May 2016 Festival Guide: Food, music, beer, art, wine, and Riverrock

Posted at 3:24 PM, Apr 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-29 13:02:38-04

RICHMOND, Va. — It feels like it is officially festival season. The events calendar is stacked and the weather also promises warm sunny days — all the better to adventure out and see, taste, and hear the best of Richmond. Go 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. 


Arts in the Park

A two-day 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. (Saturday)
11 a.m. – 5 p.m. (Sunday)

French Food festival

Master Chef Paul Elbling’s will showcase his authentic French cuisine along with a variety of delicious offerings from six other local chefs. There will also be live entertainment, vendors, and children’s games. From 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. at  Little Sisters of the Poor campus at 1503 Michaels Road, Henrico.

Pedals and Gears

The Lakeside Avenue community, designated one of Richmond’s first Bike-Friendly Business Districts , will host its first ever bike festival. The day starts with a 9:30 a.m. ride from MacArthur Avenue to the Lakeside Farmer’s Market, via Bryan Park. Get a free pass to Lewis Ginter if you take the bike ride. There will be bike-related activities, live music, food and shopping specials from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Most events take place around the market at 6106 Lakeside Avenue.

Woofstock is Richmond Animal League’s annual family and dog-friendly festival held to bring awareness to the homeless pet population. Join RAL for a day full of adoptable pets from local rescues, games, live music, vendors, and more. Westchester Commons at 15786 WC Main Street, Midlothian.


RVA East End Festival

A three-day outdoor musical experience in Chimborazo Park to benefit music programs in area schools. The event gets underway on Friday with No BS! Brass Band at 6:30 p.m.  There will be multiple food vendors on site and a Kid’s Zone. Chimborazo Park at 3200 E. Broad Street, Richmond.

Friday 5 – 9 p.m.
Saturday 12 – 7 p.m.
Sunday  12 – 6 p.m.


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 the season started with The Soul Rebels with Mighty Joshua & the Zion #5
6 to 9:30 p.m.
Brown’s Island
$5 or $10 depending on the show, children under 12 are free


¿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.

Science on Tap
A host of Virginia’s finest craft beers and ciders and also offers a fascinating look at the science behind brewing. Food trucks, local vendors, and live music add to the home-grown festival atmosphere. From 2 p.m. – 6 p.m. $10 entry includes signature pint glass while supplies last. Kids under 12 are free. $6 pours/$3 tastings.

Science Museum of Virginia
2500 West Broad Street

Strawberry Street Festival 

The 37th year of this fundraiser event for William Fox elementary. Food trucks, rides, games, raffle, fresh strawberries, vendors, and music. From noon – 4:30 p.m. William Fox Elementary School at 2300 Hanover Ave, Richmond.

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. From 1 – 7 p.m. at the Historic Malvern Farm at 288 Hugenot Trail.

$15/before April 30; $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.


Lebanese Food Festival 

Enjoy Lebanese food and culture at the St. Anthony’s Maronite Catholic Church. Grape leaves, shawirma, kabobs, spinach pies, baked kibbee and more.  Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. 4611 Sadler Rd, Glen Allen.


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 13 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

Central Virginia Wine Festival

Showcasing 11 wineries from around Virginia; 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, James River Cellars, Mattaponi Winery, North Mountain Vineyard, Rebec Vineyards, and Weston Farm Vineyard.

Cost: $17/online, $20/Martin’s,  $25/gate
Innsbrook Pavillion
Noon to 6 p.m.

Isley Spring Festival

Isley Brewing Company hosts the first Isley Spring Festival.  Enjoy 11 brews, four bands and two  food trucks. From 2 – 9 p.m.  1715 Summit Ave, Richmond

Pickled and Fermented Festival

Science shows that eating pickled and fermented foods can have health benefits. Learn all about it at the first pickled festival. Starts at 1 p.m., goes to 5 p.m. and there will be beer, pickled stuff, music and shenanigans. Center of the Universe Brewing, 11293 Air Park Rd. Ashland.

Wonder City Craft Beer Festival

Hopewell’s first beer festival featuring 16 breweries, many of them Richmond-based and all from Virginia. The Taster Ticket is $25 and includes unlimited samples and a commemorative glass. VIP and Non-Taster Tickets available. The event is from noon to 6 p.m. at 403 Appomattox Street.


Celebrate Jackson Ward 

A festival to showcase the unique history of Jackson Ward through the stories and performances from various individuals and organizations that continue to make a positive impact on the area. Event is free to the public and held at Abner Clay Park at the corner of Brook Road and Clay St., Richmond.
Friday, 5 – 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, 12 – 9 p.m.

Dominion Riverrock 

Thousands will flock to the river for the outdoor sports and music festival held on Brown’s Island. All concerts are free and open to the public. The festival features a variety of outdoor sports including trail running, kayaking, biking, bouldering, slacklining, stand up paddleboarding, and dog jumping.  Local food trucks and beer will be on-site.

Friday, 5-9:30 p.m.
Saturday, 11:30 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Sunday, noon – 6 p.m.

Powhatan County Fair 

A fair, with rides, fried food and entertainment at the Powhatan County Fairgrounds at 4042 Anderson Highway. Friday 5 p.m. until close, Saturday, 1 p.m. until close, Sunday 1 p.m. to close  (Midway Rides Open at 1 PM on Sunday). General Admission/$5, rides separate cost


Chalk up the town

This annual event brings people out to Carytown to chalk up the sidewalk and add some color to the shopping district. It is free to participate.  From 1- 4 p.m. throughout Carytown.

Good Day RVA Festival

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

Lake Anna Brewfest

A chance to enjoy Lake Anna and imbibe 30 regional and national beers. Admission is $25/gate and includes six beer sample tickets. Additional tickets may be purchased at the event for $1.00 each at the event, cash only. From noon – 5 p.m. at  Lake Anna State Park, 6800 Lawyers Rd., Spotsylvania.


Classic Rock 96.5 Chili Fest

Live music all day, headlined by Poison’s Bret Michaels. Plus beer, chili sampling from local restaurants, mechanical bull riding, bikini contest and more. Innsbrook-4200 Innslake Drive, Richmond. Gates open at 2 p.m., music begins at 3 p.m. Tickets $25/gate.

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