Charlottesville & Albemarle County Features a Variety of Fun Festivals Again this Spring
Virginia Festival of the Book, Dogwood Festival, Taste of Monticello Wine Trail, Tom Tom Founders Festival, Foxfield Spring Races, Historic Garden Week, Festival of Cultures, and Crozet Arts & Crafts Festival all prepare to engage locals and visitors alike
Charlottesville and Albemarle County will feature a grand selection of local spring festivals in the months ahead. These festivals will celebrate a wide range of interests including books and literacy, innovation, wine, horse races, flowers, exploration of cultures, and hand-crafted artisan treasures. Here are some of the area festivals not to be missed this spring.
The Virginia Festival of the Book kicks off the region’s spring festivals, running from March 22 - 26. Produced by the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities (VFH), this Festival brings readers and writers together for a five-day celebration of books, reading, literacy, and literary culture. This will be the 23rd year for the event and features programs ranging from traditional author readings to children’s programs and hands-on workshops. All programs are open to the public and many are free to attend. www.vabook.org
The Dogwood Festival is a staple event that celebrates the arrival of spring in a major way, April 6 - 23. Featuring an array of activities such as a pageant, parade, concert, fireworks and a family-friendly carnival, this Festival is named in honor of the official flower and tree of the state of Virginia. This year marks the 68th anniversary of the Charlottesville Dogwood Festival. charlottesvilledogwoodfestival.org
The sixth edition of the Taste of Monticello Wine Trail Festival offers wine enthusiasts a celebration of the best of Central Virginia wines. Again this year, the Festival features various wine-focused events over a 3-day span, from April 13 - 15. These events include the Monticello Cup Awards at The Jefferson Theater, winery visits with wine brunches, lunches, and dinners, plus a tasting event at the Sprint Pavilion on Charlottesville’s Downtown Mall. Featuring more than 25 wineries and live entertainment, this tasting event on April 15 gives visitors the opportunity to sample a vast variety of local wines, all under one roof. Special VIP packages are available. monticellowinetrailfestival.com
The Tom Tom Founders Festival returns in 2017 for its sixth anniversary as the gathering of the year for innovators, inventors, and entrepreneurs in the Mid-Atlantic region. For one week centered around Founder’s Day (April 13), the city of Charlottesville is reimagined as a creative canvas for innovators, visionaries, and artists. Featuring more than 60 bands, 200 speakers, and 400 community organizations, this Festival fills outdoor spaces, theaters, galleries, concert halls, and more. Tom Tom will also host an impressive musical lineup through block parties and a series of acoustic front porch concerts called Porchella. Additionally, for the first time ever this year, the Festival will be featuring a “Hometown Summit,” which is a one-of-a-kind convention and celebration of leaders in small and mid-sized cities who have spearheaded some of the Nation’s most creative and successful campaigns for community change. The week-long Festival also includes numerous free performances, workshops, and seminars sure to draw innovators from around the nation to Charlottesville April 10 - 16, transforming the city’s picturesque Downtown Mall into a teeming hub for multi-disciplinary innovation and creativity. Intrigued? Find out more at tomtomfest.com.
Historic Garden Week celebrates its 84th anniversary this year with roots going back to 1927, when a flower show organized by the Garden Club of Virginia raised an impressive $7,000 to save some of the trees planted by Thomas Jefferson on the lawn at Monticello. Today, The Garden Club of Virginia operates as a non-profit organization comprised of 47 member clubs and 3,300 volunteers. Garden lovers are invited to take part in the many activities scheduled during Historic Garden Week, April 22 - 29. All proceeds from this event go toward the restoration and preservation of Virginia’s historic public gardens. It’s a great event for a great cause! www.vagardenweek.org/
A true Charlottesville tradition not to be missed is the 40th running of the Foxfield Spring Races, which will be held this year on Saturday, April 29. For several decades, the Foxfield Racing Association has provided a beautiful setting for the equestrian sport of steeple chasing. The alluring but challenging Foxfield course was designed to attract thoroughbred owners and trainers, and to provide the jockey and his mount with a beautiful ride over rolling lush green turf. www.foxfieldraces.com/spring.
The Festival of Cultures, a celebration of the cultural and linguistic diversity of our local community, will take place on May 13. This Festival is a day of free, family-friendly fun with all-day entertainment options including music, dance, song, and storytelling. Enjoy hands-on cultural crafts activities, cultural exhibits, food, and artisan vendors at Lee Park in Downtown Charlottesville. www.festivalofcultures.org/
The ever-popular Crozet Arts & Crafts Festival will return to Claudius Crozet Park on May 13 & 14 for another season of celebrating the area’s fine artisans. Dozens of juried fine art and craft exhibitors will show and sell their handcrafted works in the soaring high-peaked tents and park pavilions at this family-friendly event. Live music can be enjoyed throughout the weekend, as well as great food from a variety of on-site vendors and beverages including Virginia wine, plus draft beer by the glass. www.crozetfestival.com
The Charlottesville area comes alive throughout the year with countless festivals, special events, concerts and much more. The official destination website offers a complete calendar of events at http://www.visitcharlottesville.org/visitors/calendar-of-events/.
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