July festivals

Nothing says summer like fireworks, hanging out in the river, and eating tomatoes!


Fireworks for Independence Day is an American tradition unlike any other, and this year there are tons of places around Richmond to catch these commemorative explosions while getting your weekly dose of live entertainment and local food.

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Want to celebrate Independence Day a little early? The third annual Fireworks on the James event will be held on July 3rd this year so you can add an extra day of fireworks and food to your holiday plans.

  • When: Wednesday, July 3rd • 7:00 PM, fireworks at 9:15 PM
  • Where: Brown’s Island
  • Price: FREE

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Celebrate the 4th right with a mix of jazz, pop, and patriotic music with a free concert at Dogwood Dell before the lawn is lit up red, white, and blue with fireworks after dark.

  • When: Thursday, July 4th • 5:45 PM, fireworks at nightfall
  • Where: Dogwood Dell, 700 Blanton Avenue
  • Price: FREE

For a complete list of places to see fireworks in the Richmond area, check out our 4th of July guide.

Richmond Splash & Dash

UPDATE: Due to high water levels, organizers have postponed this event until Sunday, September 22nd. On-site registration will be from 1:30 – 2:45 PM on that day, with the waves beginning at 3:00 PM.

This super fun race has you run a 5k, grab an inflatable tube, paddle across the James river, and race to the finish line with flotation device in hand. The Richmond Splash & Dash raises money for the James River Association and concludes with live music, food, and beer. Bring your own PFD if it makes you feel comfortable.

  • When: Saturday, July 13th • 5:00 PM
  • Where: Belle Isle parking lot on Tredegar Street
  • Price: $34 registration fee

35th Annual Hanover Tomato Festival

Ever loved tomatoes so much you went to a festival (or a dozen) to find the ripest, coolest varieties of tomatoes and foods from around the area? Then be sure to visit the 35th Annual Hanover Tomato Festival to start off your summer. You can stock up on your share of these juicy fruits (or are they vegetables?) and have a good time too. With over 200 arts, craft, and food vendors, live entertainment and activities for kids you’ll be so busy you might forget to bring home some tomatoes for later.

  • When: Saturday, July 13th • 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
  • Where: Pole Green Park, Mechanicsville
  • Price: FREE

2013 Shockoe Tomato Festival

Since you can’t just go to one tomato festival during tomato season, the 9th Annual Shockoe Tomato Festival is definitely something to put on your calendar. With traditional tomato creations, crafts, music, and brews, this festival celebrates tomato season in the best way possible.

  • When: Saturday, July 20th • 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM
  • Where: 17th Street Farmers Market
  • Price: FREE

Colonial Downs Color Vibe 5k Fun Run

Here’s your chance to get some exercise and also get sprayed with color-dyed corn starch at the same time. These fun and colorful events are sweeping the country and are exponentially more fun than your typical Saturday jog. You may look like a tie-dyed smurf afterwards, but you’re friends will be laughing so hard at each other it’ll be worth it. Our personal advice is to wear sunglasses and clothes you won’t wear outside of the house again. Ever.

  • When: Saturday, July 27th • 9:00 AM
  • Where: 10515 Colonial Downs Pkwy
  • Price: $40 – $50

Photo by: Manjith Kainickara

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