26 August 2022

Festivals in Norfolk

Norfolk plays host to plenty of extraordinary festivals and special events, providing entertaining and culturally enriched experiences for individuals and families alike. Many of these signature events draw thousands of visitors annually from across the world. Check out some of our favorite early spring and summer festivals!

SPRING FESTIVALS

VIRGINIA INTERNATIONAL TATTOO
SCOPE ARENA – APRIL 20- APRIL 23, 2023

It’s no secret Norfolk has a serious appreciation for our military. After all, Norfolk is home to the largest naval base in the world. In 1997, the Virginia Arts Festival presented the city with what has now become a staple to Norfolk’s performing arts scene; The Virginia International Tattoo. This annual spectacular event showcases inspirational military music, majestic massed pipes and drums, show-stopping drill team maneuvers and hundreds of international performers! This display of military talent is incomparable to any other event, so don’t miss it.

VIRGINIA WINE FESTIVAL
TOWN POINT PARK – May 2023

Courtesy of Norfolk Festevents, Ltd.

Winter is over, the bees are buzzing, and the locals are sipping their way through the Town Point Virginia Wine Festival. There’s no better way to spring into summer than by sampling Virginia vintages with the Elizabeth River as your backdrop. For a local’s secret, pack yourself a picnic and attend the festival on Sunday to avoid the long lines. So sip, swirl and enjoy the extraordinary taste of Virginia grapes! 

Stockley Gardens Spring Arts Festival
May 2023

Come to Ghent for the regionally famous Stockley Gardens Art Festival. This festival is free to the public and occurs twice yearly, featuring all medians of art imaginable! Enjoy pizza slices from Cogan’s Pizza, followed by family-favorite Joysicles. Families are encouraged to bring their strollers and furry best friends to tag along. All of the money raised during these events contribute directly to housing, transportation and medical care for individuals with developmental disabilities. 

BAYOU BON VIVANT: BAYOU BON VIVANT: CAJUN MUSIC & FOOD FESTIVAL
TOWN POINT PARK – MAY 2023

Festevents brings a taste of Louisiana to Norfolk with more than 8,000 pounds of Cajun crawfish at your fingertips! Have you always wanted to visit Cajun country or just simply miss good ole Louisiana cooking? Then come eat your way through the Bayou Bon Vivant: Cajun Music & Food Festival.  From po’ boys to alligator sausages and all the beignets in between, this foodie festival will be sure to satisfy your Cajun craves.

PATRIOTIC FESTIVAL
WATERSIDE DRIVE | TOWN POINT PARK | SCOPE – MAY 26–28, 2023 

Courtesy of Norfolk Festevents, Ltd.

Patriotic Festival comes to the vibrant Norfolk waterfront on Memorial Day weekend. Norfolk is the Navy capital of the world, and what better way to commemorate than by hosting the Patriotic Festival? It’s a concert breaking into the summer season that you surely don’t want to miss. Enjoy performances by country artists Walker Hayes, Corey Kent, Sam Hunt, Jordan Davis, Cody Johnson and Randy Houser. All performances will take place at Scope Arena in Downtown Norfolk.

Summer Festivals

HARBORFEST
JUNE 2023

Tis the season for fireworks, boating and all things outside! Harborfest is a must-attend event in Norfolk. The festival features the famous Parade of Sail, outdoor vendors, live music, delicious eats and drinks, plus a fabulous fireworks display on the beautiful Norfolk waterfront.

PRIDEFEST
JUNE 2023

PrideFest has become a staple to Norfolk’s festival scene for over 30 years, making our city more dynamic, diverse and distinct than ever! This vibrant festival had a humble beginning at Lakewood Park and has now grown into one of the hottest events of the summer! 

Fourth of July Great American Picnic
Town Point Park – July 4, 2023

What better place to celebrate Independence Day than in the heart of Norfolk? Town Point Park offers classic fare like hot dogs, hamburgers, barbecue, seafood, buttered corn on the cob, juicy watermelon and lemonade! Fill up your plates, sit back and relax as you watch the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command Band kick off the holiday celebrations. Stick around until 9:30 for a spectacular fireworks display just over the Elizabeth River!   

LATINO MUSIC FESTIVAL
TOWN POINT PARK – JULY 2023

Courtesy of Norfolk Festevents, Ltd.

Every summer Town Point Park transforms into one giant dance floor. We encourage you to grab your favorite dance partner and join us for an evening of the hottest salsa, meringue and guaguanco dancing the East Coast has ever seen. Live explosive Latin music by local, regional and national recording artists will fill the park and have your feet dancing all night long. This cultural event will not only showcase stellar Latin beats but will also deliver the best Latin cuisine Norfolk has to offer.  

Norfolk Waterfront Jazz Festival
Town Point Park – August 26–27, 2022

Pull up your lawn chair to the longest-running Jazz Festival in Hampton Roads! Chill on Norfolk’s waterfront while indulging in the tunes of sweet smooth Jazz and R&B. Jazz is arguably the truest art form of America, so let these talented musicians transform you into the era of the 1900s. Don’t forget to snack, drink and shop at the festival’s marketplace too!

CaribFEST
Town Point Park – September 10, 2022

Come and experience the fusion of food, colors, creativity, incredible art and live, authentic Caribbean music along the waterside at Town Point Park! Watch the Parade of Bands full of stunning, vibrant colorful costumes with unique themes and music to get everyone moving. The festivities only get better with a full-blown concert of international artists on the main stage plus so much more.

NashFest 757
Town Point Park – September 17, 2022

Hot chicken, hard drinks, and Music City sounds! NashFest 757, a one-day festival celebrating the iconic culture and cuisine of Nashville is back and will take place on Saturday, September 17, 2022 at Town Point Park along the Downtown Norfolk Waterfront! Fusing together all of the elements that make Nashville one of America’s most popular cities, NashFest 757 will offer an experience similar to an evening stroll down Broadway, featuring national and local recording artists, mouth-watering hot chicken, barbecue, and biscuits, line dancing, craft beer and whiskey tastings, bull riding, and much more for what promises to be one of The 757’s hottest new summer events!

FALL FESTIVALS

Children’s Festival
Town Point Park – October 1, 2022

Coastal Virginia’s most beloved family festival is filled with more than 100 creative and interactive activities, storytelling, hands-on workshops and educational displays, cultural experiences, arts and crafts, costumed characters and more! Parents and children alike can frolic through the many imagination stations, shows and displays that are on site. Then visit the multiple exhibitions and activities that are sure to get the creative juices flowing.

Mars Fest: 2nd Annual Public Arts Festival
ODU – October 14–16

This second annual event at ODU presents Mars: a large-scale sculpture by UK-based artist Luke Jerram. Join in the adventure full of food, vendors, dance, music and conversation, all exploring the Martian landscape and igniting the imagination of young and old. Longside lively activities, telescopes will be available to observe the star of the show: the actual red planet.

Virginia Wine Festival – Fall
Town Point Park – October 15–16, 2022

festevents, Instagram

Back again! The Town Point Virginia Wine Festival is a fall favorite. There’s no better time for sampling Virginia vintages with the Elizabeth River as your backdrop. For a local’s secret, pack yourself a picnic and attend the festival on Sunday to avoid the long lines. So sip, swirl and enjoy the extraordinary taste of Virginia grapes! 

Stockley Gardens Fall Arts Festival
Oct. 15–16, 2022

Come to Ghent for the regionally famous Stockley Gardens Art Festival. This festival is free to the public and occurs twice yearly, featuring all medians of art imaginable! Enjoy pizza slices from Cogan’s Pizza, followed by family-favorite Joysicles. Families are encouraged to bring their strollers and furry best friends to tag along. All of the money raised during these events

NEON Festival
NEON DISTRICT – October 20–21, 2022

The 7th Annual NEON Festival will take place on Thursday, October 20 and Friday, October 21, 2022 from 6–10 p.m. in Norfolk’s first official arts district, the NEON District. The NEON Festival is a free, two evening event that encourages visitors to explore and discover the NEON District. The festival celebrates the energy in NEON and draws from the passion and creativity in Downtown and the region. Anchored by the Chrysler Museum of Art and Harrison Opera House and extending to The Plot on Granby Street, the NEON District includes many creative small businesses and arts partners that contribute to the festivities.

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