The fair-est of them all? The best Fall festivals and county fairs across Virginia

Virginia News

File – (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The leaves are starting to turn, there’s a chill in the air and pumpkins are appearing on porches across the commonwealth. That’s right, Fall is here – and with it, harvest fairs, live music and food.

Check out our picks of festivals and seasonal destinations from Galax to Newport News.

CENTRAL VIRGINIA

Harvestfest at the Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens

The Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens in Richmond are a great place to catch a glimpse of changing foliage. And if you head there during Harvesfest, you’ll also get to hear live music, enjoy great food and participate in family-friendly activities.

  • Dates: Oct. 23-24
  • Cost: $14
  • Location: Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens, 1800 Lakeside Avenue, Richmond, VA
lewis ginter flowers_419037
The Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens

InLight Richmond

This exhibition, put on by Richmond’s own 1708 Gallery, showcases beautiful sculptures that emphasize the use of light and sound. Make sure to go after dark to get the full experience of this stunning artwork – and the picturesque park it’s installed in.

  • Dates: Nov. 12-13
  • Cost: Free!
  • Location: Great Shiplock Park, Richmond, VA

House of Beverly Pop-up Shop

Food trucks, vintage clothing and local crafts — check out this pop-up shop in Petersburg if your style is a little off the beaten path.

  • Date: Nov. 6
  • Cost: Free!
  • Location: 325 Brown Street, Petersburg, VA 23803

EASTERN SHORE / HAMPTON ROADS

Chincoteague Farmers and Artisans Market

The Chincoteague Farmers and Artisans Market showcases the best of this seaside town, in an area known for its exquisite handcrafted decoys and sea glass jewelry. The Eastern Shore is a center of agriculture in Virginia, and visitors will be able to find great local produce and seafood from the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean.

  • Dates: Every Wednesday and Saturday through Oct. 30
  • Cost: Free!
  • Location: 6309 Church Street, Chincoteague, VA
Chincoteague is famous for its yearly pony swim.

Yorktoberfest

An obligatory plug for my hometown here: with this year’s Yorktown Day parade canceled, this is the best way to enjoy Yorktown’s beautiful historic waterfront. Beers, brats and the deep blue of the York River — what more could you want?

  • Date: Oct. 24
  • Cost: $5 – $80
  • Location: Riverwalk Landing, 401 Water Street, Yorktown, VA

Newport News Greek Festival

As a repeat attendee of the Greek Festival, I may be biased, but this is an event you absolutely can’t miss. Whether you prefer savory Dolmades or sweet Baklava, this is the best of Greek cooking as you’ve never tasted it before.

  • Dates: Oct. 21-23
  • Cost: Free! (Although you won’t be able to resist buying some delicious loukoumades)
  • Location: 60 Traverse Road, Newport News, VA

Northampton Beach Bash and Oyster Roast

The best of the bay! The price may seem a little steep, even for a delicious oyster dinner, but it’s all for a good cause. And it may be your last chance to really enjoy the beach before cold weather sets in!

  • Date: Oct. 23
  • Cost: $60 (proceeds benefit local YMCA scholarship fund, tickets include dinner and silent auction)
  • Location: YMCA Camp Silver Beach, 6272 YMCA Lane, Jamesville, VA

WESTERN VIRGINIA

Valley Gem and Mineral Show

Virginia has a rich geological heritage, with the Appalachian and Blue Ridge mountains revealing the ancient history of North America. That rich history is on display at the Valley Gem and Mineral Show in Harrisonburg, and with vendors in attendance, you can take a piece of it home with you.

  • Dates: Oct. 22-24
  • Cost: $5
  • Location: Rockingham County Fairgrounds, 4808 South Valley Pike, Harrisonburg, VA

Devil’s Backbone Lumberjack Classic

It’s the Olympics of woodworking! Throw back some brews, enjoy tasty food and watch the wood shavings fly as competitors show off their skills.

  • Date: Oct. 23
  • Cost: Free!
  • Location: Basecamp Brewpub & Meadows, 200 Mosby Run, Roseland, VA

Amherst County Fair

This one is for everyone who looks forward to riding Ferris wheels and other classic carnival rides. Just $20 (for an advance ticket) will secure all the rides you want. So enjoy! The rest of us will stay firmly on the ground.

  • Dates: Oct. 21-24
  • Cost: $3 and $5 admissions, unlimited rides for $20 with pre-order
  • Location: Amherst County Fairgrounds

Liberty Mills Farm Corn Maze

I have personally been lost in the Liberty Mills corn maze for over an hour, so believe me when I say the tickets are worth every penny. And with multiple mazes to choose from, there’s something for every skill level.

  • Dates: Maze open through Nov. 11
  • Cost: $14 single maze ticket ($55 season pass)
  • Location: Liberty Mill Farm, 9166 Liberty Mills Road, Somerset, VA
monticello_414822
Monticello was the birthplace and primary residence of Thomas Jefferson – as well as a working plantation where he kept hundreds in slavery.

Lights, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness

The birthplace of Thomas Jefferson is a potent symbol of Virginia’s complicated history. If you visit on one of these nights, in addition to learning all about the life of Thomas Jefferson and Monticello’s operation as a slave plantation, you’ll see the grounds decked in beautiful lights — though not necessarily historically accurate.

  • Dates: Oct. 16 and Oct. 23
  • Cost: $22 – $75 (Kids under 12 free with purchase of most tickets)
  • Location: Monticello, 931 Thomas Jefferson Parkway, Charlottesville, VA

NORTHERN VIRGINIA

Vienna Halloween Parade

It’s already too late to register a float for this year’s Halloween parade in Vienna — but parents and children are invited to walk alongside the parade as it moves through this town’s picturesque downtown.

  • Date: Oct. 27
  • Cost: Free!
  • Location: United Bank, 374 Maple Avenue, Vienna, VA

DogFest DC

Fans of our furry friends don’t miss this cute event in Fairfax County! There’ll be contests and vendors for attendees but let’s be real: the deluge of dogs is more than enough reason to head down to this festival.

  • Date: October 23
  • Cost: Free!
  • Location: Reston Town Center Ice Skating Pavilion, 1818 Discovery St., Reston, VA 20190

Night of Lights on the Fairgrounds

Drive through lights are always a popular holiday attraction – but this festival in Prince William County has a lot more to offer! From a Christmas village to live music and shows to carnival games, this event makes for an ideal family evening.

  • Date: Nov. 12 through Jan. 9, 2022
  • Cost: $5 – $25
  • Location: Prince William County Fairground, 10624 Dumfries Road, Manassas, VA 20112

SOUTHWESTERN VIRGINIA

Blue Ridge Backroads Show

Galax is one of the smallest independent cities in Virginia, but when it comes to live music it can go toe-to-toe with Richmond. Broadcast from the historic Rex Theatre, you can catch this weekly performance on the air on WBRF, but nothing beats seeing it in person.

  • Date: Every Friday night!
  • Cost: $10
  • Location: Rex Theatre, 113 E Grayson Street, Galax, VA
Galax is one of Virginia’s smallest independent cities. (Cyoung9 // Wikimedia Commons)

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