The excellent thing about art is that it comes in so many forms. Dance, drama, music, oil on canvas … and chalk. Another excellent thing about art is that Virginia has festivals dedicated to its many forms. Here are seven for your calendar consideration.
Chalk the Walk ARTsplosion takes over three blocks of the Virginia Beach boardwalk this Saturday, July 13. With the theme “50 Years of Fun in the Sun,” a nod to the 50th anniversary of the City of Virginia Beach, 200 artists will focus their chalk creations on Virginia Beach’s rich heritage and its prominence as a beach community.
Expect to see kids age 12 to 16 compete against each other while amateurs and pros chalk it out in their respective divisions. Trophies and cash prizes are up for grabs. The best news? There’s no entry fee! The Boardwalk (16th-18th Streets) is your canvas as long as you have the chalk and a bright idea. Note: Children 11 and younger will have a separate area to chalk their own walk.
The Virginia Shakespeare Festival is held on the campus of the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg. Three Shakespeare works are performed over six weeks giving fans of the Bard ample time to immerse themselves in Elizabethan dramatic arts. While one play has passed, two remain. Get your tickets for The Tragedy of King Richard III (July 11-14, 17-21) and Turn of the Screw (July 25-28, July 31-August 4).
- American Shakespeare Center’s Blackfriars Playhouse, Staunton
- Richmond Shakespeare
- Shakespeare in the Park – Shenandoah National Park – July 17-18, August 14-15
- Shakespeare at Poplar Forest – Forest – July 20
Clarksville will host the annual Virginia Lake Festival July 18-20. Jam-packed with family fun, this festival has been recognized as an annual “Top 20 Event” by Southeast Tourism Society for many years. Tethered hot air balloon rides kick off the event that will include sand sculpting and blocks of artisans and crafters. Antique cars, helicopter rides, hot air balloon flights, and a great variety of food are why nearly 100,000 people flock to this festival each year.
A juried show of more than 100 artisans, the Hungry Mother Arts and Crafts Festival is held each year at Hungry Mother State Park in Marion. Make your way there Friday, July 19, where the festival is happening from 10 until 6.
Main Street Lexington shuts down August 24 for the annual Rockbridge Community Festival. This is the 37th annual festival where you can expect to find artisans offering wreaths, photography, paintings, woodcrafts, and much more. Live music and plenty of food vendors will help you spend the day.
Nearly 100 artists from New York to Florida display at the Seawall Art Show in Portsmouth. Come out either Saturday or Sunday, August 24 or 25 to browse and/or buy an amazing selection of artwork. Expect to see oils, acrylics, watercolors, pastels, photography, pottery, stained glass, baskets, jewelry and more.
The Chinquapin Festival takes place just off the Blue Ridge Parkway in Meadows of Dan every Labor Day weekend, September 1-3. There you’ll find fun fall-themed arts and crafts like gourd birdhouses and cornhusk dolls. There is no admission fee unless you want to try out the Corn Acoustics Corn Maze!
Plan for Fall: Fall Arts Festivals
- Mathews Art Group Art Show – Mathews – September 6-7
- Artisans in the Park – Virginia Beach – September 7-8
- 43rd Street Festival of the Arts – Richmond – September 14
- Oktoberfest International Arts and Culture Festival – Martinsville – October 5
- Taste of Culpeper – A Wine, Food and Arts Festival – Culpeper, October 13
- Bodacious Bazaar & Art Festival – Hampton – November 8-10
- Virginia’s Summer Festivals
- Virginia’s Food Festivals
- 8 Incredible Summer Music Festivals
- 9 Summer Wine Festivals to LOVE
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