May Festivals 2015 Guide: Music, bourbon, food, exercise and burlesque

Posted at 12:32 PM, Apr 29, 2015
and last updated 2015-04-30 23:45:16-04

We have certainly passed the first quarter mark of the year.  With all the events coming up in May, there is no better time for you to decide to get out there and do all the things before spring and summer are suddenly over and you’re wrapping Christmas presents.

Don’t miss Antoinette Essa’s A-List events around town. To sign up for a weekly event emails delivered on Friday afternoon, click here. 


First Fridays
A year-round artwalk highlighting art, restaurants, shops and organizations in the Art’s District.
Held in various locations around the Art District, which includes Broad, Grace and Marshall Streets, running from Monroe Street down to 6th Street.
5 p.m. – 9 p.m.
See galleries for independent events

Friday Cheers
Friday Cheers gets started with Shakey Graves and Yarn.
6 to 9:30 p.m.
Brown’s Island
$5 or $10 depending on the show, children under 12 are free


44th Annual Arts in the Park 

Arts and crafts show and sale; paintings, photography, pottery, jewelry and woodworking.
Free admission, free parking and free shuttles from Richmond City Stadium.
1300 Blanton Ave. at the Carillon
11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Big Field Day

Music festival showcasing Incubus, Passion Pit, Dirty Heads, J. Roddy Walston & the Business , Robert Delong, Catfish & the Bottlemen with other peripheral events.

Cost: $45/at door and $28 (plus service charge)/before midnight on Friday, May 2.
Richmond International Raceway, 602 E. Laburnum Ave.

Shriner’s Pork and Music Festival

A fundraiser for the Shrine Center that includes all you can BBQ & ribs with baked beans, cole slaw, potato salad, tea, lemonade, beer. Live Music will be provided by The Kings of Swing.
1712 Bellevue Ave., Richmond
1 to 5 p.m.

¿Qué Pasa? Festival

Annual festival that highlights the food, music, and art of Virginia’s Latin American communities. An early Cinco de Mayo celebration.  The downtown Canal Walk is transformed to resemble the famous Floating Gardens of Xochimilco. Free boat rides in the “floating gardens,” live Latin music and performances along the Canal Walk while visitors enjoy Hispanic food and beverages and shop for arts and crafts.
11 a.m. – 7 p.m.


A Good Day RVA

Fundraiser for local film collective Good Day RVA. Fourteen bands on two stages.
2408 Ownby Lane, Richmond
2 – 10 p.m.
Free/items individually priced

Central Virginia Wine Festival

Showcasing 10 wineries from aroundVirginia; plus live music, food and beverage concessions, beer sales,  specialty items and arts and crafts vendors. Proceeds will benefit the general scholarship and endowment funds for the Richmond Chapter of the Virginia Tech Alumni Association.

This year’s vineyards are: Belle Mount Vineyards, Byrd Cellars, DelFosse Vineyards, Elk Island, Horton Vineyards, Hunt’s Family Vineyard, Mattaponi Winery, North Mountain Vineyard, Rebec Vineyards, and Weston Farm Vineyard.

Cost: $20/online or $25/gate
Innsbrook Pavillion
Noon to 6 p.m.

May Day at Henricus Park

Join period-dressed historical interpreters in the merry old English traditions of the spring season. Demonstrations include dancing around the Maypole along with other songs, dances, games, and meals that celebrated the arrival of spring. Pack a picnic and walk the Dutch Gap trail for views of the James River.
10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Cost: $8 Adults, $6 children aged 3-12. Henricus Patrons free
251 Henricus Park Road, Chester

Parkfest Blues Festival

Organized by the River City Blues Society of Virginia, expect lots of blues music.
Pochantas State Park
Noon – 8 p.m.
COST:  $15/door $5/per car to get into park

Strawberry Street Festival

Family-friendly festival and fundraiser featuring food, music, games, vendors, and tons of fun stuff for the kids. Proceeds benefit the curriculum enhancements of the children of William Fox Elementary School.
2300 Hanover Ave., Richmond
(804) 780-6259
Noon – 4 p.m.

Tri-Cities Cinco de Mayo Festival

Commemorate the Mexican Army’s 1862 victory over French forces, if you would like, in Petersburg.

11 a.m to 8 p.m.
115 Central Park off Sycamore Street in the heart of the Historic Poplar Lawn District in Petersburg VA

Virginia Hops and Barley Festival

A festival highlighting Virginia micro-brew beer to support local charities. Around 40 varieties (including cider) from 20 breweries. There will be food vendors and music. Tickets gets you unlimited tastings to try different Virginia micro-brew beer. Full size beers available for $5.

$15/before May 1; $20/ after May 1; and $25/gate; $50/VIP tickets. Also $10/designated driver ticket
Noon – 6 p.m. with last call at 5:45 p.m.


Carbon Leaf’s Ragtime Carnival

Two days of music featuring 13 artists on two stages at Pocahontas Live in Pocahontas State Park.  Primitive festival camping is available, along with RV/Trailer/Van camping.

Friday night tickets: $15 adv/$20 at the door
Saturday tickets are $25 adv/$30 door
Multi-day tickets are available for $35 adv

 MAY 15 -17, FRI. – SUNDAY

31st Lebanese Food Festival

Experience Lebanese food and desserts and enjoy cultural music and folk dancing. The church is next Innsbrook.
Hours: Friday, Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Free admission/food and drink individually priced
4611 Sadler Road, Glen Allen

Powhatan County Fair 

A fair, with rides, fried food and entertainment.
Powhatan County Fairgrounds
Friday 5 p.m. until close, Saturday noon until close, Sunday 10:30 AM until  6p.m.  (Midway Rides Open at 1 PM on Sunday)
General Admission/$5, rides separate cost


15th Annual Holton Hustle 5K Fest

The 3.1 mile course starts at Holton Elementary and winds through the beautiful Northside neighborhoods of Ginter Park and Bellevue. A fundraiser 5k and event promoting healthy lifestyles. Expect hundreds of participants and hundreds of spectators.After the race there are games, festivities and food.
Costs: Pre Registration/$30 individual, $70 /team, $7 for one-mile until May 15 at 8 a.m.
Time: 5k run/walk begins at 9 a.m., one mile run begins at 10:15 a.m. and post race festival begins at 10 a.m.
1600 West Laburnum Avenue, Richmond

MAY 28 – 31. THURS. – SUNDAY

40th Annual Greek Festival

You can count on four-days of delicious Greek foods, pastries and wines.
Hours: Thursday, 11:30 to 9:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and 12 p.m. to 7 p.m.on Sunday
St. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 30 Malvern Ave., Richmond
Drive-thru operates based on demand
Free to enter/items individually priced

MAY 29-31, FRI. – SUNDAY

Virginia Burlesque and Sideshow Festival — Three days of classes, shows, networking and adventure. There will be four different shows. Tickets can be purchased here.
RVA Event Space, 1 E, 4th St., Richmond


Beer, Bourbon, and BBQ Festival
60 Beers, 40 Bourbons and lots of BBQ.  And music.
Cost: $49/VIP or $35/Regular Admission
VIP Session: Noon – 6 p.m. and Regular Session: 2  – 6 p.m., with a 5:45 p.m. last call
Richmond Raceway Complex
600 E. Laburnum Avenue, Richmond

Did we miss a festival? Send us your event details, by clicking here.