Summer is in full swing here in Virginia, and there are so many ways to enjoy the month of July, from three-day festivals that bring together some of the biggest names in music to patriotic Fourth of July celebrations featuring massive fireworks displays. Mark your calendars and start making plans for an incredible July in Virginia this year!
4th of July Celebrations—Various Locations Around Virginia
When: On and Around July 4, 2023
Celebrate America’s Independence this Fourth of July in Virginia, one of the most vital states when it came to the American Revolution. The Commonwealth will have all sorts of festivals, fireworks, and parades during the holiday, including monumental celebrations at historic sites like Colonial Williamsburg and Mount Vernon.
Trail of the Lonesome Pine Outdoor Drama 60th Anniversary Celebration—Big Stone Gap
When: Throughout summer 2023, with specific events happening July 3-6, 2023
Southwest Virginia’s Trail of the Lonesome Pine Outdoor Drama series, the longest running outdoor drama and the official outdoor drama of Virginia, celebrates 60 years in 2023. During the Trail Days celebration, businesses in downtown Big Stone Gap offer special dishes, drinks, and specials, with some business owners and residents even dressing in period clothing and playing music as they walk the streets.
Virginia Lake Festival—Clarksville
When: July 21-23, 2023
Clarksville’s annual Virginia Lake Festival (or LakeFest, as the locals call it) is a free event that has repeatedly made the list of “One of the Top 20 Events” by the Southeast Tourism Society, attracting nearly 100,000 people each year. Kids can take tethered hot air balloon rides above Buggs Island Lake beginning on Thursday evening, and Friday morning kicks off the sand sculpture contest, followed by live music and a sampling of food vendors throughout the day. As dawn breaks on Saturday, watch as balloonists skim the pristine lake waters, then head over to downtown Clarksville and shop goods, foods, and handmade gifts from over 200 local artisans and businesses. Once night falls, boats gather all around Buggs Island Lake to witness the extravaganza fireworks show, one of the biggest annual fireworks shows in all of Southern Virginia.
Shenandoah Valley Music Festival—Orkney Springs
When: July 21-22, July 28-29, August 18-19, and September 2-3, 2023
Held over summer weekends at the beautiful historic retreat and conference center of Shrine Mont, the Shenandoah Valley Music Festival has brought countless talented musicians to the region, with past artists including LeAnn Rimes, Bruce Hornsby, and The Temptations. This year’s lineup is no exception, with Don McLean headlining the July 22nd show. Tickets range in price from about $55 to $80, depending on location (lawn, pavilion, or preferred pavilion) and the weekend. Order Your Tickets Here
Annual Chincoteague Island Pony Swim & Auction—Chincoteague Island
When: July 22-28, 2023
Chincoteague Island’s Annual Pony Swim & Auction has become a Virginia tradition on the Eastern Shore, bringing thousands of people to the small waterfront community to see these gorgeous animals make the trek across the channel between Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge and Chincoteague Island. This July event raises money to support the town of Chincoteague while also keeping the wild pony population in check, which prevents damage to the fragile coastal ecosystem of the wildlife refuge. Attend this wondrous Eastern Shore event and get a rare up-close look at these wild beauties.
When: CANCELLED FOR 2023; STAY TUNED FOR 2024 UPDATES
One of Virginia’s biggest and best music festivals, FloydFest is a five-day festival right off the Blue Ridge Parkway in the mountains of Floyd. Camp in the trees of the Blue Ridge Mountains during the festival, where you’ll discover outdoor adventure, local vendors offering everything from artisan-made goods and clothing to delicious food and beverages, and an inclusive sense of community, all within a few steps of your campsite. In addition to lots of live music (over 100 artists on eight stages), Floydfest includes workshops, healing arts seminars, and children’s activities. Get Tickets
Virginia Highlands Festival—Abingdon
When: July 21-30, 2023
Held each year for the past seven decades in historic downtown Abingdon, The Virginia Highlands Festival has been named the “Best Art Event” in the region by readers of Virginia Living Magazine. The week-long festival features activities and entertainment that is suitable for kids and adults of all ages. Check out the antiques market and the award-winning juried arts and crafts show to shop local goods. Live music, historical re-enactments, art and photography competitions, guided nature hikes, creative writing workshops, and plenty of activities for the kids rounds out this Southwest Virginia festival, providing non-stop entertainment and fun.