Who’s excited for fall in the Roanoke Valley in Virginia’s Blue Ridge? It’s one of the best times of year for a getaway to the Blue Ridge Mountains, as the temperatures begin to drop and the calendar is full of exciting festivals and events.
To help you plan your next Blue Ridge Day, check out this preview of 30 of the biggest events happening this September in Virginia’s Blue Ridge.
1. Beaver Dam Farm Sunflower Festival
Beaver Dam Farm
September 1-2 & 8-9
It’s sunflowers as far as the eye can see at this spectacular scene at Beaver Dam Farm! Due to its quickly growing popularity, the Sunflower Festival has expanded to two weekends this year, meaning two extra days to enjoy the 21 acres of beautiful sunflowers! There will also be wagon rides and various food & craft vendors.
2. Virginia’s Blue Ridge Go Cross Cyclocross Race
Fallon Park Cyclocross Course
Whether you’re competing in the events taking place over the 2-day race or just a rowdy spectator, everyone will have a great time at Virginia’s Blue Ridge Go Cross Cyclocross Race. Deschutes Brewery will also be releasing its new Fresh Haze Hazy IPA to celebrate the event! This year’s race kicks off the UCI international cyclocross and USA Cycling ProCX calendars in North America and many professional cyclists will be participating in the events.
3. Roanoke Valley Mopar Car Show
Salem Civic Center
Are you a fan of classic cars? Don’t miss the 31st annual Roanoke Valley Mopar Car Show at the Salem Civic Center! It’s free to attend and there will be an impressive collection of muscle cars and high-performance automobiles on display.
4. Big Lick Kid Fest
Spend a day in the park with the kids at the Big Lick Kid Fest presented by Big Lick Entertainment. This kid-themed festival features live music, karaoke, games and an assortment of kid-friendly activities.
5. Gary Allan - Budweiser Summer Series
With hit singles like Every Storm, Watching Airplanes, and Best I Ever Had, Gary Allan has become one of the biggest stars in country music over the past 20 years. Allan takes the stage in Elmwood Park on Friday, September 7 as part of the Budweiser Summer Concert Series in what should make for a fun Friday night of great music.
6. Long Strange Night on the Mountain
Peaks of Otter Winery & Orchards
Make it a long strange night on the mountain at the Peaks of Otter Winery! The event will include lots of live music, wine, food & craft vendors, and the option for onsite camping for those who purchase camping tickets.
7. Drive! - Opening Day
Taubman Museum of Art
DRIVE! Iconic American Cars and Motorcycles is the latest special exhibition at the Taubman Museum of Art. The exhibit showcases 23 vehicles produced between 1912 and 1965 that represent the pinnacle of American automotive ingenuity and engineering. This special ticketed exhibition will be on display at the museum through February 3, 2019.
8. Olde Salem Days
With over 400 vendors and participants, Olde Salem Days is one of the biggest annual events in Downtown Salem and one of Virginia’s premier arts & crafts festivals. The day also includes live music at Salem Farmers Market, an antique car show, and a Kid’s Fair.
9. Racin’ & Roddin’
Virginia Museum of Transportation
It’s a big month for car-themed events in Virginia’s Blue Ridge! The Racin’ & Roddin’ event at the Virginia Museum of Transportation will provide the opportunity to see many classic racing automobiles, as well as a new car art show exhibit in the auto gallery. There will also be free shuttle service that can take visitors to the nearby Taubman Museum of Art to see the Drive! exhibit.
10. Truck & Tractor Pull
Jeter Farm on the James
Bring a blanket and chairs and have a fun evening in a beautiful setting at Jeter Farm on the James River in Botetourt County. There will be numerous truck and tractor pull events happening throughout the night.
11. Hike for Hospice
The Hike for Hospice event at Explore Park will offer multiple group hike excursions for enjoying the network of trails throughout the park, and there will also be live bluegrass music, games, face-painting, and a cookout lunch.
12. Franklin County Agricultural Fair
Franklin County Recreation Park
Make the 5th annual Franklin County Agricultural Fair part of your weekend in Virginia’s Blue Ridge! The event features family-friendly rides, a lineup of great live music, petting zoo, tractor competitions, and a variety of agricultural and farm equipment demonstrations that highlight the county’s rich history of farming.
13. Flashback Friday: The Wildflowers - Tom Petty Tribute
Dr Pepper Park at The Bridges
Step back into the golden era of Tom Petty’s music at Dr Pepper Park at The Bridges with a concert by The Wildflowers, America’s #1 Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers tribute band. The show is the latest in the venue’s popular Flashback Fridays concert series.
14. Henry Street Festival
Now in its 29th year, the Henry Street Festival is a fantastic celebration of African American history and culture in Virginia’s Blue Ridge and it attracts thousands of attendees. It’s a full day and evening of live music & entertainment, authentic cuisine, merchandise, and exposure to African American heritage.
15. Buchanan Tri: Run, Ride, River Race
Buchanan Town Park
What better way to experience the outdoor adventures in Botetourt County than by competing in the Buchanan Tri? The race features a 2 mile run, 13 mile bike ride through rolling, backcountry roads, and 5 mile paddle on the James River. If this sounds overwhelming for one person, take advantage of the Relay Team Option!
16. Marine Mud Run & Devil Dog Dare
Green Hill Park
Get ready to get muddy at the 23rd annual Marine Mud Run 5k at Green Hill Park. This year’s event will also include the option to participate in the Devil Dog Dare Race, a race that incorporates additional obstacles and challenges to the mud run.
17. Harvest Time
Booker T. Washington National Monument
This event at the Booker T. Washington National Monument showcases what life was like during the mid 19th century on the small tobacco plantation in Franklin County. Harvest Time features costumed interpreters, farm animals, horse-drawn wagon rides, and other activities representative of the time period.
18. Farm to Feast
Sample the locally-grown and prepared food of the region in a unique setting with the new Farm to Feast dining event presented by Downtown Roanoke, Inc. You’ll get to enjoy an amazing 5-course meal with food and ingredients provided by vendors from the Historic Roanoke City Market in an elegant setting in historic Market Square.
19. Le Tour de Roanoke: A Foodie Bike Tour
Discover some of Roanoke’s most popular local restaurants while exploring the city by bicycle by participating in the Le Tour de Roanoke Foodie Bike Tour! The five mile ride will include appetizers, entrees and desserts at different restaurants along the route, providing the opportunity to sample some great food while meeting other cycling enthusiasts.
20. Alison Krauss
Between the numerous major awards and platinum-selling albums, Alison Krauss is one of the most decorated artists of the past century. Her latest solo album, Windy City, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Top Country & Top Bluegrass charts and received two Grammy nominations.
21. An Evening in Buchanan
Town of Buchanan
An Evening in Buchanan is a great way to enjoy the charm of Main Street in the Town of Buchanan in Botetourt County. In addition to checking out all the regular local shops and restaurants along Main Street, the event includes live music, craft beer, antique cars, and various kids activities.
22. Fincastle Festival
Town of Fincastle
Make it a weekend in Botetourt County and follow your Friday night in Buchanan with a Saturday at the nearby Fincastle Festival! This year marks the 50th anniversary event and you’ll love learning about the incredible history of the town. There will also be exhibits from local artists & craft vendors.
23. Young the Giant - Budweiser Summer Series
Young the Giant has grown in popularity over the years with captivating performances on the festival scene, such as at Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, and Austin City Limits. The California based alt-rock quintet has created hits like Cough Syrup, My Body, and Mind Over Matter, and they’ll be the final show in this year’s Budweiser Summer Series in Elmwood Park.
24. Greater Virginia Bridal Show
Looking for ideas and inspiration as you prepare to tie the knot? The Greater Virginia Bridal Show is the region’s premier annual bridal show and includes a large collection of wedding vendors, caterers, and fashion designs.
25. Roof Top Riot
Center in the Square
Don’t miss the final Roof Top Riot event of the year at the Center in the Square rooftop in Downtown Roanoke! There will be live music by Lazy Man, along with drinks, games and all kinds of fun in a gorgeous downtown setting.
26. Blue Ridge Bike Fest
Motor Mile Speedway
The 9th annual Blue Ridge Bike Fest is an awesome event for motorcycle enthusiasts. Connect with other motorcycle riders, check out the latest designs and gear from vendors, and enjoy the live music, stunts, contests and other activities throughout the 2-day event, which also offers on-site camping.
27. A Night of Symphonic Fire
The Roanoke Symphony Orchestra will present an amazing night of symphonic music at the Berglund Center. The symphony will be joined by guitarist Juan Nicolau as they showcase the works of Manuel Da Falla and Antonin Dvorak.
28. Big Lick Train Tug
Virginia Museum of Transportation
With the region’s rich railroad history, it only makes sense that we’d have an annual train tug event! The Big Lick Train Tug at the Virginia Museum of Transportation is a local fundraiser where teams will compete by seeing who can “tug” a train. It’s a free event that’s fun for the entire family!
29. Taste of the Trails
Falling Creek Park
Mountain biking? Beer? BBQ? The Taste of the Trails event introduces attendees to the awesome trails at Falling Creek Park, and then you get to chow down on delicious BBQ and beer at nearby Beale’s for the after party. Sounds like a perfect Blue Ridge Day!
30. Wine, Beer & Brats
Chateau Morrisette Winery
Chateau Morrisette may be known for producing award-winning wine, but the popular Blue Ridge Parkway winery expands its offerings with a day of bratwurst platters and festival beers, as well as live music by Java Brothers and Jared Stout. You can also count on all the great wine, of course!
We hope you’re ready for a great month in Virginia’s Blue Ridge! Visit our Events Calendar for more information on other things happening in the region, and give us a follow on social media to get additional travel ideas & resources.
You can also sign up for our Sweepstakes to be entered to win a free trip to Virginia’s Blue Ridge!