August festivals

Take your mind off the heat and humidity with any one of these upcoming events.

Richmond Jazz Festival

The Richmond Jazz Festival is the best way to enjoy great Jazz music (and much more fun than Jazzercize classes!). Artists like Jill Scott, Dr. John, The Wailers, and many others make this four-day festival one of Richmond’s best.

  • Thursday, August 8th – Sunday, August 11th • All day
  • Maymont
  • $20 – $110

Virginia Beer Live

What’s better than beer? LIVE BEER! This indoor beer festival (the first in Virginia) kicks off Virginia Craft Beer Month. Over 20 Virginia-based breweries will be on hand to offer an unprecedented amount of local brews.

  • Friday, August 2nd
  • Richmond Coliseum
  • $12 – $37

Purple Martin Festival

UPDATE: This event has been pushed back to Sunday, August 24th from 6:00 – 9:00 PM.

This really is a one-of-a-kind festival. Head downtown to watch thousands of Purple Martins swarm into the Bradford Pear trees next to the 17th Street Market. Purple gelato will also be available!

  • Saturday, August 3rd • 6:00 – 9:00 PM
  • 17th Street Farmers Market
  • Free

Filipino Festival

This eighth annual event offers music, dance, artwork, and exhibits all celebrating Filipino culture. There’ll also be authentic Filipino cuisine like adobo, pandit, halo-halo, leche flan, and more.

  • Friday, August 9th – Saturday, August 10th
  • Our Lady of Lourdes • 8200 Woodman Road
  • Free

Jonny Z Festival

Jonathan Zanin was a 26-year-old musician killed in 2007 while he was bicycling. This festival celebrates his memory, as well as RVA’s art, music, and community. There’ll be plenty food trucks, Bizarre Market vendors, live music, and raffle prizes.

  • Saturday, August 11th • 12:00 – 5:00 PM
  • 200 block of N. Shields Avenue
  • Free

Dragon Boat Festival

While not boats made out of actual dragons, these boats are still impressive nonetheless. Watch rowers race their boats (often decorated to resemble dragons) to the sound of drums in this fun, amateur sporting event at Rocketts Landing.

  • Saturday, August 10th • 2:00 PM
  • Rocketts Landing
  • Free

Sound City RVA Band & Brews

Need to be enticed? How about 10 bands, 50 beers, over two days? Local and national bands will descend on the American Civil War Center for this event, which also gives attendees the chance to drink many craft and micro brews.

  • Saturday, August 10th – Sunday, August 11th • 2:30 PM each day
  • American Civil War Center
  • $30 – $120

Carytown Watermelon Festival

This year the Watermelon Festival celebrates its 30th anniversary, so organizers must be doing something right, right? Over 100,000 people, 3,000 watermelons, 100 exhibitors, and 60 musicians will crowd into Carytown for this iconic Richmond festival. Great for kids and adults.

  • Sunday, August 11th • all day
  • Carytown
  • Free

Down Home Family Reunion

This event celebrates African-American folklife with world music and dance. It highlights aspects of West African culture that have been ingrained into the American South. It will feature interactive site demonstrations and plenty of delicious, down-home food.

  • Saturday, August 17th • All day
  • Abner Clay Park • Brook Road. & W. Clay Street
  • Free

2nd Annual RVA BrewBQ (pdf)

BBQ and beer? Yes, please! Now in its second year, this festival will feature local beers from Hardywood, Center of the Universe, Strangeways, and more.

  • Sunday, August 18th • 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • 17th Street Farmers Market
  • Free

Running of the Bulls & Tomato Royale

That’s right. Run with bulls and get into an apocalyptic tomato fight in the same day. If you’re brave enough to attempt outrunning bulls, you’ll do so on an indoor track. If that’s too much to handle, you can instead hurl tomatoes in a massive fight that’s bound to make gallons of tomato sauce!

  • Saturday, August 24th • 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM
  • Virginia Motorsports Park
  • $20 for spectators; $25-45 for Tomato Royale; $50 – $120 for runners
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