2012 summer festivals

A full list of all the summer events happening around town

It’s Summer! Now what are you going to do with all the great weather? Good thing you live in Richmond, which is just jam packed with great events. Get out and enjoy the best of what this fine city has to offer this summer!


1. CultSha Xpo

This annual event spotlights Richmond’s nonprofit arts and cultural organizations. There’s art, history, culture, and family fun for anyone who wants to attend. Featured organizations include ART 180, Richmond Ballet, Valentine Richmond History Center, and many more.

  • Saturday, June 23rd • 10am – 5pm
  • Science Museum of Richmond,  2500 W. Broad Street.
  • FREE

2. 10th Annual Richmond Vegetarian Festival

With over 100 vendors and restaurants, this event is worth going to for any food, whether you are a vegetarian or not. It has more than enough to keep you busy: live music, speakers, a vegan twist on Iron Chef, and a number of other food events.

  • Saturday June 23rd • noon – 6pm
  • Bryan Park, 4300 Hermitage Rd.
  • FREE

3. Parham Road Independence Day Parade & Festival

Come celebrate the birth of the nation with the Parham community at their 3rd annual parade and festival. The parade features holiday floats, marching bands, and a very special grand marshall.

  • Saturday June 30 • 10am – 4pm
  • Parham Baptist Church, 2101 N. Parham Road
  • FREE


1. James River Splash and Dash

A competitive tube race down the James River that ends with racers sprinting to the finish line while wearing their tube? Come relax (and race!) and support the James River Association!

  • Saturday, July 14th • 5pm
  • Belle Isle
  • $34 registration fee

2. Hanover Tomato Festival

There will be over 200 arts, crafts, and unique vendors, along with a variety of entertainment, food, and free activities for children of all ages. And a TON of tomatoes!

  • Saturday, July 14th • 9am – 4pm
  • Pole Green Park – Mechanicsville, VA
  • FREE

2. 6th Annual Latin Jazz & Salsa Festival

Don’t miss this chance to dance the night away at the Latin Jazz and Salsa fest. This event has concessions, vendors, and entertainment by the likes of Tito Allen, Frankie Morales, Melena, and Allen Hidalgo.

  • Saturday July 21 • 7pm – 10pm
  • Dogwood Dell, 6000 S. Boulevard
  • FREE


1. Watermelon Festival

It’s never quite summer until you’ve bit into that first sweet and juicy slice of watermelon. For the 29th consecutive year, Carytown is taking that idea to the extreme. The Watermelon Festival, Virginia’s largest one-day festival, is everything you want out of summer: music from 80 musicians, over 100 exhibitors, and 3,000 delicious watermelons.

  • Sunday, August 5th • 10am – 6pm
  • Carytown
  • FREE

2. Richmond Jazz Festival

Need to put some Soul back in your soul? Then come listen to the smooth tunes of the 3rd annual Richmond Jazz fest at Maymont. Music will predominantly feature jazz, but will also include R&B, neo-soul, and other genres.

  • Friday, August 10th – Sunday, August 12th
  • Maymont, 1700 Hampton st.
  • $90 for the weekend. Daily tickets available.

3. Filipino Festival

Sample more than great food at the 7th annual Filipino Food Festival. This event uses over 600 volunteers to celebrate the rich Filipino culture and community present in Richmond. Come for the food and stay for the folk dance and music.

  • Friday, August 10th – Saturday, August 11th • 10am
  • Our Lady of Lourdes Church, 8200 Woodman Road
  • FREE to attend, but $2 donations are appreciated.

4. Big Brothers Big Sisters Duck Race

Nearly 20,000 little yellow ducks (not real ones!) will be dumped into the James River where they will race toward the finish line. Winning ducks will earn their owners some great prizes, including a 2012 Nissan Versa. Proceeds go to support the Big Brothers Big Sisters program.

  • Saturday, August 11th • 2pm – 6pm
  • Rocketts Landing
  • FREE to attend, duck packages run from $7 – $250

5. Seafood Splash

The 10th annual Seafood Splash is coming. Details and artist have yet to be released, but it promises to be bigger and better than ever.

  • Saturday, August 25th • noon – 8pm
  • Hadad’s Lake, 7900 Osborne Turnpike
  • $27.37 for general admission. Children and teen prices available.

6. Carib Culture Unity Festival

Presented by the Island Venture Restaurant and Lounge, the 2nd annual Carib Festival is meant to both celebrate and promote the thriving Caribbean community in Richmond. There’s dance, music, and lots of great food.

  • Saturday, August 25th • 10am – 10pm
  • Brown’s Island, 5th & Tredegar streets
  • Price TBA

photo by Erica Terrini

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Stephen Nielsen

Stephen Nielsen is a contributing journalist for RVANews and makes a mean pulled pork sandwich.

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