July starts off with lots of bangs and end with lots of other things. Cancel your beach trip, there’s too much to do in Richmond!
Photo by: tsuacctnt
Shakespeare in the best possible setting. This year, you may have or may have not seen Much Ado About Nothing, but that’s OK, you’ve still got a chance to see Hamlet, starring Molly Hood as a female prince of Denmark!? Excellent.
- July 9th – August 2nd • 7:30 PM
- Agecroft Hall, 4305 Sulgrave Road
- $30 with discounts available
How proud are you that an RVA mainstay is behind one the country’s coolest beer festivals? Your answer is probably a resounding, “Right ho!” This event draws a ton of beer enthusiasts from around this great nation, people who like to sample a plethora of said great nation’s craft beers in one go.
- Thursday, July 16th – Saturday, July 18th • see site for schedule
- Various venues, with the majority of the events being held at the Convention Center see that site again
- $42 general admission, $54 VIP/early admission
Discover the rich history of the Brookland Park Boulevard on Richmond’s Northside. Last year was an attempt to celebrate the street’s 100th birthday, and the magnificent turnout basically demanded a repeat event this year. Expect food, neighbors, music, and lots of other stuff.
- Saturday, July 18th • 12:00 – 4:00 PM
- Brookland Park Boulevard
- Free to attend!
Center of the Universe hosts an enormous, two-day battle of the bands, where the winning group gets to donate money to their fave charity! I love fave charities! Also: oysters, and lots of them. View the site for the full list of 13 bands. It’s safe to assume there will be plenty of beer, plus the addition of James River Cellars’ wine lineup.
- Saturday, July 18th – Sunday, July 19th • 1:00 – 10:00 PM (8:00 PM on Sunday)
- Center of the Universe Brewing Co, 11293 Air Park Road, Ashland
- Free to attend!
I love, love, love that cosplay exists. I mean, why NOT dress up as your favorite characters? We did it when we were kids, and why should kids get all the fun? They’re so SHORT and contribute SO LITTLE, jeez. Anyway, Comic Con is of course not just about cosplay–there’s a ton of collectibles, famous/important people from the fantasy/sci-fi/comic/horror/videogame worlds. Basically, if you have even a shred of geek in you, you’ll find something to love.
- Friday, July 31st – Sunday, August 2nd • see site for times
- Greater Richmond Convention Center, 403 N. 3rd Street
- $75 for a three-day pass, $35 for Friday, $45 for Saturday, $40 for Sunday
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We’ve taken the liberty (because we love liberty) to recap some of the most popular July 4th events as well, to make sure you get the most bang for your zero bucks (most are free!)
A band of Americans–the 29th Infantry Division Band from Virginia Infantry Division National Guard–will play for us all at Genworth’s corporate headquarters. Then, you may view the RVA on the James fireworks…all before Independence Day even dawns! You are ahead of the game, my friend! Like a good American should be!
- Friday, July 3rd • 6:30 PM
- Genworth Financial’s World Headquarters, 6620 W. Broad Street
RVA Fireworks on the James — July 3rd
The state’s largest fireworks show (says Venture Richmond), this wizardry is designed by the Gruccis of New York City, home to a highly concentrated number of Americans. It’s designed to be viewed from all 360 degrees, so you can watch it from wherevs and know you’re still getting the Full Effect. There’s also a music simulcast from WRIR FM, 97.3.
- Event begins at 6:00 PM
- Fireworks begin at 9:15 PM
- Many parking options exist (as well as road closings)
Recommended viewing sites
- Brown’s Island (the official site, with food vendors, see site for rules and regs)
- Chimborazo Park
- The Virginia War Memorial, where the City will be sponsoring a free event that includes the Richmond Brass & Percussion Consort and some food trucks!
- RVA Paddlesports has a sweet idea: they’ll paddle you out to a deserted island in the middle of the river, feed you Goatocado bowls, fruit, and hot dogs, make you s’mores, and watch these fireworks with you, and then paddle you back. It costs $89 per person ($159 for two tickets), and sounds like just about the chillest, most beautiful way to celebrate that I’ve ever heard of.
- The Genworth Financial 32nd Annual Celebrate Freedom Independence Day Concert is more than just a mouthful to say. It exists on a great spot for watching fireworks. More on this in our separate piece about not necessarily fireworky ways to celebrate the day.
Dogwood Dell 4th of July Celebration — July 4th
This event draws many Americans with its live patriotic music–provided by Richmond Concert Band and Carillon bells–and its beautiful surroundings. And its fireworks of course. We recommend bringing chairs and blankets and picnic baskets full of berry pies.
- Concert begins at 7:30 PM
- Fireworks begin at dusk (we’ll say 8:30, just to be on the safe side)
Recommended viewing sites
- Dogwood Dell, obviously • 1300 Blanton Avenue
- Anywhere in Byrd Park that has a good view
- Somewhere on Riverside drive across the river
Founded by “Sweet Lou” Hidalgo of WCLM 1450’s Latin Jazz & Salsa Show, this may just be the most energetic festival you will attend this summer. Instead of slow-moving sweaty Richmonders, trying not to melt, you’ll have sweaty Richmonders who have burst into fiery flames of rhythm! This festival truly needs your help if you want it to succeed, providing free music to Richmonders–who really are SO sweaty. Consider donating to the cause.
- Saturday, July 11th • 3:00 – 8:00 PM
- Dogwood Dell, Byrd Park
Arbor Day was many weeks ago, but if you’ll remember, the skies decided to open up and rain tree-food down upon its treasured flora. The bands involved graciously agreed to reschedule, and now that day is upon us. The weather forecast will hopefully be good, the bands will hopefully be in tune, and we’ll enjoy Full Moon Fever, Avers, and Ben Shepherd in a beautiful, verdant setting. Here’s Prabir Mehta with some more information.
- Saturday, July 11th • 12:00 – 4:00 PM
- 1708 Pump House Drive, next to the Byrd Park Pump House
- $5 donation to the James River Park System