Virginia Beach’s oceanfront location makes it a perfect spot for festivals of all kinds. From flying kites and eating strawberry tacos (don’t knock it until you try it) to sipping she-crab soup and perusing some of the finest artwork in the country, there’s something for everyone!
East Coast She Crab Soup Classic
She-crab soup, a bisque made of heavy cream, Atlantic blue crab meat, crab roe, and dry sherry, is a staple on many restaurant menus in the southeastern Virginia region. The Classic dedicates a day to the soup with an annual celebration, offering festival-goers a chance to compete, taste, vote, and award the best bisque around!
Festival date: April 7, 2018
Atlantic Coast Kite Festival
Kites up to 80 feet (24 meters) long, including a giant octopus, will take to the skies at this year’s Atlantic Coast Kite Festival, which will also see contests, workshops, and more. Vendors will be on-site selling a variety of kites, and admission is free!
Festival dates: May 5–6, 2018
Pungo Strawberry Festival
For nearly 40 years, the popular Pungo Strawberry Festival has celebrated the star player in the “superfruit” category. Festivities at the celebration include a parade, continuous entertainment on three stages, and one of the largest carnivals on the East Coast. Vendors sell freshly picked strawberries, strawberry shortcake, chocolate-dipped strawberries, and even strawberry tacos. Before you leave, participate in a strawberry bake-off or enter the annual pie-eating contest!
Festival dates: May 25–27, 2018
Each June, Virginia Beach hosts the Patriotic Festival, honoring America’s armed forces personnel and their families. Entertainment includes performances by the US Fleet Forces Band, USO Show Troupe, and the United States Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon. There are also activities, military exhibits, demonstrations, tours, and more.
Festival dates: June 1–3, 2018
Boardwalk Art Show
The Boardwalk Art Show, which has taken place annually since 1952, is produced by the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA). More than 250 artists representing 13 fine art and contemporary craft mediums take part in the show at the Virginia Beach oceanfront. Along the boardwalk between 20th Street and 35th Street, visitors will find white tents full of fine art, delicious food, live music, and more.
Festival dates: June 14–17, 2018
American Music Festival
Past headliners of this festival included time-honored American bands such as The Doobie Brothers, The Boys, Foreigner, Zac Brown Band, Blue Oyster Cult, and Sheryl Crow. Party along the beach over the three-day-long Labor Day weekend and enjoy live music, food, drinks, and more.
Festival dates: August 31–September 2, 2018
Over 40 events take place during the Neptune Festival weekend, from sporting activities, such as an 8K run and surfing competition, to musical performances and an art and craft show. The festival is named after the 34-foot (10-meter) cast bronze Neptune statue that stands at the entryway of Neptune Park. His heroic-like stature, complete with a gigantic trident in hand, appears to be protecting the gentle shores of the Atlantic and serves as a reminder to protect our natural surroundings.
Festival dates: September 28–30, 2018