Save the Dates: The Can’t Miss Festivals in Virginia, Part 2

by Patricia Keppel | Posted: Jan 20, 2017 | Updated: Jan 16, 2018

Comments: 23 Comments


Looking for more incredible Virginia festivals to attend this year? From live entertainment to local cuisine, here are more annual festivals to add to your 2018 calendar.

This is part two in a series. Read part one here.



March 18, 2018

If you’re interested in learning how things work, head to the Maker Faire in Reston. Engineers, artists, scientists, craftsmen, and many other skilled professionals gather to showcase their passions, teaching you unique hands-on skills such as soldering, welding, flying drones, and spinning yarn, to name just a few. Whether they consider these pursuits hobbies, experiments, or full-time projects, each demonstrator has extensive knowledge to share during the festival. Get Your Tickets



March 21-25, 2018

The written word comes alive during the Virginia Festival of the Book, held annually in Charlottesville. Attracting audiences of more than 20,000 people, it is the largest community-based book event in the Mid-Atlantic region. Authors like  Edgar Award-nominee Lyndsay Faye, Lisa Ko, Justin Spring, and Alisha Rai attend for live book readings and signings, as well as various other events including children’s programs and hands-on writing workshops. Find out more about individual events, most of which are free, on the festival website.


Virginia Horse Festival—Doswell

March 23-25, 2018

Secretariat descendants Groundshaker and Moe

Horse enthusiasts, whether owners, riders, or spectators, all gather for the Virginia Horse Festival, a premier celebration at Meadow Event Park. Over three days, equestrian fans can attend seminars, demos, and clinics, and then shop for gear including boots, clothing, jewelry, art, and even trailers, feed, and other horse supplies. With more than 60,000 square feet dedicated to showcasing the animals, the festival is a must-attend for every horse lover. In addition to seminars and shopping, attendees can meet Groundshaker and Moe, the great-great granddaughter and great-great grandson of Secretariat, one of the most incredible horses to have ever lived, during the 9th annual Secretariat Birthday Celebration.


 May 5, 2018

The 40th Annual Heart of Virginia Festival brings together the best of the Commonwealth for one day in Farmville, with magic shows, local artwork, crafts, and all your favorite festival foods. Throughout the day, performers play a wide range of musical sets, from jazz and soul to rock and bluegrass. Start the day with the 10k run, then stop by the antique car show to view an impressive assortment of restored classic cars.



July 19-21, 2018

Now in its 41st year, the Virginia Lake Festival attracts nearly 100,000 visitors, and has been named one of the top 20 events in July by the Southeast Tourism Society. Although waterfront activities play a big role in the festival, there is something for everyone, including an antique auto show, a 5k run, arts and crafts, and live music performances. Want to experience the lake in a fun and exciting way? Book a helicopter ride or hot air balloon tour for an extraordinary experience during the festival. When the sun goes down, attendees gather along the shoreline to watch the illuminating fireworks show over Buggs Island Lake and the Kerr Lake Reservoir.



July 25-29, 2018


Spanning over 80 acres of mountain plateau land off the Blue Ridge Parkway, Floydfest combines music, arts, and local culture into five days of unforgettable fun. The festival celebrates Virginia’s Great Outdoors with kayaking, hiking, mountain biking, and even disc golf courses throughout the festival grounds. Walk over to the “Global Village” to peruse goods from more than 100 artisans, learn crafts and unique skills in the ongoing workshops and demonstrations, and find every type of food imaginable, whether you prefer sushi, burgers, or barbecue. Bring along the kids and head to the children’s area, complete with youth workshops, puppet shows, playgrounds, and live stage performances. And with babysitting services available, you can attend the later shows without worrying about the kids. Get Tickets



August 6-11, 2018

The oldest and largest fiddlers’ festival in the world, the Galax Old Fiddlers’ Convention pays tribute to the region’s rich culture and mountain music roots. Since 1935, this festival has brought musicians and bluegrass fans from around the world to discover the sound that defines the Blue Ridge Mountains. After 82 years, the festival is still one of the most affordable, fun events anywhere on the east coast, providing a family-friendly vacation option for those looking to learn more about Southwest Virginia’s extensive musical background. Tickets Sold at the Door



August 23-26, 2018

Lockn' Music Festival

Some of the most influential jam bands gather each year to play Lockn’, a four-day festival held in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Previous acts include Willie Nelson, Phil Lesh, Robert Plant, and Tom Petty. This year’s lineup has not yet been announced, but stay tuned to the website as the festival nears to learn about the expected acts. Along with nonstop musical acts, the festival highlights outdoor activities like mountain biking, hiking, camping, and even yoga, as well as local artists, crafts, and regional foods. Get Tickets


What other festivals are you planning on attending this year in Virginia? Let us know in the comments below, and look for Part 3 of the 2018 Festival Series coming up soon on the blog!








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We never miss Amelia Family Bluegrass in beautiful Amelia Virginia.
Third weekend in May 18th, 19th, and 20th. and August 17th, 18th, and 19th, 2017.

Albert Gerbino says:

The national day of the cowboy in Victoria Va. 4th SATURDAY IN JULY full day of bbq and shootouts lots of fun

Jeremy says:

Chesapeake Bay Reggae Festival – May 20-21, 2017 – Hampton, VA

I never miss Rooster Walk! Perfect size, great lineup, amazing people!

Pierceton Hobbs says:

Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion! A must for any music lover.

Crystal Rhodes says:

The Hungry Mother arts and crafts festival is held every year in August at Hungry Mother State park in Marion, Va.

Do they even have the Galax Bluegrass Fest. any more…if so when??

Please include the Lovettsville Oktoberfest in your part 3 series. Lovettsville Oktoberfest will be held on Friday, September 22, 2017 and Saturday, September 23, 2017.