The month of May is full of fun and exciting events happening all across the Commonwealth. Whether you are an adventure seeker, a foodie, or a music lover, you have an enjoyable month ahead. Pick your favorites and mark your calendar!
Appalachian Trail Days—Damascus
Each year in May, hikers from all over gather in Damascus during Appalachian Trail Days to celebrate the Appalachian Trail. This three day, family friendly outing is one of the most popular small-town events. Visitors are welcome to enjoy live music, an auction, parade, presentations and workshops, hikes, movies, great food, and a hiker’s talent show.
Plan on attending Virginia Hyperfest, the east coast’s largest motorsports event! Pack your cooler, grab some friends, and experience some of the many activities featured. Check out the SpeedTrendSociety Car Show, then experience the thrill yourself when you sign up for HyperDRIVES, where participants can drive their own car on the track with an expert instructor. Take a helicopter ride or a race car ride-along, or if you’re coming with children, visit the kids zone and see live music performances. Take part in the PRS Air Guitar Contest and several different spectator games. This is an adventure filled weekend that you will not want to miss.
This event was created to showcase what makes Richmond stand out as an up-and-coming city. Riverrock features several outdoor and adventure activities with Richmond’s urban riverfront as the backdrop. Experience the largest outdoor sports and music festival in the country while participating in activities such as standup paddle boarding or kayaking on class III & IV rapids, biking and running on one of the many trails, and bouldering and slacklining, to name a few.
Virginia Gold Cup—Fauquier
When: May 4, 2019
Experience the world-famous Virginia Gold Cup steeplechase race at Great Meadow this May. This highly anticipated spring event has been a tradition in Fauquier since 1922 and is usually attended by over 50,000 spectators. Race day festivities include six hurdle and timber horse races, Jack Russell Terrier races, a hat contest and a tailgate decorating contest, in addition to special food and drink offerings.
Rosie’s Gaming Emporium—New Kent
When: Throughout May
Although they are officially opening on April 23, Rosie’s Gaming Emporium at Colonial Down’s will be in full swing in Virginia this May. With 600 historical horse racing machines, you’ll find plenty of fun gaming action throughout Rosie’s, and have endless chances to win huge jackpots while sipping on cocktails in the gaming lounge.
Spring Wine Festival—Mount Vernon
Celebrate Virginia’s rich wine history at the Spring Wine Festival, held on the grounds of George Washington’s Mount Vernon. Take an exclusive mansion tour and explore the wine cellar, and during this festival, visitors are invited to pack a blanket and relax on the east lawn with a view of the Potomac River as the backdrop. Listen to live music, purchase some fruit and cheese to snack on, and sample a variety of Virginia wines.
Gordonsville’s Famous Fried Chicken Festival—Gordonsville
When: May 18, 2019
Gordonsville’s claim to fame is their delicious fried chicken, which was served by local women to passengers on trains as they passed through the town. Visitors are welcome to savor this tasty and comforting culinary treat at the town’s Famous Fried Chicken Festival. The day will be full of activities and events including a cook-off contest, where participants will have their special fried chicken and pie recipes judged. Expect to find great entertainment and specialty vendors, in addition to local cideries and wineries that will be offering tastings and goods for sale.
Annual Chincoteague Seafood Festival—Chincoteague
The Chincoteague Seafood Festival is held annually to promote Virginia’s Eastern Shore and its vibrant seafood industry. Seafood lovers are invited to try the fresh local fare, like little neck clams, clam fritters, chowder and strips, raw and fried oysters, and steamed shrimp. Several non-seafood offerings are available, such as the ever-popular hushpuppies and sweet potato fries. Alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks will also be available for purchase. Festival goers can participate in the extravaganza raffle for a chance to win t-shirts, gift certificates, and lots of other prizes. This is an advance ticketed event that is usually sold out prior to the event.
Annual Rooster Walk Music & Food Festival—Martinsville
When: May 23-26, 2019
If you are looking to spend your Memorial Day weekend immersed in music and culture, you’ll want to be at the 11th annual Rooster Walk Music and Arts Festival. This event features musical performances across several different genres, including bluegrass, rock, reggae, jazz, country, and Americana, all in a family friendly environment. In addition to music, explore several vendor booths to partake in arts and crafts. Take the kids to the Kid’s Coop where they can participate in constant events and activities like open mic sessions, slip n’ slides, treasure hunts, and so much more.
Patriotic Fest—Virginia Beach
Visit Virginia Beach on the last weekend of May for Patriotic Fest, an annual event that celebrates our military. The Patriotic Fest is a three-day-long event featuring concerts, military expos, and displays. This year visitors can expect to see talented headliners like Old Dominion, Luke Combs, and Kane Brown.
Virginia NHRA Nationals—Dinwiddie
When: May 17-19, 2019
Virginia Motorsports Park will be hosting the 2019 Virginia NHRA Nationals. After hosting a sellout crowd at the 2018 event where records were set in almost every category, fans are awaiting what’s to come this year. Tickets for the event are on sale along with the addition of two VIP experiences for the only national event happening in the state of Virginia.
More notable events happening around Virginia this May:
- Orange Uncorked Wine Festival—Somerset, May 4-5, 2019
- Waynesboro Riverfest—Waynesboro, May 4, 2019
- Clinch River Days Festival—Saint Paul, May 30-June 1, 2019
- Blues, Brews, & BBQ—Yorktown, May 4, 2019
- Busch Gardens Food & Wine Festival—Williamsburg, select weekends in the month of May
- Virginia Arts Festival—Norfolk, events throughout the month of May
- Spring Town Point Wine Virginia Wine Festival—Norfolk, May 5-6, 2019
- Neptune’s Spring Wine & Food Festival—Virginia Beach, May 12, 2019
- 28th Annual Umoja Festival—Portsmouth, May 25-27, 2019
- RVA Sports Jubilee—Richmond, May 17-19, 2019