August festivals

Summer may be winding down, but festival season sure ain’t.

Original — August 01, 2014

Down Home Family Reunion

Put on by the Elegba Folklore Society, the annual festival showcases African-American folklife with music, dance, food, children’s events, demonstrations, and more. Located downtown, the festival is a great way to see how West African culture has been absorbed by the American South.

  • Friday, August 15th – Saturday, 16th
  • 101 E. Broad Street
  • FREE


The Misfits will headline this year in what will be a raucous, rabble-rousing (i.e. FUN!!!) day-long event with Jackass star Bam Margero, Ice-T, and more.

The absence of Dave Brockie will make this year’s event bittersweet. But GWAR will carry on, and ask (nay, demand) that everyone attending the GWAR-B-Q also attend the Dave Brockie Memorial on Friday from 4:00 – 7:00 PM at Hadad’s Lake. Jello Biafra will serve as the memorial’s emcee.

  • Saturday, August 16th • 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM
  • Hadad’s Lake • 7900 Osbourne Turnpike
  • $45 – $65

3rd RVA Brew-B-Q

If it’s one thing RVA knows it’s good barbecue. Whether you like it pulled, minced, smoked, saucy, vinegar-based, sweet, sandwiched, or plated you’re going to love this event. Join regional BBQ aficionados and 15 local craft breweries for one of this month’s tastiest events.

  • Sunday, August 17th • 12:00 – 5:00 PM
  • 17th Street Farmers Market
  • FREE to attend

Opera in the Park

Enjoy a night with the Virginia Opera as they perform some of opera’s greatest hits. Whether a fiend for the stuff, or new to opera’s oeuvre, a free concert is just what the doctor ordered.

  • Saturday, August 30th • 7:30 PM
  • Dogwood Dell • 6000 S. Boulevard
  • FREE

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Virginia Rodeo

Dust off your cowboy hat and spurs and mosey on over to Colonial Downs for bareback bronco riding, steer wrestling, barrel racing, bull riding, and more. It’ll be more fun than a bunch of cheetahs drinking margaritas. Yeehaw, Richmond!

  • Friday, August 1st – Saturday, August 2nd
  • Colonial Downs • 10515 Colonial Downs Parkway • New Kent
  • $5 – $30

Dragon Boat Festival

Come watch as 20 synchronized paddlers in 40-foot canoes row to the beat of an onboard drummer as they race 500 meters up the James River. Not interested in competing or building a strong team dynamic with your friends or co-workers? No problem. Head over to watch other people break a sweat.

  • Saturday, August 2nd • 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
  • Rocketts Landing • 5000 Old Osborne Turnpike
  • FREE to watch; $1,095 – $1,596 per racing team

Redskins Fan Appreciation Day

All right, so last year the team didn’t do so well. Big deal. We’ve all had rough seasons playing professional football under multi-million dollar contracts, haven’t we? Focus more on the upcoming season, and pay a visit to the team’s local training camp to meet players and coaches, wish them luck, and have an all-around great time.


  • Saturday, August 2nd • Gates open at 8:00 AM
  • Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Camp
  • FREE entrance, but must have ticket

Filipino Festival

The Filipino Festival is one of the most underrated culture festivals in town. As with previous years, this year will feature oodles of cuisine, dance, music, art, exhibits, and so much more. Don’t say Filipi-no. Say Filipin-YES!

  • Friday, August 8th – Saturday, August 9th
  • Our Lady of Lourdes • 8200 Woodman Road • Henrico
  • FREE

Richmond Jazz Festival

OK, this festival costs money. But it’s SOOOOO worth it. Featuring artists like Boz Scaggs, Sean Jones, Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, and more, this year’s Jazz Festival will kill it.

  • Saturday, August 9th – Sunday, August 10th
  • Maymont
  • $30 – $140

Carytown Watermelon Festival

What can I say? This is one of Richmond’s biggest, most popular festivals of the year as Carytown becomes Watermelonville , USA. Join a crazy number of people (and vendors) in this Richmond tradition.

  • Sunday, August 10th • 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Carytown
  • FREE to attend

photo by Eli Christman

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Nathan Cushing

Nathan Cushing is a writer, journalist, and RVANews Editor.

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