2012 spring festivals

Spring is here, and with it comes new life, sunshine, and some of the city’s best festivals. Whether you are into music, sport activities, rides, food, or even jumping dogs (or all of the above!) there is a festival happening that is tailored just for you! Not sure where to start? Don’t worry: here’s a full list of the upcoming festivals and events that are happening real soon.

RVA Street Art Festival

While Richmond is in the throes of the G40 Summit, an exhibition of mural-tastic art, prepare yourself for even more art. The RVA Street Art Festival is bringing a whole lotta art to the downtown flood wall. Local and national artists will be painting a roughly 250-foot blank (concrete) canvas, and interacting with the public while they do so. Local food and beer vendors will also be on hand to make street art a true festival.

  • April 12–15 • times vary
  • Shockoe Floodwall Power Plant
  • Free!

Civil War & Emancipation Day

Who says the Civil War was sooooo 1865? In fact, last year over 3,000 people visited the 26 participating sites and activity centers to reacquaint themselves with an important part of America’s history. This year will be no different. Free shuttle buses will take visitors to free museums, tours, and discussions. There will also be children’s games, musical performances, and canal boat rides to mark the occasion.

  • April 14 • 9:30am–5pm
  • Various museums and attractions
  • Free!

Chili Cook Off

Local radio station 102.1 is putting on their annual event at the Richmond International Raceway. Headlining bands will include: Cake, Cage the Elephant, Neon Trees, Middle Class Rut, and Civil Twilight. Thousands of people around the area will come together for great live music and free chili samples (while supplies last). If chili isn’t your thing, there will be plenty of other foods to choose from, to say nothing of live music.

  • April 14 • 11am–8pm
  • Richmond Raceway Complex
  • Starting at $25

Little Sisters of the Poor French Food Festival

For over 137 years, the Little Sisters of the Poor have provided housing and care for Virginia’s low-income elderly. Because of the rising costs that come with providing geriatric care, they joined with Chef Paul Elbling and his wife in 2009 to create a French Food Festival–it’s been going strong ever since. This year marks the fourth annual day-long, family-friendly event showcasing some of the best of French cuisine. Good food and a good cause, what’s not to like?

  • April 21 • 11am–7pm
  • 1503 Michaels Road
  • Prices vary per vendor

Richmond Earth Day Festival

You may think that a local Earth Day festival is some herbivorous hub of hippy-happenstance. Well, you’d be wrong! This outdoor street festival attracts over 6,000 people and provides them with education and resources to make Richmond more eco-friendly. With a 5k race, flood wall climb (with zip line!), local food, and music, the Richmond Earth Day Festival will be a great way to have fun, and learn a thing or two in the process.

  • April 21 • Noon-7pm
  • Hull Street and E. 1st Street
  • Free!

Shadrock Music Festival

Ain’t no party like a Shadrock party ‘cause a Shadrock party don’t stop! Yes, the word “festival” is in the name, but think of the Shadrock Music Festival as a party. Not only is it a party that features the high-energy sounds from some of the best Virginia (and national) musicians, it’s also held on Brown’s Island. What better way for the River City to get its groove on than right by the James River?

  • April 28 • TBA
  • Brown’s Island
  • $35

Strawberry Street Festival

This is one of Richmond’s most-loved festivals. Every year, William Fox Elementary School and its neighbors host games, rides, food, music, vendors, and art for the city at large. Toddlers, grandparents, and everyone in between (even hipsters!) head into the Fan District and get their fun on.

  • May 12th • Noon–4:30pm
  • 2300 Hanover Avenue
  • Free!

Dominion Riverrock

Riverrock isn’t merely rock n’ roll—it’s a complete outdoor lifestyle festival, people! It brings together athletes, spectators, musicians, and even adorable dogs. Runners, kayakers, cyclists, paddle boarders, and jumping dogs will coalesce in one of the city’s most unique events of the year, held at Brown’s Island and Historic Tredegar.

  • May 18–20 • times vary
  • Brown’s Island
  • Free!

Lebanese Food Festival

If you’re not too hip on Lebanese food and culture, then this your event. Featuring native delicacies, sweets, music, and dancing, the Lebanese Food Festival is a great way to learn about a culture without being bored at your school desk. Fill your belly with some delicious food, and maybe squeeze in some Lebanese culture while you’re at it.

  • May 18–20 • times vary
  • 4611 Sadler Road
  • Prices vary by vendor

stock photo by jwandborg

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