April Festivals

Gone is the season when this thing didn’t take that long to write. Jeez Louise, could we HAVE any more things to do? Easter, Japanese culture, films, inspiration, crafts, and French food, all while Richmond gets handed over to the Union army.

Richmond Earth Day Festival

Celebrating 25 years of existence, Enrichmond is pulling out all the stops for this year’s Earth Day Festival at Great Shiplock Park in Shockoe Bottom. Earth-related exhibits and projects for families, plus river activity access, stuff to do along the canal, and local food and drink and music! The Big Payback and other bands will be holding it down.

  • Saturday, April 18th • 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Great Shiplock Park in Shockoe Bottom (free transportation from 17th Street Farmers Market)
  • Free to attend!

RVA Earth Day Festival

Earth Day continues its heyday directly across the river in Manchester! This outdoor street festival offers river tours, local crafts and jewelry, local music, food trucks, beers, a JROC gear swap, and local farmers market produce provided by GrowRVA.

  • Saturday, April 18th • 12:00 – 7:00 PM
  • Manchester
  • Free to attend!

 French Food Festival

Frustrated by the fact that French bakers were not walking the aisles of the Byrd at the French Film Festival, handing out baguettes? The other #FFF is here to fix that, with traditional French stuff (crepes, beef bourgignon, etc.) Cajun stuff (gumbo, beignets), and desserts that are making me upset to read about. There’s also entertainment, including a dessert contest. Stop making me upset, French Food Festival! It all sounds too good!

  • Saturday, April 25th • 11:00 AM – 9:00 PM
  • Little Sisters of the Poor, 1503 Michaels Road
  • Free to attend!

The Bard’s Birthday: A Celebration of Shakespeare

I surely hope that the world is reverently beholding my words when I’m 451 years old. If that’s true, I would also like my festival to be at Agecroft, the best place in the world. You can bet you will have the time of your merry old life with bard-appropriate festivities at this historic treasure. The day will feature (among other things) acrobatics and Shakespeare himself. I can’t decide which is cooler.

  • Saturday, April 25th • 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
  • Agecroft Hall, 4305 Sulgrave Road
  • Free!

Richmond Diversity Film Festival

The LA Diversity Film Festival recognizes that Hollywood is a white, male place. As such, they put together a film festival focused on telling stories of multicultural and diverse backgrounds. And, through some stroke of luck, there’s a Richmond offshoot!

  • Saturday, April 25th • Films begin at 1:00 PM
  • Criterion Cinemas at Movieland, 1331 N. Boulevard
  • $5

Photo by: MichaelTapp

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Back for its third go-round, TEDxRVA brings great speakers to Richmond as well as lots of local folks who will all leave you with profound things to think about. This year’s theme is UNCOMMON, which serves to remind us that we are. But in a good way (I think).

  • Friday, April 10th • All the livelong day
  • Carpenter Theater, 600 E. Grace Street
  • $50

Spring Bada Bing

The joy of spring! New flowers, baby vegetables, and handmade items for you and your home! One of the most celebrated crafty events, the Richmond Craft Mafia brings you super-hip and locally made items. This is not your grandma’s craft show. Get there an hour early with a $5 donation to Art 180 and beat the crowds! There will be food, beer, crafts, and all sorts of things to do if you like to do things other than shop. Which…pssht.

  • Saturday, April 11th • 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Hardywood Park Craft Brewery, 2408 Ownby Lane
  • Free to attend!

Fall of Richmond Commemoration and Civil War Emancipation Day

A time to reflect and a time to celebrate! Richmonders of yore lost in a big way to the Union army–we all know that. But we also know that it’s a dang good thing they did. Celebrate emancipation and learn a lot more about the cultural context surrounding all these crazy events! Definitely check out the full program.

  • Wednesday, April 1st – Saturday, April 4th • see schedule
  • Various venues
  • Most events are free, though some bus tours will cost you dollars

Dominion Family Easter

Egg hunts. Inflatable games. Face painting. Carriage rides. Bonnet making. These activities, some of which hail from Victorian times, are guaranteed to delight your children. And Easter means springy Victorian-ish fun! 

  • Saturday, April 4th • 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM
  • Carriage House Lawn, Maymont
  • Activities require one or more $2 tickets (purchase on arrival)

VCU Cherry Blossom Festival

This month, the Japanese Student Association at VCU will host its first-ever Cherry Blossom Festival to celebrate Japanese culture during the most iconic of all Japanese seasons! Performances will include Taiko drumming, martial arts, and traditional and modern dances. You and yours can also try your hands at Japanese art like origami and ikebana.

  • Saturday, April 4th • 2:00 – 4:00 PM
  • VCU Commons Plaza, 907 Floyd Avenue
  • Free!

Easter on Parade

Where can you find dressed-up dogs, lots of big hats, and funnel cake? Easter on Parade! One of Richmond’s weirder traditions, this festival is perfect for people-watching, and every year I cross my fingers that everyone will get confused that it’s the 10K and someone will sound some sort of starting horn and the entire population will just start running. Although honestly that’s not that much different than the 10K, just with dogs.

  • Sunday, April 5th • 1:00 – 5:00 PM
  • Monument Avenue between Allen and Davis
  • Free to attend!
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Susan Howson

Susan Howson is managing editor for this very website. She writes THE BEST bios.

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