It’s harvest and Halloween season, and RVA is busting at the seams with autumn-friendly festivals and fabulous fiendish fun.
The State Fair began Friday, September 27th and continues until Sunday, October 6th. Whether you’re flying solo, with a special someone, or carrying along the kids, there are plenty of rides, petting zoos, food, and more to keep a smile on everyone’s face.
- Friday, September 27th – Sunday, October 6th
- Meadow Even Park • I-95 exit 98 (Doswell)
- $8 – $75
Ghastly goblins, wicked madness, and hair-raising rides await all those who dare enter the evil amusement park…MWA-HAHAHA!!
- Throughout October
- Kings Dominion (16000 Theme Park Way in Doswell)
- Admission prices vary
Church Hill will be the place for some bodacious, lip-smacking barbecue. Kids can keep busy with face painting, balloon animals, and an ole’ fashioned pig toss. Can I get a Hill yeah!?!
- Saturday, October 5th • 12:00 PM – Sunset
- Libby Hill Park (2800 E. Franklin Street)
Food from all corners of the globe will be on display at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, adjacent to VCU’s campus. In addition to delicious ethnic food, there’ll be imported beers and wines, unique music and dancing, and games for kids.
- Saturday, October 5th • 11:00 AM – 8:00 PM
- Cathedral of the Sacred Heart (800 S. Cathedral Place)
The second annual event is a day-long celebration of Virginia’s bounty: craft brewers, food vendors, artisans, and outdoor adventure companies. Special guest Blues Traveler will also perform. All this comes together in Virginia’s largest state park.
- Saturday, October 5th • 12:00 PM
- Pocahontas State Park (10301 State Park Road in Chesterfield)
- $16.50 in advance; $20 at the gate
Thousands come out every year to celebrate a time when 2nd Street was the heart and soul of Richmond’s African-American community. Four music stages, children’s activities, food, shops, and dancing in the streets will fill Jackson Ward.
- Saturday, October 5th – Sunday, October 6th
- Jackson Ward between 1st and 3rd streets
The third annual festival is a great place to kick off fall with international cuisine, a kids corner, cultural entertainment, and more. Bill Bevins of Lite98 will also host a contest pitting local DJs against one another to determine the best DJ chef.
- Saturday, October 5th • 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM
- 11104 W. Broad Street
Oysters are enjoying a nice resurgence in culinary popularity these days, and this festival is a great way to jump on the bandwagon. Even if oysters ain’t your thing, you’ll want to swing by for the brats, beer, bands, and entertainment for the kids.
- Saturday, October 5th • 12:00 – 6:00 PM
- 3602 Hawthrone Avenue
- FREE ($2 suggested donation)
Enjoy the finer things in life. This festival spotlights the region’s great wines along with incredible food prepared by local restaurants like Mezzanine, Curry Craft, Amour Wine Bistro, and more. Each ticket includes a souvenir wine glass and wine tasting.
- Sunday, October 6th • 12:00 – 6:00 PM
- Cary Court (3126 W. Cary Street)
- Advance tickets are $20; $30 at the gate
Over 200,000 people came out last year to celebrate and discover the roots, richness, and variety of American culture through music, dance, storytelling, and crafts. This year won’t be any different. This festival is one of the absolute best things about Richmond. Don’t sleep on it.
- Friday, October 11th – Sunday, October 13th
- Downtown riverfront
This event is celebrating its 45th year, so they’re obviously doing something right. The largest Oktoberfest in Virginia hosts roughly 5,000 people over the two-day event. Not only does the festival rule with beer, food, dancing, and general Germanic awesomeness, it also takes place indoors. Prost!
- Friday, October 18th – Saturday, October 19th
- Richmond International Raceway (602 E. Laburnum Avenue)
- $8 – $10
This event has it all: rugby, piping and drumming competitions, harp, fiddle, and bagpipe competitions, and heavy athletics! What more do you want? Whisky tasting? Yeah, there’s that too!
- Saturday, October 19th – Sunday, October 20th
- Richmond Raceway Complex (602 E. Laburnum Avenue)
- $15 – $25
This Glen Allen festival features hands-on activities and demonstrations depicting typical homemaking and farming tasks of the 19th Century. Attendees can play cricket, make cider, create candles, ride a pony, and meet sheep. Kids 3-12 can roam the Great Pumpkin Patch and take home their own pumpkin.
- Saturday, October 19th • 12:00 – 4:00 PM
- Meadow Farm Museum at Crump Park (3400 Mountain Road in Glen Allen)
Visit historic Powhatan while enjoying wine from over 30 different wineries, food, music, and all sorts of live entertainment. This year proceeds benefit the Free Clinic of Powhatan.
- Saturday, October 19th • 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM
- Powhatan’s Historic Courthouse Square (just off Old Buckingham Road)
- $25 in advance, $30 at the gate (non-tasting tickets available)
Take a ride on a hay wagon down a spooky trail. Do the Monster Mash to some rockin’ music, create creepy crafts, and dress-to-impress at a costume contest. Great for kids and families.
- Friday, October 25th • 6:00 – 9:00 PM
- Dorey Recreation Center (3400 Mountain Road in Glen Allen)
This all-ages community event spotlights both the harvest and Scott’s Addition. Pair autumn weather with craft beer, local grub, and more. Pssst…Don’t forget to wear your best Halloween costume too.
- Saturday, October 26th • 12:00 – 6:00 PM
- N. Boulevard and W. Leigh Street
The 9th Annual Richmond Zombie walk is the single best event to shamble up and down the streets of Carytown while moaning about brains. Dress up as a zombie, bring your kids (and dress them up as little zombies), and join hundreds of other undead Richmonders in the quest for brains and late brunch.
- Saturday, October 26th • 2:30 PM
This fifth-annual German-Hungarian fest features authentic music, folk dancing, and dishes like knockwurst, bratwurst, potato pancakes, German potato salad, and more.
- Sunday, October 27th • 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM
- 17th Street Farmer’s Market
Head to the Children’s Garden to partake in pumpkin painting, food tasting, hoop dancing, and a concert by the Richmond Indigenous Gourd Orchestra.
- Sunday, October 27th • 1:00 – 4:00 PM
- 1800 Lakeside Avenue
- Regular admission
Trick of Treat Street (TOTS) creates a safe, fun, festive Halloween event for kids 10 and under. There’ll be food, magicians, games, pumpkin decorating, face painting, a costume contest, moon bounces, and more. Pets can also take part in the festivities with a pet costume contest!
- Sunday, October 27th • 12:30 – 4:30 PM
- Westhampton Green at the University of Richmond
Day of the Dead Festival (PDF)
Head to the 17th Street Farmers Market to take part in a variety of ghoulish goodies and fiendish fun. When you’re done, you can bar hop in your Halloween costume.
- Thursday, October 31st • 6:00 – 9:00 PM
- 17th Street Farmers Market
photo by Teo