May festivals

Moussaka, dog jumping, and craft beer. No, that’s not the name of my forthcoming autobiography; just some of the festivals that await us in May!

¿Qué Pasa? Festival of Virignia

¿Qué Pasa? means “what’s going on?” And what’s happening on May 3rd is a fantastico event featuring the food, music, and art of Virginia’s Latin American communities. Head downtown to the Canal Walk for this amazing festival.

  • Saturday, May 3rd • 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM
  • Canal Walk in Shockoe
  • FREE admission

French Food Festival

Vive la France! RVA’s gonna party like it’s Bastille Day! Not only does the menu features some great entrees and desserts, but the event benefits local charity Little Sisters of the Poor. There’s plenty of live music to give things a certain…je ne sais quois.

  • Saturday, May 3rd • 11:00 AM – 9:00 PM
  • 1503 Michaels Road
  • FREE ($2 voluntary donation)

Arts in the Park

The nationally rated, juried art show gives Richmond the chance to shop for fine and original art made by local and national artists. Over 450 artists will show off their paintings, jewelry, weavings, and more. It’s great for craft lovers and families looking for something relaxing and fun to do.

  • Saturday, May 3rd (11:00 AM – 6:00 PM) – Sunday, May 4th (11:00 AM – 5:00 PM)
  • Carillon in Byrd Park
  • FREE admission

Derby Day in RVA

Instead of watching The Kentucky Derby at home, why not gather with fellow derby-ites and watch the race on large screens while enjoying live music, food, and drinks? Featuring catering by Mosaic Café, a silent auction, and a great selection of beverages, Derby Day in RVA will make this year’s Kentucky Derby more memorable.

  • Saturday, May 3rd • 4:00 – 8:00 PM
  • St. Joseph’s Villa; 8000 Brook Road
  • $65 (includes food, wine, and beer)

Strawberry Street Festival

Now in its 35th year, the Strawberry Street Festival is an iconic Richmond event that features games, rides, vendors, auctions, food, and a bajillion strawberries. In addition to the good times, proceeds from the event help fund the curriculum at William Fox Elementary School.

  • Saturday, May 10th • 12:00 – 4:30 PM
  • William Fox Elementary School; 2300 Hanover Avenue
  • FREE admission

Central Virginia Wine Festival

This award-winning festival showcases 16 wineries from around Virginia, as well as food and beverage concessions, live music, and more. If you’re pro wine AND pro Virginia, this event is pro you!

  • Saturday, May 10th • 12:00 – 6:00 PM
  • SnagAJob Pavilion in Innsbrook
  • $20 online / $25 at gate

Hops & Barley Festival

Did you know that Virginia is the 4th largest producer of craft beers? The Commonwealth has a common love of good brews, and [many of those brews][many] will be on hand during the Hops & Barley Festival. Make sure you hop on over for a hoppy Saturday of local brews.

  • Saturday, May 10th • 1:00 – 8:00 PM
  • Route 288 & Huguenot Trail
  • $20 advance / $25 at gate / $50 VIP tickets

2014 Museum District Mother’s Day House & Garden Tour

After you take Mom to brunch for Mother’s Day, take on her a stroll through some of neatest houses in Richmond. This 20th annual event is great for moms of all ages. Grab your tickets in advance and save $5!

  • Sunday, May 11th • 1:00 – 6:00 PM
  • Ticket pick-up and Welcome Center at Albert Hill Middle School • 3400 Patterson Avenue
  • $20 advance / $25 at door

Dominion Riverrock

Richmonders love doing fun stuff outdoors. That’s why they love Riverrock! The three-day spectacle features kayaking, biking, bouldering, slacklining, paddleboarding, and even dog jumping. If outdoor activities are your jam, then get ready to jam YOUR BRAINS OUT during this weekend!

  • May 16th – May 18th
  • Brown’s Island
  • FREE admission

Lebanese Food Festival

Richmond has a small, but culturally rich, Lebanese community. And for 30 years, that community has showcased its food, music, and dancing at this annual event. Dazzle your eyes, ears, and tastebuds at this year’s festival.

  • Friday, May 16th – Sunday, May 18th
  • St. Anthony’s Maronite Catholic Church; 4611 Sadler Road in Glen Allen
  • FREE admission

Mid-Atlantic Balloon Festival

More than 20 hot hair balloon teams from across the country will take part in balloon flights, balloon glows, and tethered balloon rides across the two-day event. In addition to the balloons, there’ll be art and crafts vendors, wine tastings, craft beer, food, live music, and an interactive children’s area.

  • Saturday, May 10th – Sunday, May 11th
  • Meadow Event Park; 13111 Dawn Boulevard in Doswell, VA
  • $5 – $145

A Good Day RVA

Two stages welcoming 14 bands, bicycle repairs, fair-trade goods, face painting, compost tutorials, and bunch of other cool stuff awaits RVA on a very good day. In addition to being a fun, free event, the shindig benefits local film collective Good Day RVA.

  • Saturday, May 17th • 2:00 – 10:00 PM
  • Hardywood Park Craft Brewery; 2408 Ownby Lane
  • FREE

10th Annual Lucy’s Weekend at Cooper Vineyards

Years ago, Cooper Vineyards took in Lucy, an injured and homeless hound mix. She ended up spending many wonderful years at the vineyard. Now to honor Lucy, and the other dogs in need of a home, this Cooper Vineyards event offers wine tastings, a pet lover’s souvenir wine glass, vendors, live music, and a fun way to help the Richmond SPCA. Pro tip: bring the family dog and enjoy the vineyard grounds with a picnic.

  • Saturday, May 24th • 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Cooper Vineyards; 13372 Shannon Hill Road
  • $20 advance / $25 at door

39th Annual Greek Festival

The month ends with one of Richmond’s best-known festivals. The annual Greek Festival offers more baklava and moussaka than you can shake a souvlaki skewer at! If your knowledge of Greek culture doesn’t exceed a screening of My Big Fat Greek Wedding, then head over to the festival to get properly acquainted with Greece.

  • Thursday, May 29th – Sunday, June 1st
  • Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Cathedral; 30 Malvern Avenue
  • FREE admission

Friday Cheers

Friday Cheers isn’t a single event, but several music concerts that take place on…wait for it…Fridays! Head out to Brown’s Island to celebrate Friday Cheers’s 30th season.

Here are the concerts in May:

Photo by: sofiagk

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Nathan Cushing

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

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