Festivals and Events in Virginia Beach

Festivals and events in Virginia Beach can make planning your beach vacation all that more exciting.  Combining a stay at the beach with a scheduled festival or event can really round things out.

Virginia Beach offers tourists and locals, alike, a diverse array of opportunities to enjoy the oceanfront beyond the beach.  Not to diminish the beautiful wide Virginia Beach coastline, because that’s the main draw and it’s awesome; but sprinkle in some fun and entertainment  on top of that and……wow!

Things have already started popping at the oceanfront.  Spring has arrived, with the promises of Summer sun and sand on the horizon.

Today and tomorrow, from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm is the 12th annual Atlantic Coast Kite Festival.  ” American Kite Association members from throughout the East Coast will present kite demonstrations, perform kite routines to music, and fly giant kites (up to 80 feet long) that include an octopus kite!  Kite vendors will be on site to sell various kinds of kites. ”

Next weekend is shaping up with several events at the oceanfront, which are sure to attract many to the beach.  Don’t forget, Mother’s Day is next Sunday, May 8.    An annual favorite, at the south end of the oceanfront, is Monsters on the Beach.  This is a family-targeted event held at 6th Street on the beach.  This is a ticketed event that will be held Saturday and Sunday.  It’s loud, fast and exciting fun for everyone.

Midway on the Boardwalk at the 24th Street Stage, the Virginia International Pan Fest will be held on Friday and Saturday.  “Fusing together the rhythm of steel bands, ocean breezes, and great international food, the breathtaking Virginia Beach oceanfront becomes an “island paradise” for the weekend.”

May 13-15 offers three big events scheduled along the oceanfront. Talk about something for everyone….Beach Music Weekend, Neptune Festival International Spring Wine Tasting and Pirate Party on the Beach.  Whether you’re swinging and foot-tapping to the sounds of the oldies right on the beach at 30th Street, or making your way through the tasting stations for wines from around the world at 31st Street Park, or getting your “aaaarrrrrrrggggghhhhh” on at the Pirate Party at 17th Street; you’re sure to find a good time.

May 20-22 offers three great events at the oceanfront and nearby.   At the 31st Street Stage, The Sonrise Music Festival features Top Christian artists offering a variety of musical genres including cutting edge Top 40, Hip Hop, Indie, and Inspirational music.

At the Virginia Beach Convention Center at 19th Street, Tidewater Comicon takes place  on Saturday and Sunday.  Tidewater Comicon is Virginia’s Largest Comic Book and Pop Culture Event featuring Special Media Guests that you know and love!

Head out to Pungo for Warbirds over the Beach, an annual WWII Air Show.  Experience hundreds of re-enactors, actual warplanes of these times and entertainment reminiscent of the 1940s.  See fighters and bombers of our armed forces patrol the countryside to protect our homeland from the Axis forces.

The Memorial Day Holiday arrives and officially welcomes in “The Season” with the Salute to Summer festivities at the oceanfront. Salute to Summer is an unabashed “Star-Spangled” salute to great music, fun in the sun, and the military men and women who have sacrificed their lives throughout our history.  Live, free entertainment on three outdoor stages features music presented by local and regional bands.

The 33rd annual Pungo Strawberry Festival can’t be missed if you are a fan of this delicious fruit.  Attendance is expected to reach 120,000 over the course of this two-day festival.  Not only does the Festival have all the strawberries you can eat, offered in over 50 different ways, you can participate in activities like a pie eating contest and strawberry bake-off.  Continuous entertainment will be showcased on three stages, along with a parade, and one of the largest carnivals on the East Coast.  The fun also includes  a multi-million dollar military display, pig races, youth art show, and arts and craft booths.

America loves the Military and Virginia Beach has a strong Military presence and loves to show its support.  Each year, Virginia Beach celebrates and honors them with a special festival; The Patriotic Festival.  It’s a great time for all!  Several national touring artists will be performing over this three-day event, June 3-5.

Sports Championships on the Beach!  Enjoy great athletic competition and the beach all-in-one!  June 10-12, Virginia Beach again hosts the North American Sand Soccer Championships at the oceanfront.  “Known internationally as the “Gran Prix” of beach/sand soccer, the NASSC is the premier amateur and pro/am beach/sand soccer event worldwide.  The festival offers many other sand sport competitions including a COED Flag Football Beach Bash, Beach All-Volley Tennis USA, Beach Wrestling, the North American SANDLAX Championships, Beach Field Hockey and Volley Futbol.

Since I just can’t make time every weekend to be at the oceanfront for all these great events and festivals, I do have to pick and choose. I try to mix things up, but there’s two annual festivals that I never miss.  The annual Boardwalk Art Show is one of my two “never miss” festivals.  In its 61st year, this festival is a four-day event held over Father’s Day weekend each year (June 16-19).  Over 300 artists display their works of art for viewing and purchase.  Food and entertainment are also offered throughout the four days.

June 24-25 brings Hardee’s Latin Fest to the Beach.  It is a celebration of the sights and sounds of the Latin experience.  “National performers electrify the diverse audience with high-energy tunes that move the crowd to dance under the stars.  All performances will take place on a giant stage on the beach at 24th Street. Vendors and cultural activities in the park will round out the festival.”  Go and get your groove on!!!

High Summer is upon us as July rolls in.  For all you rock ‘n rollers out there, Sandstock is a great annual festival that is a beach-inspired variation of Woodstock.  National and local tribute bands pay homage to some of the great rock bands of our time; Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, ZZ Top, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Fleetwood Mac, Chicago and more!  All shows are free to the public July 1-3.  Rock on!

Are you ready to get funky?  The FunkFest Beach Party lands on the beach August 26-28.  This annual festival features music generated over the years by influential legends such as James Brown, Sly and the Family Stone, George Clinton, and The Ohio Players.  Funk brings a strong rhythmic groove of electric bass and drums to the foreground.  The FunkFest Beach Party will take place on a stage on the beach at 24th Street.

The American Music Festival combines many genres of music for all to enjoy for three days over the Labor Day weekend (September 2-4) .  It is one of the largest outdoor music events on the East Coast. “The sounds of rock, jazz, country, R&B, and more flood the Virginia Beach oceanfront.  The American Music Festival brings together national, regional, and local acts to play on a gigantic stage erected on the beach at 5th Street, as well as stages in all the parks along the boardwalk. ”   In its 23rd year, past acts have included Tanya Tucker, Kansas, Doobie Brothers, Little Richard, Kool & the Gang, The Beach Boys, KC & The Sunshine Band, Foreigner, Isaac Hayes, Goo Goo Dolls, Hootie & the Blowfish, Journey, Zac Brown Band, Blue Oyster Cult, Sister Hazel, Boyz II Men, Stone Temple Pilots, ZZ Top, Train, and Sheryl Crow.

“Celebrating one of the most cherished musical genres of all time, Blues at the Beach features two days (September 9-11) of concerts on an outdoor stage.  Local, regional, and nationally-recognized Blues acts share the stage for a riveting and heartfelt tribute to the sights, sounds, and soul of the American experience.  Blues stars James Harman, Terry Garland, Billy Boy Arnold, and many like them, have presented standout performances at the Virginia Beach oceanfront.”

Earlier in my post, I shared that I had two personal favorites regarding festivals and events in Virginia Beach.  The first was the annual Boardwalk Art Show.  The second……drum roll, please…..the annual Neptune Festival Boardwalk Weekend and International Sandsculpting Championship.  If I had to pick only one favorite, then it would definitely be this end-of-Summer festival held at the end of September.  The weather is normally in the mid to upper 70’s and ocean temperatures are still warm.  Similar to the Boardwalk Art Show in June, over 240 artisans display handmade work from paintings and sculptures, to photography and glass work.  However, the added bonus for me, is the International Sandsculpting Championship.  I am absolutely amazed by this artistry.  It’s simply mesmerizing to watch the artists transform crystals of sand into magnificent sculptures.  The Neptune Festival Boardwalk Weekend runs September 30 through October 2.

Note:  We have weekly accommodations for many of these festivals and events.  Please see our Rental Inventory.

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