We’re jumping into spring in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains!
The temperatures are warming up, trees are beginning to bloom, and the calendar features some of the region’s most popular annual events.
Not only is it the start of baseball season, the weekends begin to fill up with all kinds of outdoor festivals, concerts, and celebrations.
Here are 30 events to add to your calendar this April in Virginia’s Blue Ridge!
1. Salem Red Sox Opening Night
Salem Memorial Ballpark - April 5
It’s time to cheer on the Red Sox in Virginia’s Blue Ridge! The Class A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox is ready for another exciting season of Carolina League action and Salem Memorial Ballpark has been recognized as one of the most beautiful stadiums in minor league baseball. Take the family out to the ballgame and enjoy a chance to see many young players who will eventually make their way to the major league. See the full schedule on the Red Sox website >
2. Tanya Tucker
Harvester Performance Center - April 6
With a career spanning over 45 years, Tanya Tucker has established herself as a country music icon. Known for her soulful voice, Tucker has produced numerous chart-topping hits, including What’s Your Mama’s Name, Can I See You Tonight, Two Sparrows in a Hurricane, and It’s a Little Too Late.
3. National Paddling Film Festival
Hollins University - April 6
See videos and films featuring footage of incredible whitewater canoeing and kayaking experiences that are part of the National Paddling Film Festival. Tickets are only $10 at this event being hosted at Hollins University and it’s another great way to celebrate our outdoor culture in Virginia’s Blue Ridge.
4. Opera Roanoke - Puccini’s La Boheme
Jefferson Center - April 6 & 8
Enjoy two opportunities to listen to local opera music this month with two performances of Puccini’s La Boheme by Opera Roanoke at the Jefferson Center. La Boheme is one of the most popular operas in the world and it tells the love story of two struggling young artists in 19th century Paris.
5. Shakespeare in the Vines - As You Like It
Virginia Mountain Vineyards - April 6-15
Three Spirits Theatre presents the Shakespeare story of As You Like It as part of the Shakespeare in the Vines series at Virginia Mountain Vineyards. Free performances will be held rain-or-shine under the tent, and glasses & bottles of wine will be available for purchase.
6. Monster Jam
Berglund Center - April 7
Drivers and trucks will compete for the title of being Roanoke’s champion at this year’s Monster Jam event, an adrenaline-charged motorsports experience showcasing monster trucks. The kids will love the amazing display of engineering, power, and entertainment.
5 Points Music Sanctuary - April 12
5 Points Music Sanctuary is an intimate music venue in Virginia’s Blue Ridge that’s a great spot to catch a live show. For a night of americana, folk, and island influenced jam grooves, head to “The Sanctuary” on April 12 for a performance by Dangermuffin - an electric quartet from Charleston, S.C.
Hollins University Theatre Production - April 12-21
Chicago was a massive hit on Broadway and the silver screen, winning multiple Tony and Academy Awards. This month, the theatre department at Hollins University presents this popular musical that revolves around murder, greed, corruption, violence, and our unique inclination to turn criminals into celebrities.
9. Roanoke Symphony Orchestra - Don’t Stop Believin’: The Music of Journey
Salem Civic Center - April 13
You know you’ll be singing along to the classic hits like Don’t Stop Believin' and Who’s Cryin’ Now when the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra presents the music of Journey at the Salem Civic Center on April 13. Journey produced 25 gold and platinum albums and the band was inducted in the Rock & Roll Music Hall of Fame in 2017.
And because the song is now in your head, enjoy!
10. Blossom to Bottle 3K & 5K
Peaks of Otter Winery - April 14
Go for a run with a few friends and take in the beautiful scenery of the Peaks of Otter Winery & Orchard, as well as the nearby mountains at the Peaks of Otter. The Blossom to Bottle event features a 5K competitive run and 3K walk and all proceeds benefit local YMCA programs. The race will feature samples of Peaks of Otter wine at the halfway point.
11. 2018 New River Brewfest
Nesselrod Bed & Breakfast - April 14
Sample craft beer and cider while overlooking the New River at the 2018 New River Brewfest at Nesselrod Bed & Breakfast. General admission tickets include 6 pints of beer or cider, a 2018 commemorative glass, live music, cornhole, and all the fun you can have. Eric Gress, The Antecedents, and Marie Anderson are all scheduled to perform.
12. Pride in the Park 28
Elmwood Park - April 14-15
Pride in the Park is one of Virginia’s most popular annual LBTQIA events and this year is the 28th annual celebration. The 2-day event is held in Elmwood Park in Downtown Roanoke and the schedule includes live music, entertainment, games, and a diversity parade. Raja Gemini and David Hernandez headline this year’s lineup of entertainment.
13. Explore Park’s Adventure Sunday
Explore Park - April 15
Though Explore Park is open year-round in terms of trails and water access, the park will host its Adventure Sunday as a way to kick off the season and the opening of the Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center. The free event is a great way to enjoy the park with your family and activities will include a treasure hunt, animal shows, wildflower tour, and nature walks.
14. Down by Downtown Music Festival
Various Venues - Downtown Roanoke - April 19-21
Get ready for 3 days of amazing live music at 12 different venues in Downtown Roanoke with Down by Downtown. The festival features a free Friday night concert in Elmwood Park by Mad Iguanas and Dead Reckoning, and moe will headline this year’s showcase concert on Saturday night in Elmwood Park.
15. Brantley Gilbert
Salem Civic Center - April 20
The Salem Civic Center in Virginia’s Blue Ridge is a stop on Brantley Gilbert’s “The Ones That Like Me” Tour. With popular hits like The Weekend and Bottoms Up, Gilbert is a country music star who’s currently on tour with Aaron Lewis and Josh Phillips.
16. Earth Day Roanoke
Grandin Village - April 21
Earth Day is officially April 22, but we’re celebrating a day early in Virginia’s Blue Ridge! Earth Day Roanoke is a free event held in Grandin Village that focuses on a variety of eco-friendly activities and helpful resources to help promote a culture and way of life that incorporates environmental stewardship and preservation.
17. Foot Levelers Blue Ridge Marathon, Half Marathon & Anthem StarK (10K)
Elmwood Park - April 21
Who will conquer “America’s Toughest Road Marathon?” The Blue Ridge Marathon earned this nickname with over 7,430 feet in elevation change, including a portion of the course that goes along the Blue Ridge Parkway. The event also features a half marathon and 10K, and the finish line in Elmwood Park provides a festive experience for all to enjoy.
18. 67th Annual Ernest “Pig” Robertson Fishing Rodeo
Lake Spring Park - April 21
If your kids like fishing, they’ll love taking part in the 67th annual fishing rodeo at Lake Spring Park in Salem. Children age 3-8 are allowed to fish in the lake and catch up to six trout, with trophies being awarded to the top fishers.
19. Blue Ridge Kite Festival
Green Hill Park - April 21
It’s a beautiful scene to be surrounded by mountains on the horizon and the sky full of colorful kites at the annual Blue Ridge Kite Festival in Green Hill Park. The event attracts visitors from around the Mid-Atlantic and it’s a great way to learn about the basics of kite-making and flying. There will also be a special performance by the Richmond Air Force Kite Club.
20. Emergence Festival
Peaks of Otter Winery - April 21
It will be a full Blue Ridge Day of live music and fun at the Emergence Festival at Peaks of Otter Winery. The event is a celebration of the arrival of spring and activities will include yoga, drum circles, and healing arts. Overnight camping options will also be available.
21. Parkway Oyster Roast 2018
Parkway Brewing Company - April 21
Virginia is known for having some of the tastiest oysters in the world and this feast doesn’t even require a trip to the coast! Parkway Brewing Company’s annual oyster roast will feature Rappahannock River Oysters as well as a great selection of craft beer on tap, and live music by The Harwell Grice Band and Relacksachian.
22. Moonshine Express
Benjamin Franklin Middle School - April 22
What better way to learn about Franklin County’s history as the Moonshine Capital of the World than hopping aboard the Moonshine Express? This bus tour will introduce you to characters who tell the story of Franklin County’s rich moonshine history and how it was part of everyday life for locals.
23. 63rd Annual Vinton Dogwood Festival
Town of Vinton - April 25-29
Now in its 63rd year, the Vinton Dogwood Festival is the oldest continuous festival in the Roanoke Valley. The event offers five days of carnival fun with games, live music, crafts, antique car show, unique food, and the annual parade.
24. A Chorus Line
Mill Mountain Theatre - April 25 - May 13
Get your tickets to see A Chorus Line, the latest production at Mill Mountain Theatre. The show is about 17 dancers auditioning for eight spots in the chorus of a new Broadway show, and the experiences that have shaped their lives and careers.
25. The Steeldrivers
Jefferson Center - April 27
With its 2016 Best Bluegrass Album Grammy Award for The Muscle Shoals Recordings, The Steeldrivers cemented themselves as one of music’s premier bluegrass bands. In the April 27 show at the Jefferson Center, the group will also be joined by folk artist Claire Hitchins.
26. 17th Annual Sounds of the Mountains Storytelling & Music Festival
Camp Bethel - April 27-28
Camp Bethel in Botetourt County offers a wonderful setting for a weekend of storytelling and music at the annual Sounds of the Mountains Festival. This year’s event is headlined by nationally-known storytellers Kevin Kling, Odds Bodkin, Sheila Arnold Jones, and Jim May.
27. Buchanan Civil War History Weekend
Buchanan Town Park - April 27-29
You’ll love exploring the charming Town of Buchanan in Botetourt County with its quaint Main Street scene. Local antique shops and stores make for fun shopping and you can step back in time at the Buchanan Fountain Grille. For those interested in stepping even farther back in time, the weekend also features a Civil War reenactment.
28. Hikes Hops Homes & Gardens: Roanoke’s Historic Garden Week Tour
Various Gardens - April 28
Garden tours and events will be held throughout Virginia during the commonwealth’s Historic Garden Week, April 21-28. This year’s Garden Week Tour in Roanoke will feature three homes and gardens open to the public that showcase unique floral arrangements, furnishings, and distinct architectural details.
29. Open Studios of Roanoke
Various Studios - April 28-29
This 2-day self-guided tour of local art studios is Roanoke’s 18th annual Open Studios Tour. The 2018 tour features 29 professional artists who specialize in a variety of mediums, such as mixed media, sculptures, painting, pottery, textiles, photography and more. You’ll get the opportunity to experience art in multiple Roanoke neighborhoods and meet the artists behind the work.
30. Star City Cornhole Tournament
Dr Pepper Park at The Bridges - April 29
Did you know last year’s inaugural Star City Cornhole Tournament at Dr Pepper Park broke the Guinness World Record for the largest cornhole tournament in the world?! Grab a teammate, practice your toss, and join the fun of this year’s event!
You can also see a full list of what’s happening in the region by checking our complete Calendar of Events.