Summer in Richmond means hot days and even hotter nights. For students who choose to stay here in the summer, or may be stuck here because of summer classes, there are a myriad of events to stay entertained while everyone else is out of town.
Everything from festivals to concerts to theater productions will be happening all across the river city from May to August.
It may still be during finals week, but the ¿Qué Pasa? Festival on Saturday, May 2 at the Canal Walk is not one to miss. In celebration of Cinco de Mayo, the Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce will put on the event, which will have tour boat rides, Latin music, dance performances and food and drink from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Every Friday in May and June is “Friday Cheers” at Brown’s Island, which features a concert each week. Tickets are $5-10 depending on the band, and groups such as Shakey Graves, Future Islands and Moon Taxi will be performing.
Other events in May will include two 5K races, several concerts at the Broadberry and Strange Matter, a Tyler the Creator show at the National, walking tours of Hollywood Cemetery and other parts of the city and the Dominion Riverrock Festival at Brown’s Island.
June is a month full of food festivals, from the Bacon Festival at the 17th Street Farmer’s Market to the Vegetarian Festival at Bryan Park to Broad Appetit, a celebration of restaurants and food trucks on Broad Street. There will also be a Father’s Day BBQ at Strangeways Brewery. Just like in May, there will be plenty of shows at Strange Matter and the Broadberry.
In July, Independence Day festivities include fireworks and cookouts all around the city, but the rest of the month will feature plenty to do as well. There will be a “glow run,” an evening three-mile race through Maymont with glow sticks, and a “color run” 5K which will feature a DJ and have participants covered in colorful paint powder by day and glow-in-the-dark paint by night.
To end the summer on a high note, the month of August will feature plenty of events for students to attend before dragging themselves back to class. The annual Carytown Watermelon Festival on August 9 will bring musicians, vendors and of course watermelons for attendees to enjoy. The sixth annual GWAR B-Q will be a full three-day festival this year from August 14-16 celebrating the local Richmond band that garnered a cult following in the ’90s for their performances featuring gory costumes.
Whether taking summer classes or working in Richmond, there’s no shortage of events to attend while school is out. Even if there’s a day with nothing to do, a relaxing stop at the river is always an option.