If your wedding happens to fall around one of these awesome events, consider adding it to your out-of-town guests’ suggested itinerary. Here are 14 Richmond events loved by locals and visitors. Music and art, the great outdoors, history, wine, NASCAR – and lots and lots of food festivals – make terrific guest side activities or even a wedding party outing.
Richmond Music Festivals
Richmond is a music-loving town as shown by these festivals. Take in a renowned jazz or folk festival – or mix your music with some history or even extreme sports!
Richmond Jazz & Music Festival: While you’ll find the main action over at Maymont Park, acts also perform at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Hippodrome Theater, and the Dominion Energy Center Carpenter Theater. There’s even a signature performance at a craft brewery to kick things off at this August music festival.
2nd Street Festival in Historic Jackson Ward: For two days each year in October, almost 30,000 people visit the “Harlem of the South” – Richmond’s historic Jackson Ward. Take a guided walking tour then enjoy live entertainment on four stages and a street festival of food and vendors.
Richmond Folk Festival: Downtown’s riverfront is home to this three-day music festival also held in October. This free event is one of Virginia’s largest festivals. Enjoy the finest traditional artists from across the state and around the nation.
Dominion Energy Riverrock: This is what you get when you mix music and extreme sports – the nation’s largest outdoor sports and music festival. Held over three days in May on Brown’s Island on the James River, this experience is host to athletes, spectators, musicians, and even Ultimate Air Dogs!
A kaleidoscope of Richmond events
The Richmond event scene is more than music festivals. Here’s a mixed bag of some other favorites.
Juneteenth Festival and the Elegba Folklore Society: Juneteenth, commemorated on June 19, honors the emancipation from slavery and celebrates African American culture. The Elegba Folklore Society produces an annual Freedom Celebration, as well as other historical and cultural events throughout the year.
Arts in Park: For over 50 years, Richmonders and their out-of-town guests have enjoyed this outdoor arts and crafts festival. Held at William Byrd Park over two days in the spring, this nationally known juried show features over 350 artists.
Virginia Wine Expo: Sample over 400 selections of Virginia wine at the Richmond Main Street Station. This six-day expo, running at the end of February/first of March, features grand tastings, signature food and wine events, and educational workshops. A premier event for Oenophiles.
NASCAR at RIR: Richmond International Raceway is known as America’s premier “short track” which means high-speed action on the asphalt. RIR hosts the NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR Xfinity Series, and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
Food, glorious food Richmond events
Richmond is becoming known as a “foodie” destination with its restaurant scene. And the city takes its food seriously, and not so much, with a lineup of culinary events.
Broad Appetite: Eat well, eat local is the motto. Graze your way down Broad Street at this June event that benefits the food bank Feed More.
Fire, Flour, Fork Festival: the USA Today rates this event as one of the top three food festivals in the country. The multi-day fall festival offers collaborative dinners with top chefs, signature brunches, food and drink-themed tours, demonstrations, talks, book signings, and more.
Richmond Oktoberfest: This two-day festival at RIR brings the spirit of Munich to the heart of Virginia with proceeds benefiting local college scholarships and German cultural groups.
Something different for wedding guests to do
If you or your wedding guests are looking for a food festival with a twist, check out one of these.
Richmond Mac and Cheese Festival: The Raceway’s Exhibition Hall is where you’ll find this gooey and delicious event. Over 30 kinds of mac ‘n cheese along with craft beer, wine, and cider. Enjoy your dish with a side of live entertainment at this fall festival.
Carytown Watermelon Festival: Held every August, this festival draws over 100,000 people! Exhibits, live music, the largest kids area of any East Coast festival, and 3000 delicious watermelons.
Hanover Tomato Festival: There’s something in the dirt in Hanover County, just north of Richmond, that makes the tomatoes juicy and delicious. Held in July at Pole Green Park in Mechanicsville, this two-day event offers something for everyone. Enjoy cuisine that pays homage to this love apple. It’s free, kid-friendly, and Fido is more than welcome.
These annual events, along with other year-round attractions, offer fun-filled ways for your out-of-town wedding guests to get to know RVA.