Fall Festivals in Virginia You Don’t Want to Miss
Fall in Virginia is a special season, especially for the many festivals that take place annually. The crisp air, vibrant leaves, seasonal foods and beverages…there is something about a fall festival in Virginia that is irresistible. Local pick-your-own farms and main street communities transform into family playgrounds with fall spices in the air. You'll find apple harvest festivals, pumpkin patches and pumpkin spice flavored goodies, arts and crafts, live music, and much more!
And while there are dozens happening during the autumn months, these can’t miss festivals highlight the best of the season, combining the fall flavors, sounds, and activities that you look forward to each year. Mark your calendars for a fall to remember!
Whether you’re looking for food, music, or just a chance to take in the stunning scenery that fall brings, these festivals should be on your agenda. Looking for more fall festivals to fill your weekends? There are autumn celebrations happening in every part of Virginia.
Fall Food and Drink Festivals
Powhatan’s Festival of the Grape – Powhatan, October 7, 2023
Thirty or more Virginia wineries will be on hand for this annual festival of fun. Great food, live music, and plenty of entertainment fill the day. Want to try Virginia craft beer? Purchase a tasting band and add some to the mix. Your ticket includes a wine glass.
Annual Chincoteague Island Oyster Festival—Chincoteague Island, October 7, 2023
Mark the arrival of oyster season on Virginia’s Eastern Shore at the 48th Annual Chincoteague Island Oyster Festival. Spend the day dining on fresh oysters in every form–raw, steamed, fried, and frittered–as well as clams, shrimp, and other local seafood favorites. Held in Tom’s Cove Park, this all-you-can-eat festival includes the price of the food and non-alcoholic beverages in your ticket, and beers are available for purchase separately. In addition to an abundance of fresh seafood, the festival features live entertainment, raffles, and a bevy of booths carrying local wares.
Graves’ Mountain Apple Harvest Festival, Syria, Weekends in October
Celebrating more than 40 years, the Graves’ Mountain Apple Harvest Festival is the epitome of fall in Virginia, with everything from hayrides and hay mazes to kettles of fragrant apple butter cooking over an open fire. Hear the traditional sounds of the Virginia Mountains from local Bluegrass bands, and don’t miss out on a real Virginia classic: a steaming bowl of homemade Brunswick Stew.
Browse the craft area to pick up locally made jewelry, clothing, artwork, and handcrafted woodwork, and bring the kids along for a visit with some adorable animals as you tour a working educational farm. They can even get a closer look with guided horseback rides. To finish off your fall festival experience, pick your own apples and pumpkins from the on-site orchards and fields. The festival is $5 admission per person 16 and over, free for 15 and under. Well-behaved dogs on leashes are welcome.
Virginia Wine & Garlic Festival – Amherst, Second Weekend of October
Wine and garlic are an interesting duo, but Rebec Vineyards pulls it off year after year. Five stages of entertainment will keep the weekend rocking, and more than 150 arts, craft, and specialty foods will be on hand alongside nine local wineries. “It’s chic to reek!”
Suffolk Peanut Festival – Suffolk, Second Weekend of October
Virginia is proud of their agricultural heritage and their favorite legume, the peanut. Join the community fun with amusement rides, free concerts, fireworks, demolition derby, truck and tractor pulls, and plenty more. Parking is $10 but festival entry is free!
Apple Dumpling Festival – Stuart, Fourth Saturday of October
The Depot area has it going on. That’s where the Danville and Western Railroad stopped in Stuart, and it’s where great bands will take the stage during the tasty Apple Dumpling Festival. Apple pies, apple dumplings, apple butter … just come hungry.
Urbanna Oyster Festival—Urbanna, November 3-4. 2023
As the Oyster Capital of the East Coast and home to the “Official Oyster Festival of the Commonwealth”, the riverfront town of Urbanna has the distinct honor of being the site where the Virginia Oyster Trail first began, and their pride in this fact is evident at the Urbanna Oyster Festival. Everything oyster is represented here, with more than 50 vendors serving up every type of oyster you can imagine: raw, steamed, fried, roasted, Rockefeller, stewed, oyster pot pie, oyster chowder…even oyster tacos!
The streets of Urbanna close down to host this expansive festival, and local watermen and oyster industry experts gather to share their knowledge on the oyster, recounting the history and conservation efforts behind the product and the more recent resurgence of the Chesapeake Bay oyster. The festival’s oyster shucking contest is extremely competitive, with the audience given the chore of eating all the oysters as they are opened by the contestants. Pair your oyster dishes with local Virginia wine tastings, or head to the micro-brewery garden for some local craft beers.
Thomas Jefferson Wine Festival – Forest, November 11, 2023
Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest retreat is the perfect setting to enjoy one of his favorite pastimes, wine. At least 15 Virginia wineries will be pouring samples of their best vintages. VIP tickets are available for special seating; heated tents ensure the event is held rain or shine.
Fall Arts, Music & Entertainment Festivals
Alexandria Old Town Art Festival– Alexandria, September 30, 2023
Walk down Old Town Alexandria’s famous King Street, transformed into an outdoor art gallery for this fall festival. Work from more than 200 artists is displayed all the way from the cross section at Washington Street to the Potomac waterfront.
Neptune Festival Boardwalk Weekend—Virginia Beach, September 30 - October 1, 2023
This year marks the 49th anniversary of the Neptune Festival, and while the entire festival goes from early in September to the beginning of October, the Boardwalk Weekend draws the biggest crowd.
Hundreds of thousands of people come to the festival, which spans over 32 blocks of Virginia Beach’s iconic Boardwalk. The long weekend is filled with endless entertainment, including live music and performances on multiple stages, outdoor shopping and dining experiences, a grand parade, 5k and 8k competitive running events, a beach volleyball tournament, and when the sun goes down, impressive fireworks lighting up the night sky over the ocean. Watch sailboats compete in the Atlantic Regatta, an exciting boat race that finishes at Rudee Inlet.
Richmond Folk Festival —Richmond, October 13-15, 2023
One of the most popular festivals throughout the entire year, the Richmond Folk Festival is a free three-day festival designed to expand your cultural horizons, with live music, dance performances, and artistic displays from all over the world.
Seven stages set up adjacent to Brown’s Island offer nonstop performances during the festival, with more than 30 different acts lined up over the weekend. Walk through the Virginia Folklife demonstration area, where you can learn about traditional Virginia culture and history. Sample authentic regional and ethnic foods from vendors to get a real taste of the cultures represented at the festival, and check out the folk arts marketplace if you’re interested in taking a piece of these unique cultures home with you.
Blue Ridge Folklife Festival—Ferrum, October 28, 2023
Get a taste of mountain living at the Blue Ridge Folklife Festival, which celebrates the folk ways and rural heritage of Virginia’s mountains. Now in its 49th year, the festival gives visitors a glimpse at the real roots of the Virginia region, with three music stages featuring traditional mountain music genres, from bluegrass and blues to gospel and old-time string tunes. Watch local craftspeople demonstrate Blue Ridge rural hand skills that have been passed down from generation to generation, including retired bootleggers that share their stories of distilling moonshine as they evaded local law enforcement. Kids are welcome, and will particularly enjoy the vintage farm tractors on display, custom car showcase, mule jumping contest, and sheep herding demonstrations. Tickets can be purchased at the event.
Fun for Families - Fairs and Fall Harvest Festivals
State Fair of Virginia —Doswell, September 22 - October 1, 2023
Whether you come for the deep-fried sweets, amusement rides, or to pet a few of the farm animals, the State Fair of Virginia is a great time for the entire family.
The kids can learn about agriculture and get hands-on in the petting zoo area, adding an educational element to their experience. Parents and adults browse the homemade crafts and goods while savoring delicious locally made brews and wines.
Pumpkin Village Fall Fest – Leesburg, September 16 – November 5, 2023
This festival was made for kids! They’re going to love the bounce houses, camel and pony rides, petting zoo, giant hillside slides, hay rides, pedal carts, a pumpkin patch, and quite a bit more. Don’t forget your camera!
Cox Farms Fall Festival, Centreville, September 16-17, Thursday-Monday September 23-November 6, plus Tuesday, Nov. 7.
Claiming more than 40 years of amazing family fun is Cox Farms and their Fall Festival.
The Washington Post called it “The Big Kahuna of farms will fall festivities in northern Virginia.” Slides, rope swings, hay bale mazes, animals, food, cider … It all culminates in tons of fun on more than 90 acres.
Grayson Highlands Fall Harvest Festival – Mouth of Wilson, Last Weekend of September
When you want to experience mountain culture, you head to the mountain festivals, and no one does it up better than Grayson Highlands. Bluegrass and old time music rings out while the smells of barbecue chicken and sorghum molasses dance in the crisp air.
Fall Jubilee – Manassas, October 7, 2023
Descend on Historic Old Town Manassas for family-friendly entertainment and more than 100 artisans and vendors. A community event, Fall Jubilee is free and held rain or shine.
Harvest Days Festival – Clarksville, October 7, 2023
The party starts with a Friday night Oktoberfest beer garden and rolls into Saturday with a town-wide festival of vendors, fun for the kids, and good food. The day winds down into the night with a cruise-in and music.
Bland County Festival of Leaves – Bland, October 14-15, 2023
Spread from the fairgrounds to the CourtHouse lawn, this festival is overflowing with food, crafts, fun for the kids, and of course, great food! Have a knack for apple recipes? Check out the apple cooking contest. Free event and free parking.
Fall Festival in Old Town Historic Fairfax – Fairfax, Second Saturday of October
A traditional fall festival, you’ll find arts and crafts for holiday gift-giving (unless you hide something away for yourself), plus children’s rides, music, and delicious food. It’s all in downtown historic Fairfax!
Anthem Go Outside Festival—Roanoke, October 13-15, 2023
The Go Outside Festival, presented by Anthem, is a free annual event that promotes outdoor recreation and healthy living in one of the most scenic mountain areas of Virginia.
Many outdoor enthusiasts feel limited in their hobbies due to expensive equipment, but the Go Outside Festival encourages people to come test out a range of outdoor gear absolutely free of charge. Try out paddle boards, fishing gear, kayaks, bicycles, and athletic shoes…the list of available trial equipment goes on and on. Want to learn more about an outdoor hobby? There are over 175 workshops and clinics spanning a wide range of interests at the festival, and pro athletes show off their skills with BMX stunts, bike trials, slacklining, lumberjack sports, and more. Pitch a tent and stay overnight during the festival to experience the Virginia outdoors firsthand.
Check out more of Virginia’s upcoming fall festivals below. Search by date or location, and use our map feature to plan your route!