November is a busy time for special events in the Roanoke Region in Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains. As we transition from fall into the holiday season, there are various festivals, celebrations, performances, and sporting events.
You'll find great live music and theatre shows throughout the region this month, delicious food & drink festivals, holiday open houses & markets, live sports, and more.
Here's a preview of 25 fun events to check out this November in Virginia's Blue Ridge!
NOTE: All info is subject to change. Please check event websites and social media pages for the most updated information.
1. Cole Swindell - November 2
Salem Civic Center
Cole Swindell headlines the Twelve Tour, featuring performances by special guests Nate Smith and Avery Anna. Swindell is a multi-platinum and five-time Academy of Country Music Award nominee.
Cole Swindell Tickets >
2. Cirque Italia - Water Circus - November 2-5
Salem Civic Center
Gather under the Big Top to see this incredible water circus show presented by Cirque Italia at the Salem Civic Center. The high-energy act showcases performers who will swing from ropes, flip over trapezes, and other exciting elements that push the boundaries of human ability.
Cirque Italia Tickets >
3. Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs | Multiple Dates
Come cheer on the Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs, the reigning champions of the Southern Professional Hockey League. The Dawgs have multiple home games at the Berglund Center in November, including various fun promotional nights planned:
- November 4 - Grateful Dawgs Night | Bring Your Dawg
- November 11 - Roanoke Express Throwback & Veterans Day
- November 22 - Fall Food Drive & Friendsgiving
- November 24 - Star Wars Night | Stick it to Cancer
4. Black Dog Salvage Holiday Open House | November 4
Black Dog Salvage
Kick off the holiday season with Black Dog Salvage at their Holiday Open House. The schedule includes live music, unique food & drink from local businesses, guest vendors, door prizes, live demonstrations, and shop tours.
Black Dog Salvage Holiday Open House Info >
5. Smith Mountain Lake Chili Festival | November 4
The Chili Festival is one of the signature annual events at Smith Mountain Lake in Virginia's Blue Ridge, featuring a combination of fall foliage around Bridgewater Plaza, a competitive chili cook-off with opportunities to taste and vote for your favorites, and shopping at various local craft vendors.
SML Chili Festival Website >
6. Blue Ridge Chocolate Festival | November 4
The Blue Ridge Chocolate Festival will feature a curated collection of candy connoisseurs, vendors, exhibitors, a huge kids zone, photo ops, and an exciting day of fun for the entire family.
Blue Ridge Chocolate Festival Tickets >
7. Youth Mountain Bike Race | November 4
The Franklin County Mountain Bike Club will host a Youth Mountain Bike Race at Waid Park. This is a non-competitive race that will offer finisher prizes and is the perfect course for first-time racers. There will also be an adaptive course option for those who prefer to stay on the ADA-trail system.
Youth MTB Race Info >
8. Opening Night Fireworks w. Roanoke Symphony Orchestra | November 5
The Roanoke Symphony Orchestra presents Opening Night Fireworks - a special concert at the Jefferson Center that will include selections from Mozart, Kodaly, and Sibelius. Maestro David Stewart Wiley and features violinist Akemi Takayama lead the orchestra.
Opening Night Fireworks Tickets >
9. VHSL State Cross Country Championships | November 9-11
Green Hill Park
We look forward to welcoming many of the top cross-country competitors from the Commonwealth to Virginia's Blue Ridge to compete in the 2023 VHSL State Cross Country Championship at Green Hill Park. The meet in Roanoke County will be for Class I through Class III athletes and schools.
VHSL Cross Country >
10. Swoon Special Exhibition | November 10 - March 10, 2024
Taubman Museum of Art
Swoon is the newest ticketed exhibition at the Taubman Museum of Art in Downtown Roanoke. Swoon is a powerful and thought-provoking exhibition featuring the work of contemporary artist Caledonia Curry/Swoon. The new exhibition is a 20-year retrospective of the artist's work, and it will be displayed from Friday, November 10, 2023, through Sunday, March 10, 2024.
Swoon Exhibition Info & Tickets >
11. 35th Annual Stocked Market | November 10-12
The Junior League of Roanoke Valley's annual Stocked Market is one of the best events of the year for holiday shopping. Browse through items from more than 100 different vendors who will be participating in this 3-day show at the Berglund Center.
Stocked Market Schedule & Tickets >
12. Virginia Veterans Parade | November 11
Take part in the annual Virginia Veterans Parade and honor our nation's veterans and military service personnel. The parade makes its way through Downtown Roanoke and is a great, family-friendly atmosphere that is full of patriotism.
Virginia Veterans Parade Website >
13. Thomas Jefferson Wine Festival | November 11
Thomas Jefferson's Poplar Forest
Celebrate Thomas Jefferson's legacy as the father of Virginia wine and enjoy tastings from more than a dozen regional wineries. The festival will include live performances by local musicians, food from local vendors, and tours of the President's private retreat.
Thomas Jefferson Wine Festival Tickets >
14. Buddy Guy | November 11
Rock & Roll Hall of Fame legend Buddy Guy will perform at the Berglund Center as part of his Guy's Damn Right Farewell Tour. Guy has received numerous awards and accolades and is considered one of the greatest guitarists ever, collaborating with other music legends such as Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, James Taylor, and many more.
Buddy Guy Tickets >
15. CIAA Football Championship | November 11
Salem Football Stadium
It's time to crown another champion in the City of Salem - Virginia's Championship City - as the 2023 CIAA Football Championship occurs at Salem Football Stadium. It'll be an exciting day of pre-game tailgating activities, championship football, marching bands, and enthusiastic support from the fans of both teams.
CIAA Football Championship Tickets >
16. Indigo Girls | November 18
Coves Amphitheater at Smith Mountain Lake
The Indigo Girls are one of the most successful folk duos in history, winning multiple Grammy Awards and creating chart-topping hits such as "Closer to Fine" and "Kid Fears."
Indigo Girls Tickets >
17. Star City Half Marathon & 10K | November 18
River's Edge Park
The Star City Marathon & 10K is a great run along the Roanoke River Greenway in Roanoke, finishing with a Taste of Roanoke post-race festival and awards ceremonies. For many participants, this race will mark the completion of Virginia's Blue Ridge Triple Crown Series, and we'd like to congratulate all those racers!
Star City Half Marathon Registration >
18. VHSL Volleyball Championships | November 18-19
Salem Civic Center
The Salem Civic Center will host the Class I, II, and III VHSL State Volleyball Championships. We look forward to welcoming the visiting teams and fans from around the state for a great weekend of championship volleyball.
VHSL Volleyball >
19. Illuminights | November 18 - December 30
Roanoke County's Explore Park
Illuminights is one of the most magical events of the holiday season in Virginia's Blue Ridge! Located at Roanoke County's Explore Park, it's an incredible scene of over 600,000 lights and unique displays along a half-mile wooded path through the park.
In addition to the trail, there is also an Artisan Christmas Market in the Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center, marshmallow roasting around the campfire, and other family-friendly activities.
Illuminights Schedule & Tickets >
20. WDBJ7’s Elmwood on Ice - Opening Weekend | November 24-26
We're excited for the return of Elmwood on Ice in Downtown Roanoke, presented by WDBJ7. The popular outdoor ice rink returns for its 8th year of skating in Elmwood Park.
The rink opens for the season on November 24 and will be open Friday - Sunday (and other select dates) through January 28, 2024.
Elmwood On Ice Schedule & Details >
21. The Rescue Mission of Roanoke Drumstick DASH | November 23
Get your holiday off to a fun start by joining the Atlantic Union Bank Drumstick Dash in Roanoke on Thanksgiving morning! The Dash is a 5k run and family walk that benefits the Roanoke Rescue Mission, which helps provide meals and services to those in need in our local community.
Drumstick DASH Website >
22. Land of Lights | November 23 - December 25
Franklin County Recreation Park
Land of Lights is a fantastic drive-thru light experience at the Franklin County Recreation Park. You can drive the 1/2 mile loop and enjoy over 50,000 Christmas lights and unique displays with your family.
The event is free to attend, but cash donations are accepted.
Land of Lights Info >
23. Bob Dylan | November 29
During a career of over 60 years, Bob Dylan has been a significant figure in popular culture and one of the greatest songwriters of all time. Dylan will perform at the Berglund Center Performing Arts Theatre as part of his nationwide Rough and Rowdy Ways Tour.
Bob Dylan Tickets >
24. Elf the Musical | November 29 - December 23
Mill Mountain Theatre
Elf the Musical is the classic holiday tale of Buddy the Elf as he embarks on a journey from the North Pole to New York City to find his birth father and discover his true identity. Buddy is determined to win over his new family and help New York remember the true meaning of Christmas.
Elf the Musical Tickets >
25. NCAA Division III Men's & Women's Soccer Championships | November 30 - December 2
Kerr Stadium - Roanoke College
The best NCAA Division III Men's & Women's Soccer teams from around the country will come to Virginia's Blue Ridge to compete for the national championships in the City of Salem - Virginia's Championship City. The matches will be held at Roanoke College's Kerr Stadium.
Salem - Virginia's Championship City >
Save the Dates for December
Dickens of a Christmas - December 1, 8, 15
Come Home to a Franklin County Christmas - December 1
Botetourt Chamber Tinsel Trail - December 1 - January 1
NCAA Division III Football Championship: Stagg Bowl - December 15
Illuminights - Through December 30