Virginia's Blue Ridge is now open in the Phase Three stage of the Commonwealth's Forward Virginia plan. Learn more about the program and what it means for various types of businesses & experiences in the region with our Phase Three Guidelines page. Phase Three >
St. Patrick's Day Parade & Shamrock Festival
Held for over 25 years, Southwest Virginia's premiere St. Patrick's Day event, the Roanoke St. Patrick's Day Celebration, continues to grow. This family-friendly celebration hosts marchers and vendors from all over the country, drawing thousands of people to Downtown Roanoke! Celebrations extend throughout the day with the Shamrock Festival with music, refreshments and activities for all ages.
(540) 342-2028 or www.downtownroanoke.org
Blue Ridge Marathon / Down by Downtown Music Festival
"America's Toughest Road Marathon" is held annually in April. 7,430 feet of elevation change over the course of three mountains and the Blue Ridge Parkway gives new meaning to "runners high." Created to showcase the natural assets and vibrant urban core of Virginia's Blue Ridge's to running enthusiasts, the Blue Ridge Marathon has attracted runners from 46 states and five international countries. Featured on multiple "toughest marathons" list including The Weather Channel World's 15 Toughest Marathons, the Blue Ridge Marathon has put this race on running bucket lists across the world. In addition to the full marathon, there is also a half marathon and 10K, both of which are difficult in their own right. The marathon partners with the Down by Downtown Music Festival, which provides multiple concerts throughout the weekend including a main concert at the finish line.
Salem Red Sox
The Salem Red Sox are an Advanced Class "A" Minor League Professional Baseball Team and an affiliate of the Boston Red Sox. The Salem Red Sox play at the LewisGale Field at Salem Memorial Ballpark, a $10 million state-of-the-art facility with sky boxes, picnic areas, and to-scale Wiffle Ball Field replica of Fenway Park. It is one of the finest minor league facilities in America with a breathtaking view of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Games played April-August.
(540) 389-9710 or www.salemsox.com
Vinton Dogwood Festival
The Vinton Dogwood Festival is one of the area's biggest and longest running events for over 59 years. Carnival, Annual Parade and Crowning of the Dogwood Queen, Live Music, Free Kid's Zone, Craft and Food Vendors, and more. Held annually at the end of April.
(540) 983-0614 or www.vintondogwoodfestival.org
The Strawberry Festival is a family event with live entertainment, arts and crafts, games and activities for children as well as the most delicious strawberry treats you will ever taste. The festival is not only one of Roanoke's most popular and well-known festivals but it's also a family friendly event with live music. The Strawberry Festival is annually during the first weekend in May.
For more information - 540-563-5036 or www.communityschool.net
Roanoke Festival in the Park
An annual celebration at the end of May including visual and performing arts, juried fine arts/crafts show and wearable art show, children's activities, day and evening concerts. An event for all ages!
Blue Ridge Music Festival
Now expanded to two days, this weekend music festival held the last weekend in May features country music headliners and rising stars. Previously a one-day festival, the event has attracted thousands of fans to Salem Stadium. The new weekend format will give even more fans the opportunity to experience twice as many of their favorite performers in one place.
Star City Motor Madness
Held the last Friday and Saturday in June, the Star City Motor Madness is a celebration of America's passion for the automobile and the love of cruising. All activities are free! Friday night "Cruise-in" and Saturday "Car & Truck Show."
Rediscover life in small town America during Buchanan's Community Carnival. For over 60 years, families have enjoyed games, rides provided by Coles Amusements, and great food, including famous fries! Each night features live music and/or dance performances. This week long event is held annually over the 4th of July holiday.
(540) 254-1212 or www.townofbuchanan.com
The Salem Fair is Virginia's largest free gate fair. Held annually over July 4, this event on the grounds of the Salem Civic Center draws in excess of 300,000 patrons each year to ride the carnival rides (usually over 35), enjoy the shows, including petting zoo and racing pigs, sample the foods and view the creative arts exhibits. The fair opens the Thursday before July 4 through the second Sunday over two weekends.
(540) 375-4013 or www.salemfair.com
Touch a Truck
This free event is a community-wide happening where both kids and adults have the opportunity to see, touch, and play while learning about over 200 cool vehicles. Held at Roanoke County's Green Hill Park in July, visitors get a chance to see (and touch) everything from fire trucks to motorcycles, cement trucks to police cars, delivery trucks to garbage trucks, and airplanes! Drivers and operators will be on hand to assist in the exploration.
(540) 777-6326 or www.roanokecountyparks.com
This Mid-Atlantic Premier Craft Beer Festival is held annually in August, representing over 100 different beers. This event draws thousands to taste regional brews from microbreweries around the country.
Henry Street Festival
For over 25 years, the Henry Street Festival presents an array of diverse entertainment, educational forums, and exposure to African-American heritage as expressed through the performing arts, crafts, cuisines, customs, and merchandise. This festival is held annually in September.
(540) 857-4395 or www.harrisonmuseum.com/site/henry-street-heritage-festival/
Smith Mountain Lake Wine Festival
The Smith Mountain Lake Wine Festival provides a grand platform for residents and visitors from nearby and far-away who enjoy great music, wine tasting and crafts. This two day festival has been held the last weekend in September for over 25 years, and represents over 25 wineries, regional crafts, and a variety of foods and live music.
(540) 721-1203 or www.visitsmithmountainlake.com
Blue Ridge Folklife Festival
Blue Ridge Folklife Festival is held each year at Ferrum College the fourth Saturday in October. For over 40 years, this is a one-day celebration of regional folkways, and visitors delight in an unmatched presentation of old-time crafts, music, foods, customs and early competitions.
(540) 365-4416 or www.blueridgefolklifefestival.org
Go Outside Festival
The Roanoke GO Outside Festival is an annual event to encourage healthy, active outdoor recreation, held annually at the end of October. By combining the things outdoor enthusiasts love - camping, music, gear, races, and demos, and a beautiful outdoor setting - GO Fest is a celebration of everything outdoors.
Fashions for Evergreens
A favorite backdrop for holiday family photos, The Hotel Roanoke, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, shines bright during the holidays. The annual "Fashions for Evergeens" celebrates the holidays with a unique tree competition, featuring more than 25 professionally designed trees. The display runs from Thanksgiving Day to New Year's Day and is free and open to the public.
Dickens of a Christmas
Dickens of a Christmas spans the first three consecutive Friday nights in December - highlights include a tree lighting ceremony, Christmas parade and Pet Costume Contest. Dickens is fun for the whole family with horse drawn carriage rides, carolers in the streets, a myriad of street performances, re-enactors dressed in costume, ice sculpture demonstration, music and dance, vendors selling their wares, a special 'kids zone area' and much more.
(540) 342-2028 or www.downtownroanoke.org