Virginia International Tattoo

APRIL 20–23, 2023
April 19–21, 2024


As the North American home to NATO, Norfolk celebrates the NATO Festival and the Virginia International Tattoo with pride and pageantry every spring. The Tattoo blends tradition and entertainment in the form of bagpipers, military bands, fife and drum corps and drill teams that make up the hundreds of performers who come to Virginia once a year for the festival. Follow this four-day schedule to make the most your Tattoo experience and learn more about the military and maritime history in Norfolk.


A perfect start to the morning is a visit to the MacArthur Memorial, the final resting place of General Douglas MacArthur and his wife. Discover the compelling story of this five-star Army General and the millions of American men and women who served our nation during the Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, the Occupation of Japan and the Korean War.

Enjoy lunch and shopping at Selden Market, an eclectic, historic shopping hall that features local artisans, chefs and new pop-up shops. Because it is ever-changing, every time you visit Norfolk there will be different vendors.

Then explore Norfolk’s waterways on the American Rover Sailing Cruise, a 120-passenger tall ship offering daytime and sunset harbor cruises on the Elizabeth River. 


Experience the life of a sailor on a tour of Naval Station Norfolk, the world’s largest naval base, via the Victory Rover. Two-hour cruises depart daily from Nauticus, home of the Battleship Wisconsin, in Downtown Norfolk. Cruise past the vessels that ensure our freedom—destroyers, cruisers, submarines, aircraft carriers and more. A fascinating fact- and fun-filled narration is provided.

Spend the afternoon relaxing along a tree-lined riverbank at the Hermitage Museum & Gardens. This early 20th century historic home offers an extraordinary trip through antiquity. The museum and gardens consist of a world-wide art collection and contemporary exhibition galleries, all surrounded by 12 acres of formal gardens.

Next, board City Cruises by Hornblower which offers panoramic views of Norfolk and the Navy’s Atlantic Fleet while cruising on the Elizabeth River. City Cruises by Hornblower offers dinner and lunch cruises that feature an all-you-can-eat buffet and entertainment.


The morning is filled with excitement at the Parade of Nations, featuring international floats, marching bands and specialty units proudly on display. *Special seating is available for groups.

Immediately following the parade, join in a celebration and appreciation of Norfolk’s NATO Headquarters at the NATO Fest International Village, an outdoor festival held at Town Point Park. Continue exploring international heritage with cultural performances, exhibit booths, international art, cuisine and craft beers. It’s a wonderful spot for groups to enjoy lunch on their own with a beautiful view of the waterfront.

Head over to Scope Arena to kick off the night at the Hullabaloo, a free, three-hour outdoor festival. Afterward, experience the Virginia International Tattoo, a military performance with participation from eight to 10 countries including all five United States military branches. See military bands from around the world take center stage in a 120-minute performance.


Before you head home, be sure to visit the Norfolk Botanical Garden. Take a fun-filled boat ride and explore the surrounding waterways or hop aboard the tram for a narrated tour and discover a variety of plants from cultivated to wild.

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