You don’t realize how engrained summer fairs and festivals are into the very fabric of small-town life until many are canceled due to a pandemic. But summer is upon us, and many of those beloved events are back, maybe even bigger and better than before. So grab some sunscreen — and some loved ones — and check out the following family-friendly festivities across the commonwealth this summer.
MECKLENBURG COUNTY, VA
Whatever busy highway life has you traveling, take the time to explore Mecklenburg County. Discover charming towns, splash around in Virginia’s largest lake, enjoy a craft brew, and a gourmet meal, take a stroll through historic destinations and wineries or dance the night away at an outdoor summer concert. You’ll find more of what matters in Mecklenburg County, Va. For more information, visitmeckva.com.
EASTERN SHORE OF VIRGINIA – JULY 21-23
Come to Chincoteague Island and be a part of the Chincoteague Island Blueberry Festival, which also serves as the opening act for the world-famous Chincoteague Pony Swim. Sample every kind of tasty blueberry creation under the sun. And, there will be plenty of other food options. There will also be live music from six different local and regional artists, as well as hundreds of arts and crafts available for purchase, including handmade jewelry, copper crafts, metal arts, wood crafts, painting and so much more. Pony rides and other fun activities are also available to entertain the little ones. For more information, visit chincoteagueblueberryfestival.com.
On the third Thursday of every month, Hopewell is the happening place to be. Monthly street festivals with a cool “block-party” vibe take place in downtown Hopewell all summer long as a part of the Hopewell Downtown Third Thursdays event. All the good things will be found here: live bands, libations, local businesses, food trucks, vendors, community organizations and activities for the little ones. Check out Kyle Davis on June 16, Kurt Crandall Band on July 21, U&I Plus Latin Band on Aug. 18 and Magnolia on Sept. 15. For more information, visit hopewelldowntown.com/thirdthursdays.
STANLEY, VA – JUNE 29-JULY 2
Nothing says summer like a good Stanley Homecoming. This exciting four-day event is held at Ed Good Memorial Park on East Main Street in Stanley. We’re talking a magical carnival that starts at 6 p.m. each night, along with a beauty pageant, singing competition, fireworks, parade and live music. . Admission to the park is free. For more information, contact 540-778-3854.
SHENANDOAH VALLEY MUSIC FESTIVAL
If you love music, this is the place to be. Enjoy great music under the stars at Shenandoah Valley Music Festival in Orkney Springs. Feast your ears on the likes of America, the Spinners, Marty Stuart, Village People, Béla Fleck and more. Package deals include discounts on tickets and lodging. Walk to concerts. For tickets and more info, visit Musicfest.org.
If you’re in the Richmond area, travel a few minutes south to the growing and booming areas of Hopewell and Prince George County. Come explore the Appomattox River walk, live music and friendly festivals. The river is close by for lots of outdoor activities. Explore more at hpgchamber.org.
AMELIA, VA – SEPT. 16-18
Field Day of the Past is being held this year in Amelia County at Redfield Farm. This is where you go for all the power pulling action — tractor pulls, truck pulls and lawnmower pulls. Oh, and of course, live music, gold panning, carnival rides, animal exhibits, mechanical bull rides, educational exhibits, arts and crafts, and all the food and fun one can handle. For tickets and more information, visit fielddayofthepast.net.