5 must do events in Virginia for 2013

State FairLooking for fun things to do in Virginia? Whether you’re local or making a road trip, here’s the cream of the crop of events in the state for lovers…

April 26th – May 5th:  86th Annual Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival

When springtime comes around, the streets of Winchester in Shenandoah Valley are decked out in pink, white, and green bunting in preparation for one of Virginia’s longest-running celebrations: the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival.  With two huge parades, celebrity appearances (this year Mario Lopez is grand marshal), a bluegrass festival, and a blow-your-socks-off fireworks show, it’s a super few days of fun for the whole family.

June 13-16th:  Virginia Beach Boardwalk Arts Show

Running a picturesque length of Virginia’s blustery, Atlantic-facing boardwalk (from 19th Street to 33rd Street), the annual outdoor Virginia Beach Boardwalk Arts Show festival showcases the work of local and international artists and attracts 200,000 visitors a year.  As well as perusing the art, you can make food stops at the delicious vendors on Culinary Row in front of 24th Street Park or relax with a cold one in the Beer gARTen within the park itself.

July 24th:  Pony Swim and Auction held in Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge

Now there’s something you don’t see every day:  a pack of swimming ponies!  It’s free to watch the annual Chincoteague Pony Swim, where around 150 wild ponies residing on Assateague Island are rounded up to swim the gap over to Chincoteague Island.  Once reaching the other side, the ponies parade down Main Street on the way to the carnival ground and the foals are auctioned the next day.  Get there early to find a good spot, thousands show up to watch the ponies swim every year.

September 27th – Oct 16th:  State Fair of Virginia, The Meadow Event Park in Caroline County

The State Fair of Virginia is held annually at Meadow Event Park in Caroline County, a short drive north from state capital Richmond.  As well as carnival rides, live music from well-established and hot new performers and livestock shows, the program also has more high-octane attractions in the mix – like bungee jumping and a demolition derby.  Book accommodation in Richmond via HostelBookers.

November 3rd:  Virginia Thanksgiving Festival at Berkeley Plantation, Williamsburg

The Berkeley Plantation on the banks of the James River in Charles City County was the site of the colonialists’ first official Thanksgiving on December 4th, 1619.  This annual Thanksgiving event lets you take a guided tour of the original manor house and stroll the gorgeous autumnal gardens.

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