October festivals: Festival of the Antique, Celtic Fest, Zombie Walk, Festival of India

There are so many festivals this month, even with a possible major weather event looming. We suggest you pace yourself, thoroughly.

Festival of the Antique

It’s all about old things being given new life, which, if you think about it, is not unlike the Zombie Walk. Twenty dealers talk about their stuff AND peddle their stuff, with special speakers like First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe. And it’s just $10, which is a pretty good price for three days of programming.

  • Friday, October 23rd – Sunday, October 25th • see site for times
  • Virginia Historical Society, 428 N. Boulevard
  • $10

Central Virginia Celtic Festival and Highland Games

Is this the most fun? Yes, it is. I love watching grown men wearing skirts battle it out for who’s toughest. 

  • Saturday, October 24th – Sunday, October 25th • see site for times
  • Richmond Raceway Complex, 600 E. Laburnum Avenue
  • $15

Richmond Zombie Walk

A festival for the undead, because the undead are people too! Or, at least, they used to be! It’s terrifying if you’re not expecting it, which is maybe kind of the best possible scenario. Be sure to either grab your makeup and fake entrails and join the shamble, or just have a seat somewhere in Carytown to enjoy the show. The Walk goes through C-town this year, and that’s it. No variations. They are coming for your brains, Mongrel shoppers! Do not try to tempt them with Bev’s! It will not work! OK it will work.

Festival of India

I’m pretty sure this used to be called just the International Food Festival and I’m pretty sure I went and ate some things that I remember fondly. But I also remember going to this particular iteration and seeing Doug Wilder there, and then listening to the very not-Indian family I was seated near wonder why Wilder was there. “Is he part Indian?” they asked each other. No one knew, and everyone was content to wonder why Doug Wilder might have taken the time to eat incredible food and buy beautiful wares?

  • Saturday, October 24th – Sunday, October 25th • 11:00 AM – 9:00 PM
  • Greater Richmond Convention Center, 403 N. 3rd Street
  • Free to attend!

Back to the Future Triple Feature

Not quite a festival, but with three BttF movies celebrating the day that fortune’s champion, Marty McFly, landed in the future–ON THAT VERY DAY. It’s the 30-year anniversary, which will make you feel like you’re one big Festival of the Antique yourself, but it’s cool, it’s cool. Aging spares no one.

  • Wednesday, October 21st • 5:15 (gates), 6:45 (showtime, arrive early) (plenty of food to buy there for dinner)
  • Goochland Drive-In Theater, 4344 Old Fredericksburg Road
  • $8 for adults, $3 for kids (but, guys, this thing is going to go on late)

Scott’s Addition Pumpkin Festival

Pumpkin. You guys really can’t get enough. Too bad the real fall seasons are Apple Season and Maple Season, but sure, you can have your pumpkins. Enjoy the guts-removal part. Just kidding, you probably won’t run into any of that here, just a fun festival with beer and whatnot and lots of street cleaning. Plus, it’s about time Scott’s Addition started throwing some fests!

  • Saturday, October 24th • 12:00 – 6:00 PM
  • The Boulevard
  • Free to attend!

Fire, Flour & Fork

The festival that’s hard to say! It’s back for its second year, and includes all sorts of cooking and baking related events (classes, tastings, and the like). We’ll have a more in-depth piece later on this month by our intrepid food coveror. She’s got the inside scoop for real. 

  • Wednesday, October 28th – Sunday, November 1st
  • Hilton Richmond Downtown, 501 E. Broad Street
  • Events are ticketed separately. See schedule

Craftmen’s Classic

Didn’t get enough at Makerfest? This one is focused on producing the holiday stuff you want and need. 

  • Friday, October 30th – Sunday, November 1st • see site for times
  • Richmond Raceway Complex, 6500 E. Laburnum Avenue
  • $8 for adults, $1 for children, 6 and under free

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RVA Field of Dreams Fest

It’s still happening this weekend, just in a much more indoorsy location! Charles Bradley, Black Joe Lewis, the Congress, and lots of craft beer. As if supporting inner-city baseball facilities wasn’t a fun enough thing to do on its own.

  • Friday, October 2nd • 6:30 PM
  • Altria Theater, 6 N. Laurel Street
  • $30 in advance, $35 at the door, $100 for VIP

Gallmeyer Farms Fall Festival

Gallmeyer Farms DOES NOT MESS AROUND DURING PUMPKIN SEASON. Heck, NO! Joaquin or no Joaquin, they are slingin’ pumpkins, totin’ hay bales, and makin’ kids squeal with delight. From personal experience, I can tell you that the Gallmeyer folks are not only nice and helpful as can be, they are very skilled at entertaining small humans. Plus, the Christmas card photo opportunities–are you feeling me?

  • Saturday, October 3rd – Sunday, October 4th • 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Gallmeyer Farm Veggie Stand and Pumpkin Patch, 4506 Millers Lane
  • Free!

RVA Makerfest

A bunch of makers, showing you how they do the wondrous things they do. As a not-very-craft person, my respect for people who can make beautiful and/or functional things is probably disproportionately high. Can you weave a basket? My jaw will have trouble picking itself up off the floor. Can you write an award-winning sonnet? Sure, whatever, words are easy–throw some letters together and add an em dash. Anyone can do that. Go see all the makers, rain or shine! (More on the makers themselves later today).

  • Saturday, October 3rd • 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Science Museum of Virginia, 2500 W. Broad Street
  • Free!

Blue Grass & Blue Crab Charity Festival

Well, those certainly are two blue things that Virginians love, aren’t they? Staying dry seems totally doable at Tredegar, where you can view inclement weather without being inconvenienced by it. Steamed crabs spiced shrimp, BBQ, beer, and wine, benefiting Saint Francis Home

  • Sunday, October 4th • 5:00 – 8:00 PM
  • Tredegar Ironworks, 500 Tredegar Street
  • $60 includes all you can eat and drink (including beer and wine), kids 12 and under free!

Richmond Folk Festival

Remember just a few weeks ago when the Big Bike Race™ people were still like “Imagine the tourist situation being that of the Folk Festival–that huge, but that fun.” Listen, Folk Festival, we still plan to use you as our metric. Your end of the bargain is to lift us out of our post-race depression. Here are our walkthroughs of who’s going to be there.

  • Friday, October 9th – Sunday, October 11th • see site for times
  • Browns Island, 7th and Tredegar Streets
  • Free!


Are you aware that this is rose season for many of Lewis Ginter’s representatives of this most romantic flower. Smell the smells, see the sights, and make sure you’re around for Capitol Opera Richmond as they sing a little season preview on Saturday at 12:15 PM and then again at 1:45 PM! Also that day, Richmond Ballet’s MInds in Motion team and then on Sunday, the Latin Ballet of Virginia!

  • Saturday, October 10th – Sunday, October 11th • 12:00 PM – 3:00 PM
  • Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, 1800 Lakeside Avenue
  • Free with regular garden admission

Richmond Zinefest

Zines are independently created magazines (but with no “maga”) that cover just about every topic under the sun. Gather with fellow zinemakers to trade, buy, sell, roll around in like Demi Moore in that one movie, zines made by Richmond’s community of clever independent publishers.

  • Saturday, October 10th • 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM
  • Richmond Public Library, 101 E. Franklin Street
  • Free!

Richmond Oktoberfest

These guys don’t care if Oktoberfest is really in September! It’s got Oktober in the name, dadgummit! It’s gonna have Oktober in the date as well! This huge Germans-are-we exhibition and party is a favorite of my mother’s, who is neither German nor a beer-lover, but I truly believe she just enjoys the accordions, lederhosen, and general good cheer.

  • Friday, October 16th – Saturday, October 17th • see site for times
  • Richmond Raceway Complex, Old Dominion Building, 600 E. Laburnum Avenue
  • $12 in advance, $15 at the door, with discounts available


I look forward to Oystoberfest every year–not because I want to grab as many juicy oysters as I can and shove them down my gullet. On the contrary, I don’t particularly like oysters, and I’m not sure they can be described faithfully as juicy. Maybe gummy. Or blobby. But people who love oysters REALLY LOVE oysters, and this festival is a popular one for that reason. To me, it is exciting because their PR guy (he knows who he is) is so entertaining, and I look forward to him making me laugh once annually. Is that so wrong?

  • Saturday, October 17th • 12:00 – 6:00 PM
  • St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church, 3602 Hawthorne Avenue
  • Suggested $2 donation


Why bother with Oktoberfest when you can just cut out the shy middleman and instead just celebrate Germany directly. Can you do it? And then can you do it again, this time wearing a dirndl?

  • Saturday, October 17th • 5:30 PM and 7:00 PM seatings at dinner
  • St. John’s United Church of Christ , 503 Stuart Circle
  • $15

Kickin’ Chicken Wing Fest

The 17th Street Farmers Market brought you BaconFest. It brought you craft beer fests. It brought you Girl Talk. And now it’s bringing you a fest devoted to chicken wings. I say, why not, and I bet you do too!

  • Sunday, October 18th • 12:00 – 5:00 PM
  • 17th Street Farmers Market, 17th and Main Streets
  • Free!

Party on the Avenues

It’s just considered tacky to argue over whether or not you believe Libbie Avenue is superior to Grove Avenue or vice versa. After all, you both agree that the resulting Libbie and Grove area more than makes up for it. Some of the highest property values in town, you got Westhampton Theatre for a few more months, you got that Starbucks, you got Blue Goat, you got…something else I’m sure. Party it out with all your friends and neighbors.

  • Sunday, October 18th • 12:00 PM – 6:00 PM
  • Libbie Avenue from Patterson to Granite
  • Free to attend
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Susan Howson

Susan Howson is managing editor for this very website. She writes THE BEST bios.

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