With so many fun events, festivals, and things to do on the calendar, April is an exciting time of year in the Roanoke Region in Virginia’s Blue Ridge!
The following list is only a sampling of the many things happening in the region this month, and we encourage you to check out our complete Calendar of Events to learn more about upcoming events.
Special Feature: Easter Weekend in Virginia’s Blue Ridge >
Whether you’re taking on the Blue Ridge Marathon - America’s Toughest Marathon, listening to great live music at the Harvester Performance Center, zip-lining at Explore Park, cheering on the Salem Red Sox, or touring beautiful homes and gardens for Historic Garden Week, it’s going to be a great month in Virginia’s Blue Ridge.
Check out the sections below to learn more about the unique events and things to do this April.
NOTE: All info is subject to change. Please check event websites and social media pages for the most updated information regarding scheduling and potential changes or cancellations.
Special Events - April
1. Treetop Quest - Opening Day | April 1
April 1 is opening day for the 2023 season at Treetop Quest! The aerial adventure and obstacle course is located at Explore Park in Roanoke County and features ziplines, tightropes, tarzan swings, cargo nets, and lots of opportunities for family-friendly fun.
Daily and season passes are available for purchase, and it’s also a great option for birthday parties, private groups, teambuilding, and corporate events.
Treetop Quest at Explore Park >
2. Southwest Virginia Ballet: Cinderella | April 1
The Southwest Virginia Ballet presents the magical story of Cinderella with this special performance at the Berglund Center. The three-act production will feature 40 dancers as Cinderella is transformed from a poor servant girl to a beautiful princess with the help of her fairy godmother, animal friends, glass slippers, and a pumpkin carriage.
3. Botetourt County Restaurant Week | April 1-8
Various Restaurants - Botetourt County
Sample the delicious flavors and dishes of Botetourt County by taking part in Botetourt Restaurant Week! Many local restaurants will be participating with a variety of specials, including tasty options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
As part of the fun, you’re encouraged to share pics of your food on social media and use the hashtag #BoCoEats to be entered to win gift cards.
Botetourt County Restaurant Week Specials >
4. Salem Red Sox - Opening Night | April 6
Salem Memorial Ballpark
Baseball is back in Virginia’s Blue Ridge! April 6 is opening night for the Salem Red Sox, which will take the field against the Delmarva Shorebirds to begin the season.
There are many opportunities to catch the Sox in action this month, with the team hosting a 3-game series against the Shorebirds to open the season and then also featuring a 6-game home series against the rival Lynchburg Hillcats from April 18 through April 23.
5. First Fridays - The Bogeys | April 7
First Fridays, a popular outdoor concert series in Downtown Roanoke, will kick off its 34th season with a concert by The Bogeys. Tickets to shows are only $5 and proceeds go to benefit local area non-profit organizations.
6. Chance Crawford Softball Tournament | April 14-16
Various Locations - Roanoke & Salem
The Chance Crawford Softball Benefit Tournament began 43 years ago to help a local high school student who’d suffered a spinal cord injury during a football game. What started as an event to help cover his medical expenses and needs, the tournament carries on to raise money for worthy causes and support several college scholarships.
Chance Crawford Tournament Info >
7. Dear Nannie | April 14-23
Dear Nannie is the newest show by Attic Productions in Fincastle, created in partnership with the Botetourt Historical Society & Museum. It’s based on the true love story of Ann “Nannie” Godwin and Charles Figgat, a Fincastle couple in the 1800s, and it involves elements of romance, war, and scandal.
8. Blue Ridge Kite Festival | April 15
Green Hill Park
Head to Green Hill Park in Roanoke County for an incredible scene as hundreds of kites will fill the sky for the Blue Ridge Kite Festival. This free event offers a fun, festive atmosphere for the entire family and there will be a variety of opportunities for learning more about the best ways to fly a kite, including demonstrations by the Richmond Air Force Kite Club.
Blue Ridge Kite Festival Details >
9. Kids Fishing Day at Woody Lake | April 15
Franklin County Recreation Park
See who will reel in the largest and smallest catch of the day at Kids Fishing Day at Woody Lake in Franklin County! The lake is stocked with trout and the event takes place at the Franklin County Recreation Park. It’s free and open to all youth ages 15 and younger.
10. Salem Spring Holiday Market | April 15
Salem Civic Center
Celebrate spring in Virginia’s Blue Ridge with the Salem Spring Holiday Market at the Salem Civic Center. Support local small businesses and shop from a variety of unique vendors, craftspeople, and artisans.
11. Langhorne Slim & John Craigie | April 19
Harvester Performance Center
Nashville and Portland troubadours Langhorne Slim and John Craigie are coming together for a special series of 10 shows, which includes a stop at the Harvester Performance Center in Franklin County. Slim and Craigie will combine their one-of-a-kind songwriting abilities for an incredible live music experience.
Langhorne Slim & John Craigie Tickets >
12. The Robert Cray Band | April 20
Harvester Performance Center
Continuing with its awesome lineup of upcoming shows and concerts, the Harvester Performance Center welcomes The Robert Cray Band, the winner of multiple Grammy awards and a member of the Blues Hall of Fame. The Robert Cray Band has been performing for audiences around the world for nearly 50 years, showcasing a blend of soul, R&B, gospel, blues, and rock & roll.
The Robert Cray Band Tickets >
13. Freedom First Down by Downtown Music Festival | April 20-23
Various Venues - Downtown Roanoke
This multi-day music festival in Downtown Roanoke coincides with Blue Ridge Marathon weekend and features a great lineup of bands and performances at various local venues. This year’s festival will be headlined by Joe Hertler and The Rainbow Seekers, who will perform in Elmwood Park on April 20.
Down by Downtown Festival Website >
14. Historic Garden Week in Roanoke Tour 2023 | April 21
Various Locations - Roanoke
This year marks the 90th Historic Garden Week for Virginia, hosted by the Garden Club of Virginia, and the Roanoke Tour will take place on April 21. The tour will feature stops at 3 stately homes and beautiful gardens, all located in the South Roanoke neighborhood.
Historic Garden Week: Roanoke Tour Details & Tickets >
15. Foot Levelers Blue Ridge Marathon, Half Marathon & Anthem StarK (10K) | April 22
Head to Elmwood Park in Downtown Roanoke to cheer on the racers in America’s Toughest Road Marathon, one of the signature weekends of the year in Virginia's Blue Ridge! The finish line features an exciting, family-friendly atmosphere that’s great for spectators.
The event also offers multiple options for participating, including the full marathon, half marathon, 10K, family 1-miler, relay, Sunday Slow-K, and more.
16. Freedom Fest 2023 | April 22-23
New Freedom Farm
The 5th annual Freedom Fest at New Freedom Farm in Botetourt County will feature lots of fun and exciting activities, such as a flyover, celebrity mustang performer, food, vendors, and live music. Proceeds will benefit New Freedom Farm and its mission to continue to provide therapeutic services to veterans and first-responders dealing with PTSD, traumatic brain injuries, and other conditions.
17. Legally Blonde: The Musical | April 25
The award-winning Legally Blonde: The Musical show is bringing girl power to the Berglund Center in Virginia’s Blue Ridge. The show is part of the popular Broadway in Roanoke series and is based on the hit movie starring Reese Witherspoon as Elle Woods, who overcomes stereotypes, sexism, snobbery, and scandal in pursuit of her dreams.
Legally Blonde: The Musical Tickets >
18. 2023 Budweiser Summer Concert Series: Brett Young | April 26
The Budweiser Summer Concert Series is excited to welcome Brett Young, the multi-platinum country music star. Young will take the stage for what should be an incredible show in Elmwood Park’s outdoor amphitheater in Downtown Roanoke.
19. Roanoke Symphony Orchestra: The Music of John Denver | April 28
Salem Civic Center
Sing along for “Country Roads” night as the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra presents the timeless music of John Denver. The orchestra will perform with special guest Jim Curry and showcase the sounds that made Denver one of the most beloved singers and songwriters of his generation.
20. 40th Anniversary Celebration - Poplar Forest | April 28
Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest
Take part in the 40th anniversary celebration of the formation of the Corporation for Jefferson’s Poplar Forest, which preserves the property that served as a retreat for founding father Thomas Jefferson. The anniversary will include a full day of activities, including guided tours, carriage rides, and more.
Poplar Forest 40th Anniversary Celebration Details >
21. Best of Broadway | April 28-29
Mill Mountain Theatre
Mill Mountain Theatre presents two nights of many of your favorite Broadway hits, with a 90-minute concert that will feature signature songs from many iconic Broadway writers and shows, ranging from Lin Manuel-Miranda to Rodgers & Hammerstein.
22. Buchanan Civil War History Weekend | April 28-30
Buchanan Town Park
History comes alive in the Town of Buchanan in Botetourt County for the town’s annual Civil War History Weekend. The event features a reenactment, living history camps, and other activities representative of the era.
Buchanan Civil War History Weekend Website >
23. Virginia Children’s Theatre: James & The Giant Peach | April 28-29
In its latest production, Virginia Children’s Theatre presents the classic tale of James & The Giant Peach, the story of the young orphan who dreams of an escape and is led on a whirlwind adventure. The show is great for audiences of all ages and it’s full of unique comedy, over-the-top characters, and creative sets & costumes.
James & The Giant Peach Tickets >
24. 68th Annual Vinton Dogwood Festival | April 29
Town of Vinton
The 68th annual Vinton Dogwood Festival is one of the signature events of spring in Virginia’s Blue Ridge. The annual celebration includes a carnival, annual parade, live music & entertainment, crowning of the Dogwood Queen, lots of activities and fun for kids, and over 90 vendors showcasing handmade arts & crafts.
Vinton Dogwood Festival Website >
25. Open Studios Tour Roanoke 2023 | April 29-30
Various Studios - Roanoke
The 23rd annual Open Studios Tour is a free, family-friendly, self-guided driving tour that features professional artists at different studios and galleries throughout six different neighborhoods in the City of Roanoke. This year’s tour will showcase over 35 participating artists, the most since the event’s creation 24 years ago.
Artwork will be displayed in artists’ homes, studios, and public parks, offering visitors the opportunity to experience the art in unique, inspiring settings.
Save the Dates for May
- 43rd Annual Community School Strawberry Festival - May 5-6
- Franklin County Moonshine Express - May 13
- Local Colors Festival - May 20
- NCAA Women’s DIII Lacrosse Championship - May 27-28
- Conquer the Cove 25K & Marathon - May 28
To learn more about upcoming events and things to do in Virginia’s Blue Ridge, we encourage you to subscribe to our monthly e-newsletter and give us a follow on social media.
You can also request a free copy of our Virginia’s Blue Ridge Visitor's Guide.
Header photo of the Blue Ridge Marathon, courtesy of Roanoke Outside.