Fall in Virginia is a truly magical time. For those of us who live here, we can look forward to changing leaves, the smell of crisp autumn air, and the fall-inspired food and drink that we anticipate all year round. Fortunately for us, there are festivals that just so happen to celebrate all of these things, often at the same time. As you plan your weekends for this upcoming season, here are some uniquely Virginian fall festivals to keep on your horizon:
1. Richmond Folk Festival
Pairing incredible music with delicious food has never been a bad idea, and the Richmond Folk Festival is perhaps one of the best examples of this winning combo. Each year, nearly 150,000 people venture to Richmond's riverfront to experience a plethora of culture richness. In addition to music, this includes dancing, art, storytelling, and crafts. This year's free event takes place October 7th - October 9th.
2. Blue Ridge Folklife Festival (Ferrum College)
Hosted by the Blue Ridge Institute and Museum, the Folklife Festival celebrates the past and present folk lifestyles of the Blue Ridge. Festival-goers will enjoy four stages of music and storytelling, endless options of traditional Blue Ridge cuisines, and over 50 traditional crafts.
3. Williamsburg Harvest Celebration
The Williamsburg Harvest Celebration is the festival for anyone wanting to celebrate the region's finest food and wine. With over 400 years of culinary history, there will be plenty to enjoy. This year, the Harvest Celebration will feature over 30 incredible food or drink-related events. The dates for this year's festival are November 4th - 13th.
4. Grape Stomping Festival (Blacksburg)
The annual Grape Stomping Festival in Blacksburg invites children and adults alike to jump into stomping tubs and learn about the wine-making process. The festival also includes a chance to try some of the region's finest wine and food. This year's event will take place on September 18th.
5. Festival of Leaves (Bland County)
Located in Downtown Bland, the annual Festival of Leaves takes place on the Court House Lawn. It's a weekend filled with games, music, food, and endless ways to appreciate the changing leaves. With hayrides, horseshoes, and other fun games, it's the perfect event for the whole family. The festival will take place October 8th - October 9th.
6. Lynchburg Art Festival
Each year, the Lynchburg Art Club sponsors a unique event that celebrates over 140 local artists, providing them with a memorable way to showcase their work. Local food trucks will also be nearby, serving some favorite dishes from restaurants such as Cheesy Rider and Smoke Ring Barbecue. This event, free to the public, will take place on Saturday, September 17th.
7. Urbanna Oyster Festival
Each fall, the lovely little town of Urbanna welcomes oyster fans from near and far to its annual Oyster Festival. While this event is certainly seafood based, you don't have to be an oyster lover to enjoy all this weekend has to offer. This festival also includes a beer garden, multiple food vendors, and excellent live music. This year's dates are November 4th - 5th.
8. Thomas Jefferson Wine Festival (Bedford)
The Thomas Jefferson Wine Festival is the perfect fall gathering for wine enthusiasts with a knack for history. The event takes place at Poplar Hill, one of Jefferson's secluded homes that offers breathtaking views of the Fall landscape. In addition to multiple winery displays, the festival will have food vendors, local artisans, and great musicians. The festival will take place this year on November 19th, and tickets are available online.
9. Craig County Fall Festival (New Castle)
This bustling annual festival brings together over 100 local vendors of food, drinks, and crafts. Located on the historic Main Street, the event takes up six blocks where visitors can enjoy horse rides, inflatables, and fascinating exhibitions. This year's festival will take place on Saturday, October 8th.
10. Beaver Dam Farm Sunflower Festival (Buchanan)
If you've ever dreamed of meandering through acres of beautiful sunflowers, this is the festival for you. The farm includes no less than 30 acres of black oil sunflowers, through which visitors can take a self-guided tour. There will be food available for purchase and plenty of children's activities to keep everyone entertained. All festival-goers will be able to leave with a freshly picked sunflower to remember the fun-filled day. This event takes place on Saturday, September 17th.
These are just a few of the many fall-inspired events taking place around Virginia this season. If any of your favorite events have missed the list, feel free to share them with us!