We’re always ready for a good festival in Virginia’s Blue Ridge!
The calendar is packed with special festivals this May, including celebrations of craft beer, music, flowers, paddling, wine and more.
As you get ready to plan your next Blue Ridge Day, don’t miss out on the fun things happening this month in Virginia’s Blue Ridge.
Here is a guide to 25 of the biggest events throughout the month.
1. A Chorus Line
Mill Mountain Theatre - Through May 13
Who will earn one of the coveted spots in the chorus of a new Broadway show? Find out in Mill Mountain Theatre’s production of A Chorus Line, a story about 17 dancers going through the audition process.
2. Bike Shorts Film Festival
Grandin Theatre - May 4
The Bike Shorts Film Festival is a fantastic celebration of the local bike culture in Virginia’s Blue Ridge! Held at the historic Grandin Theatre, the 8th annual film festival showcases short films about bikes & cycling that have been produced by local, national, and international filmmakers.
3. Community School’s Strawberry Festival
Downtown Roanoke - May 4-5
Chowing down on Strawberry Shortcake during the first weekend of May at the Strawberry Festival is one of Roanoke’s tastiest annual traditions. This two-day event is a fundraiser for the local Community School and features lots of delicious strawberry treats, live music, kids activities and more.
4. Smith Mountain Lake Fishing Tournament
Gills Creek Marina - May 4-6
Can you reel in a prize-worthy bass or catfish? Anglers of all ages and skill levels are invited to compete in the 49th annual Smith Mountain Lake Fishing Tournament at Gills Creek Marina. With over 500 miles of shoreline and 22,000 acres of water, the lake is known for having some of the finest fishing waters on the East Coast
5. Monster Art Rally
Taubman Museum of Art - May 4
Enhance your art collection with some amazing, one-of-a-kind pieces that are created at the 4th annual Monster Art Rally at the Taubman Museum of Art! This is a great way to support professional artists who create art the live on site while you watch and have an opportunity to bid on the pieces. The winners of the works are selected by a luck-of-the-draw bid process with each piece priced at $50.
6. Smith Mountain Lake Brews & Tunes Festival
Smith Mountain Lake YMCA - May 5
40 craft beers and ciders will be available from over 20 local and regional craft breweries and cideries at the Brews & Tunes Festival at Smith Mountain Lake! You can also get down to the live music of Goose Gossett and Barefoot West.
7. Boones Mill Model Train Show
Town of Boones Mill - May 5
Calling all train lovers! The Boones Mill N&W Depot will be open for tours and the event will be a great opportunity to buy, sell, and trade railroad memorabilia, as well as checking out various model train sets.
8. Buchanan Garden Festival
Buchanan Town Park - May 5
Find varieties of flowers, plants, gardening tools, and other items that will provide inspiration for your garden. The Buchanan Garden Festival also offers lectures provided by the Roanoke Master Gardeners, and offers a beautiful setting along the banks of the James River.
9. Salem Red Sox
Haley Toyota Field at Salem Memorial Ballpark - Various Dates
The Salem Red Sox are off to a hot start to the Carolina League season! Cheer on the Sox in the beautiful Salem Memorial Ballpark and get a chance to see some of the most promising young players in the Boston Red Sox minor league system. This month includes a seven game homestand May 7 through May 13.
10. The Illusionists
Berglund Center - May 8
We’re thrilled that Virginia’s Blue Ridge is a stop on The Illusionists - Live from Broadway 2018 North American Tour. The show presents five of the most incredible illusionists on Earth with a non-stop collection of outrageous and astonishing acts.
11. Charley’s Aunt
Attic Productions - May 10-19
Originally performed in London in 1892, Charley’s Aunt is one of the most successful plays in history. The story is built around young Charley Wykeham and the confusion he causes regarding the identity of his aunt.
12. Mountain Mayhem Disc Golf Tournament
Mayflower Hills Park - May 12
Did you know there’s a new disc golf course at Mayflower Hills Park in Roanoke County? This awesome new 18-hole course was created and built by Roanoke County and the Roanoke Disc Golf Club. The tournament will feature segments for various skill levels, but registrants should sign up fast as space is limited!
13. Mother’s Day Brunch
Peaks of Otter Lodge - May 13
Treat Mom to a Mother’s Day brunch in a beautiful setting at the Peaks of Otter Lodge’s Lake View Dining Room. The buffet menu includes omelettes, waffles, prime rib, roasted pork loin and much more. Reservations are strongly encouraged.
14. Five Finger Death Punch & Shinedown
Salem Civic Center - May 14
Rock out at the Salem Civic Center with a concert featuring Five Finger Death Punch, Shinedown, and special guests Starset & Bad Wolves. The show is part of the Salem Civic Center’s 50th anniversary celebration and its history of bringing great rock music to the region.
15. Cirque Italia
Salem Civic Center - May 17-20
Cirque Italia is the first traveling water circus and the show presents acts and performers from around the world. You’ll be mesmerized by the modern water curtain, aerial performances, laser show, stunningly lifelike animal puppets, and all the other incredible elements of this show held at the Salem Civic Center, May 17 through May 20.
16. Ramble Weekend
Blackwater River & Pigg River - May 18-20
Are you ready for three days of paddling, floating and fun in Franklin County?! This year is the 17th Annual River Ramble Weekend and there are all kinds of water activities planned for enjoying the Pigg & Blackwater Rivers.
17. Local Colors
Elmwood Park - May 19
Virginia’s Blue Ridge is shaped by cultures and ethnicities from across the world, and nearly all of them are represented at the annual Local Colors festival in Downtown Roanoke. There will be special performances, exhibits & displays, and authentic food that provides the opportunity to eat your way around the world.
18. Night Rider’s Ball
Martin’s Downtown Bar & Grill - May 19
It’s a full night of biking and great live music at the 9th annual Night Rider’s Ball at Martin’s Downtown Bar & Grill. As a celebration of May being National Bike Month, the Night Rider’s Ball provides free admission to those who ride their bike to the event, which also features free Bike Valet service. This year’s live music lineup is headlined by The Hackensaw Boys.
19. Daleville Summer Concert Series - Uptown!
Daleville Town Center - May 19
Kick off the summer with an outdoor concert at the beautiful Daleville Town Center & Performance Pavilion in Botetourt County! Uptown! - a local band specializing in 70s funk, 80s dance, pop, and classic rock, takes the performance pavilion stage on May 19. Admission is only $5 and kids 12 & under are free.
20. Vinton Grapes & Grains Festival
Vinton War Memorial - May 19
Known formerly as the Vinton Wine & Food Festival, this year’s event will feature wine and beer from area wineries and breweries. There will also be food & craft vendors, and live entertainment provided by The Big Ole Boys.
21. Fairy Tale Festival
Center in the Square - May 20
Princesses! Fairies! Knights! Vikings! Your child’s dreams will come true at the Fairy Tale Festival at Center in the Square. There will be character appearances, a petting zoo, castle bounce house, a downtown treasure hunt, and all kinds of kid-friendly activities.
22. Le Tour de Roanoke: A Foodie Bike Tour
UnderDog Bikes - May 21
Tour sections of Roanoke by bicycle while sampling dishes from various local restaurants as part of this guided bike tour. It’s combination of a five mile bike ride with a progressive dinner featuring appetizers, entrees and desserts enjoyed over the course of 2.5 hours.
23. Paw Patrol Live!
Berglund Center - May 22-23
The kids will love taking part in “The Great Pirate Adventure!” - the theme of this new PAW Patrol live stage show. The popular pups embark on a pirate-themed adventure in an attempt to uncover a hidden treasure.
24. Festival in the Park
Elmwood Park - May 25-27
This year marks the 50th anniversary of Roanoke’s Festival in the Park! Held over Memorial Day Weekend, it’s three days of outstanding live music. This year’s music schedule is headlined by Russell Dickerson & Drake White on May 25, Foghat on May 26, and 1964 the Tribute on May 27.
25. Chantilly Farm Bluegrass & BBQ Festival
Chantilly Farm - May 25-27
Head to Chantilly Farm for three fun days of bluegrass and mountain music at the 8th annual Bluegrass & BBQ Festival. It’s also a wonderful venue for camping and the event will include a beer & wine garden, arts & crafts vendors, and lots of special outdoor activities.
Visit our Calendar for a complete list of upcoming events in Virginia’s Blue Ridge. You can also find out more about the region by subscribing to our e-newsletter and following our various accounts on social media.