“Get out of here!” And we really mean “get out of here!” Because if you’re hanging around the house, binging on Netflix, you’re missing out on a whole lot of fun. A variety of fairs and festivals dot Virginia during the summer with exciting and entertaining fare for every member of the family. If you’re into sorting through original art, these fairs and festivals have you covered. If you like to sprawl out on a blanket under an oak tree and listen to music, these fairs and festivals have you covered. If you want to share a movie with your kids on an outdoor big screen — beware the Wicked Witch of the West — these fairs and festivals have you covered. So give the TV a break, grab a corn dog, support talented artists and craftsmen, and see what fun you can get into this summer.
May 16-Sept. 19
South Hill Third Thursdays
There’s music in the air in South Hill. Every third Thursday from May through September, enjoy the Sunset Sounds Concert Series at the Centennial Park Amphitheater at 225 East Danville Street. Admission is just $3. Gates open at 6 p.m. with shows starting at 6:30 p.m.Hat tip to South Hill Market Square for sponsoring #ThirdThursday.
June 7-Oct. 11
Luray Family Fun
Movie Thursdays, musical Fridays … all free … and that’s just the start of family fun in Luray. The Evenings on Main Street concert series kicks off on June 7, with Movies on Main running from late June to late August. In between, take a dip in Lake Arrowhead and check out the games, fairs and tourist sites in bustling Luray.
Caroline County Agricultural Fair
Summer fun starts at the Caroline County Agricultural Fair! Carnival rides for the kids, sure, but you’ll find all sorts of games, activities and vendors across the fairgrounds. Grab a bite to eat at the café and sit back while you enjoy performances in the entertainment area. From sour pickles to racing pigs, it’s all at the fair.
June 29-Aug. 16
Mecklenburg County, Virginia is an experience filled with small towns to explore, historical places that enrich, over 50,000 acres of water to refresh your spirit, state parks and hiking trails that will restore your peace with nature and a culture of live performances, festivals and award-winning foods that will replenish your relationship with the world.
Port Royal 4th of July
Celebrate the birth of our nation colonial-style at the Port Royal Annual Independence Day Celebration, held along the shores of the Rappahannock River. Listen to a dramatic reading of the Declaration of Independence, try your step at 18th-century dancing or watch demonstrations of early trades and skills. Both parking and admission are free; visit the Facebook event page or Virginia.org for more details.
42nd Clarksville LakeFest
Come on out and see why the Southeast Tourism Society calls LakeFest one of its top 20 events. The entire community of 1,400 is involved in the three-day event that offers great music, amazing sand sculpturing, an antique auto show, hot air balloons, entertainment for the children and a spectacular fireworks display.
July 19-Sept. 1
Shenandoah Valley Music Festival
Escape to the mountains and enjoy great music under the stars in beautiful Orkney Springs, Virginia. Summer concerts include The Beach Boys, The Oak Ridge Boys, Home Free, Judy Collins, The Drifters, The Platters and more. Package deals include discounts on tickets, lodging and meals. Enjoy onsite amenities. Walk to concerts.
32nd Chincoteague Blueberry Festival
It’s Christmas in July — plus blueberries! More than 100 exhibitors from a dozen states will display their works at the largest fine arts and crafts show on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. Held just prior to the Chincoteague Pony Swim, browse through quality handcrafted items while snacking on blueberry cones, pies, muffins, pancakes and much more.
Spotsy Arts Festival
On the beautiful Courthouse Green in Spotsylvania, under magnificent shade trees, you’ll be inspired and appreciate art like never before. Everyone who loves art, from the first-time attendee to the seasoned art lover, will find something from more than 75 artists and artisans who will showcase their glass, mixed media, paintings, jewelry and pottery.
Crab Crackin’ Feast
Culture, history and crabmeat — that’s a great mix. The Eastern Shore of Virginia Historical Society in Onancock will host an all-you-can-eat crab feast on Aug. 17. The society cultural center is growing with lecturers such as author Doris Kearns Goodwin, a permanent collection, temporary exhibits, camps and workshops. 757-787-8012.
Sept. 20-22 Field
Day of the Past
It’s a three-day immersion in living history. Field Day has the down-home feel of an old-time country fair while providing museum-quality exhibits and preserving and maintaining historic buildings. Tractor pulls, antique machinery, carnival rides, small engine displays, arts and crafts, and sorghum molasses production are all just part of Field Day.