April 18–21, 2024
THURSDAY–SATURDAY 7:30 P.M.
SUNDAY MATINEE 2:30 P.M.
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.
Arrive in Norfolk and board City Cruises Norfolk which offers panoramic views of Norfolk and the Navy’s Atlantic Fleet while cruising on the Elizabeth River. City Cruises Norfolk 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.
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.
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.
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.
Tour Nauticus, a fun and exciting maritime discovery center. Nauticus is also home to the Hampton Roads Naval Museum and Battleship Wisconsin. The Hampton Roads Naval Museum introduces over 200 years of naval history in Coastal Virginia, and the Battleship Wisconsin is the largest and last battleship ever built by the U.S. Navy.
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. Or, board the Victory Rover Naval Base Cruise and experience a two-hour narrated Naval Base cruise with daily departures from Nauticus.
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.