October festivals

Autumn abounds with festivals that are hoggish, hoppy, and even historic.

Original — September 30, 2014

Central Virginia Celtic Festival and Highland Games

Harp and fiddle competitions, rugby, piping, drumming, and heavy athletics. I mean, C’MON! This event is amazing and does Celtic heritage justice. Plus it’s a lot of fun.

  • Saturday, October 25th – Sunday, October 26th
  • Richmond Raceway Complex • 602 E. Laburnum Avenue)
  • $15 – $30

Powhatan’s Festival of the Grape

Never spent much time in Powhatan? Here’s a good reason to go: the 12th annual event will bring 30 wineries, over 100 arts and crafts vendors, and a variety live music. Yes, please.

  • Saturday, October 25th • 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Powhatan’s Historic Courthouse Square (just off Old Buckingham Road)
  • 15 – $25

Scott’s Addition Pumpkin Festival

Food vendors will dish out pumpkin-themed plates while craft brews floweth from Ardent, Hardywood, Strangeways, and more. There’ll also be a VIP beer garden.

  • Saturday, October 25th • 12:00 – 6:00 PM
  • The Boulevard
  • FREE to attend

Richmond Zombie Walk

The Zombie apocalypse will resurrect again for its 10th anniversary of the undead stalking Carytown. In addition to being a load of fun to watch, the event also benefits the American Cancer Society.

  • Saturday, October 25th • 2:30 PM
  • Carytown
  • FREE

Trick or Treat Street (TOTS)

Trick of Treat Street (TOTS) gives kids 10 and under a fun, safe space to celebrate Halloween. Bring the young ones to enjoy food, magicians, games, pumpkin decorating, face painting, costume contests, moonbounces, straw maze, and more.

  • Sunday, October 26th • 12:30 – 4:30 PM
  • Westhampton Green at the University of Richmond
  • FREE

Goblins & Gourds

Head to the Children’s Garden at Lewis Ginter for a performance by the Richmond Indigenous Gourd Orchestra, pumpkin painting, seasonal food tasting, hoop dancing, and more. This one’s great for the kids.

  • Sunday, October 26th • 1:00 – 4:00 PM
  • Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden • 1800 Lakeside Avenue
  • Regular admission

Day of the Dead

Día de Muertos is a Mexican holiday celebrated around the world as a way for family and friends to honor and remember their loved ones who’ve passed. Head to Shockoe for Mexican dishes, live performances, and learn about the traditions connected with the holiday.

  • Thursday, October 30th • 12:00 – 5:00 PM
  • 17th Street Farmers Market
  • FREE

Monster Mash

An unassuming rec center transforms into a mad science laboratory featuring Igor and Frankenstein. Stay for the Haunted Trail and gather around the fire for cider and spooky stories.

  • Friday, October 31st • 6:00 – 9:00 PM
  • Dorey Recreation Center • 2999 Darbytown Road
  • FREE

Photo courtesy of 17th Street Farmers Market

— ∮∮∮ —


Virginia State Fair

You only have a few days left to partake in petting zoos, cotton candy, rides, music, and a whole lot more. Make sure you visit during the fair’s final two days to see a bonafide demolition derby.

  • September 26 – October 5th
  • Meadow Even Park • I-95 exit 98 in Doswell
  • $8 – $30

Halloween Haunt at Kings Dominion

Kings Dominion injects fresh blood to its annual creeptacular celebration with the Maze of Madness, cirque-style Skeleton Crew, and the zombified Fright Night.

  • Throughout October
  • Kings Dominion (16000 Theme Park Way in Doswell)
  • Admission prices vary


Barbecue behemoths Alamo BBQ, Buz & Ned’s, and Halligan’s will showcase some good ole’ BBQ in the style of Carolina, Memphis, and Texas. Bring the kids for face painting, balloon art, crafts, pig skin ring toss, and more.

  • Saturday, October 4th • 12:00 – 7:00 PM
  • Libby Hill Park
  • FREE

International Food Festival

Food is the great equalizer when it comes to diversity, so come out and enjoy an array of dishes prepared by culturally diverse missions.

  • Saturday, October 4th • 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM
  • Cathedral of the Sacred Heart • 800 S. Cathedral Place
  • FREE admittance

2nd Street Festival

This festival commemorates 2nd Street back when it was the soul of Richmond’s black community. Thousands come out to Jackson Ward each year to enjoy live music, children’s activities, delicious food, and shopping. It’s a great event made greater by it being free.

  • Saturday, October 4th – Sunday, October 5th
  • Jackson Ward between 1st and 3rd streets
  • FREE


The world is your oyster at the annual event that overwhelms you with oysters. You can also look forward to brews: SweetWater 420, Sierra Nevada Flipside, Guinness, Newscastle Brown Ale, Lost Rhino, and more. Bike to the event and use their valet and get free $2 worth of tickets, which pays for the bike valet pricing.

  • Saturday, October 4th • 12:00 – 6:00 PM
  • Thomas’ Episcopal Church in Historic Ginter Park
  • FREE ($2 suggested donation)

Richmond Folk Festival

Over 200,000 will gather at the riverfront near Brown’s Island for what’s probably Richmond’s biggest, best known festival. This year marks its 10th anniversary, and a bunch of past favorites will return for an encore.

  • Friday, October 10th – Sunday, October 12th
  • Downtown riverfront
  • FREE

Richmond Oktoberfest

This thing has been going on since 1968! Do you know how much beer and how many bratwursts have been consumed in that time? Let’s keep the annual party going by tapping our German heritage (or simply pretending we have one) and imbibing at the staple event.

  • Friday, October 17th – Saturday, October 18th
  • Richmond International Raceway • 602 E. Laburnum Avenue
  • $12 – $15

Harvest Festival

Take a trip to Meadow Farm circa the 1800s to hail the harvest with hands-on activities and demonstrations depicting typical tasks of that era. Be sure to hop aboard the wagon wide and check out the All-American Lumberjack Show.

  • Saturday, October 18th • 12:00 – 4:00 PM
  • Meadow Farm Museum • 3400 Mountain Road in Glen Allen
  • FREE

Virginia Hops & Harvest Festival

Breweries like Hardywood, Starr Hill, Devil’s Backbone, Midnight, and more will join an Elton John tribute band (!) and other musicians to help you harvest a good time.

  • Saturday, October 18th • 12:00 PM
  • Pocahontas State Park
  • 10301 State Park Road in Chesterfield
  • error

    Report an error

Nathan Cushing

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

There are no reader comments. Add yours.