Finally! The weather is getting warmer, events are beginning to fill the calendars, and everyone that has been waiting patiently (or impatiently) for the return of festival season is about to have big ol' smiles back on their faces! Fairfax County has community festivals all around the county starting in late April through June (and beyond). So put on your shorts, grab your sunscreen, and get ready for rides, food, and fun!
There are lots of different types of festivals like music festivals, street festivals, and farm festivals in the fall but here are several key Fairfax County festivals you won't want to miss this spring and summer as festival season begins in Northern Virginia.
Use this blog post as a guide to see which festivals are near you today, this week, and this weekend all summer long.
Taste of Vienna
April 29, 2023
I've been going to Taste of Vienna since it began nearly a decade ago and kind of view it as my own personal kickoff to festival season – I look at it as my reward for surviving the cold of winter. My personal challenge: devour as much food as humanly possible like a bear coming out of hibernation. Besides being an awesomely convenient way to sample all the best restaurants in the Town of Vienna, it's also a brilliant way to thank and support the first responders who work for the Vienna Volunteer Fire Department – the organization that hosts the event. Oh, and there's also local wine and beer for purchase. So beware sliders, crab cakes, pasties, kabobs, and BBQ - Papa Bear is hungry and will be on the prowl once again!
Taste of Annandale
April 29, 2023
Photo courtesy Annandale Today
With food as the main attraction, you can indulge your way through nearly two dozen food vendors, including restaurants, food trucks, breweries, and caterers at the annual Taste of Annandale. Kiddos will enjoy storybook readings hosted by the Fairfax County Public Library, a karaoke station, face painting, temporary tattoos, costumed characters, and other activities. Proceeds from the Taste of Annandale support youth art programs, including George Mason University’s Re-Imagining Community initiative, in which high school students use art and poetry to promote community engagement.
NEW: Taste of Tysons Corner
May 6, 2023
Image courtesy Taste of Tysons Corner
A new festival on the block this year gives you the opportunity to taste your way through Tysons Corner Center. Taste of Tysons Corner allows you to experience a wide array of food & beverage offerings with food samplings, cooking demos, chef appearances, a beer garden, live music & entertainment, giveaways, and more! Sample 40+ bites from Tysons Corner Center eateries and watch live music and cooking demonstrations on the plaza.
Hot Tip: A purchase of a $25 VIP ticket grants you access to the exclusive VIP lounge complete with complimentary Eddie V's oyster bar and tuna tartar, Seasons 52 beer and wine tasting, a sampling of Earl's new menu items, and La Sandia's famous guacamole with a build-your-own taco bar!
Rides Only Preview Day: May 19, 2023
Festival Day: May 20, 2023
Image Courtesy McLean Community Center
McLean Day is festival season's perfect first taste of rides, exhibitor booths, entertainment stages, and everything else you'd expect a community festival to be. The large and small ticketed carnival rides will give the kids thrills while the food, music, and exhibitors keep the grown-ups entertained. This year on Friday, May 19, a day before McLean Day, you’re invited to "Preview Day" - a rides-only event where you can get a taste of what to expect on Saturday.
Tephra ICA Fine Arts Festival
May 20 - 21, 2023
Image credit Charlotte Geary for Tephra ICA
Lovers of fine arts will rejoice to hear that Tephra Institute of Contemporary Art will be hosting its annual festival at Reston Town Center this May. Highlighting more than 200 artists who are creating unique, handmade works of art, the festival comprises one-on-one experiences, performances, and special events in the unique outdoor environment of the town center.
May 20-21, 2023
Have you ever attended a festival 11 stories up in the air? Be sure to add PerchFest to your calendar this year, a biannual celebration that is attended by nearly 15,000 people over the course of a spring weekend. Enjoy putt putt in the sky, live music, community vendors, lawn games and inflatables, appearances by local personalities, a morning fitness class, and support the festival’s charity partner, Lucky Dog Animal Rescue.
May 20, 2023
After a couple of years of hiatus, the BrewWorks Festival at Workhouse Arts Center returns in a celebration of beer, wine & spirits, and visual arts. Sample microbrews, cider, wine, and spirits, enjoy delicious food and lawn games, and listen to local bands throughout the day. While on campus, browse the Workhouse galleries, artist studios, gift shop and Lucy Burns Museum, which explores the site's history as a former prison with ties to the women's suffrage movement. Keep an eye out for local Fairfax County brewery Bunnyman Brewing, which is set to open a second taproom at the Workhouse Arts Center this Fall!
Hot Tip: If you can't make this festival, worry not! Car enthusiasts will love the AutoWorks Festival on June 3, fans of America should add the FireWorks Festival to their agenda on July 1, and music lovers shouldn't miss the MusicWorks Festival on August 5.
DMV Chocolate and Coffee Festival
May 20 - 21, 2023
For a different type of festival - one that delights your senses - grab tickets to the DMV Chocolate and Coffee Festival at Dulles Expo Center. Sip coffees from around the world, brought to you by local vendors. Taste chocolates of every form for every palate, handcrafted by caring artisans. Explore other unique vendors with products like teas, soaps, candles, gifts, and art!
Hot tip: If these dates don't work for you, save the date for October 7 - 8, 2023, when the Festival returns to the area!
May 27 - 29, 2023
Now is when we really start getting into the festival swing of things! Viva! Vienna! is three days full of rides, food, exhibitors, ongoing entertainment, and thousands of revelers. My favorite things to check out at Viva! Vienna! are all the great festival cuisines, those hidden gem items found in the exhibitor booths, and the kid-friendly entertainment which keeps my youngster in the festival mood for hours at a time. I look forward to strolling down Church Street during this event every year – just to take it all in.
June 1 - 4, 2023
Image Courtesy Herndon Festival
Herndon knows how to party. The full-scale Herndon Festival finally returns to full-form this year for the first time since the pandemic! The event features a carnival all four days, two stages of entertainment, a 10K/5K Race & Fitness Expo, a children’s hands-on art area, kids alley, a business expo, arts and crafts vendors, and an assortment of food vendors. And remember, while in years past, the festival was held downtown, this year the Carnival will be back on the grounds of Northwest Federal Credit Union.
Reston Pride Festival
June 3, 2023
Photo courtesy Reston Community Center
Reston puts on a community-wide event each June celebrating and supporting the LGBTQIA+ community featuring dance and vocal performances, keynote speakers, an awards ceremony, and more. Reston Pride takes place at Lake Anne Plaza. This year’s festival will feature an appearance by BETTY.
Taste of Springfield
Bust out the stretchy waistband! The Taste of Springfield Feast-ival is a community celebration of good food, exhibitors, performances and LIVE music! This family-friendly
Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Festival
June 3, 2023
Image courtesy Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Festival
Northern Virginia’s BIGGEST, BADDEST, BONE-IN, BBQ Fest is HERE! This annual affair offers all those pleasures that Southerners live by – Beer, Bourbon, Barbecue, Boots, Bacon, Biscuits, Bluegrass, and Smoked Beasts! It’s a great day of beer sippin’, bourbon tastin’, music listenin’, cigar smokin’, and barbecue eatin’. Your admission buys you a sampling glass so you can enjoy an ALL-YOU-CARE-TO-TASTE sampling of beer and bourbon.
NEW: Out & About Festival
June 24-25, 2023
For the first time, Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts will host a two-day, three-stage festival of music and nature headlined by Brandi Carlile in America's only National Park for the Performing Arts. Out & About celebrates pride by spotlighting LBGTQ+ artists and allies who live out loud. Don't sit on tickets to this one - they are expected to go quickly!
Be sure to keep checking back for more information as more festivals are constantly being added to our calendar of events! For the full run down of festivals this summer, click here. Where will you celebrate festival season in #FXVA?