local bands saluting some of the biggest names in music.
Saturday, July 14
Hanover Tomato Festival
Pole Green Park (Mechanicsville)
Hours: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
More than 200 arts, crafts and vendors, a variety of entertainment, food and free activities for children of all ages.
Tuesday, July 17 & Wednesday, July 18
Gloucester Renaissance Festival
Historic District of Downtown Gloucester
6509 Main Street
Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.,
Saturday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday
Thursday, July 19 — Saturday, July 21
Downtown, Virginia Avenue (Clarksville)
Hours: Thursday and Friday evening (hours TBA); 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday
Don’t miss: The fireworks show on Saturday night.
Saturday, July 21 & Sunday, July 22
37th Annual Pork, Peanut, & Pine Festival
Chippokes Plantation State Park (Surry)
Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Admission: $5 adults; free for children 10 and under
Attractions: Gas & Steam Engine Show, third annual barbecue cook-off, daily tractor pull, peanut picking and hay baling demo, parade, arts and crafts and more.
Sunday, August 5
29th Annual Carytown Watermelon Festival
3126 W. Cary St. (Richmond)
Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Attractions: More than 3,000 watermelons, 80 musicians, over 100 exhibitors and a giant kids’ area.
Saturday, August 11 & Sunday, August 12
Dog Days Peach Festival
Great Country Farms (Bluemont)
Hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Bands: Saturday, Stray Wolf; Sunday, Elizabeth, Phil & Curtis
Bring: Your family and dog sporting a leash and rabies certification tag.
Don’t miss: Picking peaches and the Doggie Olympics
Saturday, August 18
7th Annual Blue Ridge Mountain Music Fest
The Evans Center at Wintergreen Resort
Hours: Begins at noon.
Admission: $25 adults; $10 students (6-17); free for children 6 and under
Tickets: (434) 325-8292
Bands: Nothin’ Fancy; The Steel Wheels; The Virginia Ramblers;
The Carys and Vigours
Friday, August 31 — Sunday, September 2
Verizon Wireless American Music Festival
Virginia Beach Oceanfront, 5th Street
Hours: All day
Admission: Prices to be announced. Go to BeachStreetUSA.com and click on “tickets,” or call (757) 491-SUNN (7866)
Attractions: The largest outdoor music event on the East Coast. Local, regional and national acts play on a gigantic stage on the beach at 5th Street and at stages in all parks along the oceanfront. Food vendors, beer and plenty of merchandise.
Friday, September 7 — Sunday, September 9
30th Annual Hampton Bay Days
Hours: noon to 11 p.m., Friday; 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.,
Saturday; noon to 6 p.m., Sunday
Attractions: Musical entertainment, more than 75 merchandise and craft vendors and more than 30 food vendors. Fireworks start at 10 p.m. on Saturday. Families can visit the Bay Education and Children’s Area, located at Carousel Park on Settlers Landing Road (next to the Virginia Air & Space Center), to learn about the Chesapeake Bay.