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Fall Festivals Are In The Air

Fall is the perfect time for area festivals. The temperatures are generally milder, offering plenty of opportunities to get outside, enjoy the company of others, make new friends, support local businesses, and maybe even pick up a few gifts for upcoming holidays and birthdays.

The following is a list of festivals that will be coming up in September, October, and November on the Peninsula. One large and popular festival, the Newport News Fall Festival, which is held annually at Newport News Park, will not happening again this year. This is the second straight year the festival has been cancelled due to concerns about the coronavirus.

“Our top priority is the health and safety of our community,” said Michael Poplawski, director of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism, in a statement. “We know our loyal attendees and vendors will be disappointed with the cancellation, and we appreciate their understanding of the need to make this decision.”

First held in 1974, the annual Newport News Falls Festival is normally one of the most well-attended events on the Peninsula, hosting more than 15,000 people during its two-day period.

Please note that other festival organizers may also opt to cancel their events if concerns over covid-19 continue to rise:

Kiwanis Peninsula Seafood Festival

September 25

2pm to 5:30pm

60 Traverse Rd., Newport News (Hellenic Community Center)

Featuring an all-you-can-eat smorgasbord catered by Black Pelican restaurant in Chesapeake, the menu will include fried fish fillets, spiced steamed shrimp, Southern style shrimp-n-grits, fried oysters, hand-shucked raw oysters, sauteed scallops with stir fried vegetables, Hatteras clam chowder, pull pork barbecue, mini crab cakes, baked beans, Cole slaw, potato salad, low country dirty rice, roasted vegetable medley, hushpuppies, and assorted homemade desserts.

Tickets are $45 in advance and $55.00 available at the door on the day of the event, visitors will enjoy unlimited wine, beer, water, and iced tea (all included in the ticket price), music by Slapnation, raffles, door prizes, and fun. The event will be held rain or shine, so bring your lawn chairs and be ready to put the “consume” in “consumer.”

This will also be the first year the festival offers a take-out menu that includes fried fish, peel and eat shrimp, crab cakes, North Carolina-style BBQ, sauteed scallops with stir-fried veggies, baked beans, red potato salad, coleslaw, low country dirty rice, hush puppies, and a choice of banana pudding, mud pie, or sheet cake.

The money raised from this event will provide support services for children in the communities served by Kiwanis Clubs of Division 13. Tickets are available online or from local Kiwanis Club members.

Yorktown Wine Festival

October 2

12pm to 6pm

331 Water St., Yorktown (Riverwalk Landing)

You don’t need to be a wine connoisseur to sample a wide selection of wines from Virginia and beyond. In fact, since Yorktown has sister cities in Zweibrücken, Germany and Port-Vendres, France, event goers will also be able to sample Rieslings and Gewürztraminers from Germany and indulge in a bubbly champagne from France.

The event will feature live music, food from local restaurants, and works for sale from local artisans. This year will also include a chance to sample spirits from local distilleries. The event will be held rain or shine, but in the event of severe weather, the make-up date will be October 3.

There will be no non-drinking tickets available this year, so all attendees must purchase a ticket. No outside food, drinks, tables, tents, or umbrellas, please. Unopened bottled water and small folding lawn chairs will be permitted. Service pets only. Tickets are available for sale in advance for $30, or at the door for $35.

Barktoberfest

October 9

12pm to 6pm

Downtown Hampton

The Peninsula SPCA’s annual fall festival fundraiser will feature live music, a craft brew tasting, a dog walk through downtown Hampton, costume contests for pets and people, and games and activities for folks and their pups.

Live music will be provided by Lost Soul Society and special guests, plus there will be pet-friendly vendors and local rescues with adoptable animals.  The Bow Wow Beer Garden, presented by Browning Insurance & Financial Services, Peninsula Animal Referral Center, and Waste Management will offer a variety of craft brews from St. George Brewing Company, Alewerks Brewing Company, Bull Island Brewing Company, The Vanguard Brewpub & Distillery, Sly Clyde Ciderworks, and That Damn Mary Brewing.  In addition, Blue Sky Distillery will be on hand offering free tastings of their Dog Star Vodka.  Food and non-alcoholic beverages will be available for purchase from local food trucks, Southern Hospitality and Chicken Stop. 

This Fido-friendly festival will offer lots of fall activities for guests and their pups including bobbing for tennis balls, a peanut butter eating contest, dog cake walks, and more.  

Advance tickets may be purchased online. Adults: $15 and includes exclusive Barktoberfest T-shirt, event admission, goody bag with cool stuff, and two raffle tickets. Children (age 5 to 12): $10.

Guests who wish to enjoy all the festival has to offer can purchase a Barktoberfest Package ticket for $35. This includes beer tasting, souvenir glass, exclusive Barktoberfest T-shirt, goody bag with cool stuff, and two raffle tickets.  

Tickets for festival admission only are available at the gate on the day of the event:  Adults & Children: $10, Barktoberfest Package: $45. T-shirts and souvenir glasses will be available for purchase.  Guests are encouraged to purchase their tickets in advance as there are a limited number of event shirts and souvenir glasses available. For event details, schedule of events, or to register in advance visit www.peninsulaspca.org.  

Market Days Fall Market (Yorktown)

October 9

8am to noon

331 Water St., Yorktown (Riverwalk Landing)

One of 11 specialty markets held throughout the year, the Fall Market will allow visitors to shop for seasonal produce, fresh seafood, meats, breads, handmade soaps and candles, honey, gourmet dog treats, and a beautiful display of work from local artists. Talk to farmers, ranchers, watermen, and food entrepreneurs to learn their techniques for growing, catching, and maintaining the highest quality products to offer visitors and their families. 

Poquoson Seafood Festival

October 15-17

The City of Poquoson has decided to cancel this year’s festival.

Newport News Greek Festival

October 21-23

October 21: 4pm to 9pm; October 22: 11am to 9pm; October 23: 11am to 9pm

60 Traverse Rd., Newport News (Hellenic Community Center)

The Fall Edition of the Newport News Greek Festival will be held indoors, with dine-in and carry-out options available. The event will feature authentic Greek food, beverages, and desserts. There will be Greek dancing, music, and vendors will be onsite.

Yorktoberfest

October 24

Morning Session: 10am to 1:30pm; Afternoon Session: 2:3pm to 5:30pm

Presented by the York County Chamber of Commerce, visitors will sample a variety of craft beers, ciders, and more. There will be music, vendors, food, and unlimited tastings of more than 30 different beers.

Each session: VIP tickets are available (pre-sale only) for $80; Early Bird $25; At the door $35; and non-drinking tickets are $5. Kids 10 and under accompanied by adults are free. Event will be held rain or shine.

Market Days Paws at the River

October 30

8am to noon

331 Water St., Yorktown (Riverwalk Landing)

One of 11 specialty markets held throughout the year, the Paws at the River event features local rescue groups and vendors that cater to the health and well-being of animals. Plenty of dogs will be on hand for visitors to adopt. This animal-friendly event allows visitors to bring their own pets for a walk around Riverwalk Landing as they shop for seasonal produce, fresh seafood, meats, breads, handmade soaps and candles, honey, gourmet dog treats, and a beautiful display of work from local artists. Talk to farmers, ranchers, watermen, and food entrepreneurs to learn their techniques for growing, catching, and maintaining the highest quality products to offer visitors and their families. 

Historic Hilton Village Fall Festival

October 30

11am to 5pm

10377 Warwick Boulevard, Newport News

Arts and crafts vendors, food, kid activities, prizes, and fun.

Newport News City Center Fall Festival

October 30

12 to 6pm

702 Mariners Row, Newport News

City Center at Oyster Point will be transformed into a craft beer lover’s haven, featuring local Virginia beers, ciders, and wine tasting. Tickets for unlimited tasting of 30 beers and 10 wines are available online for $35. Tickets will be available at the door for $40.

For those not sampling, the event is free and open to the public. The Joe Gosman Band will play from noon to 2pm and the Tidewater Drive Band will perform live on the Mariners Row Market Stage from 2:30pm to 6pm. An interactive kids’ zone will be set up for a meet and greet with Spiderman and Elsa from Frozen, paint your own pumpkin, and other kids’ crafts.

There will be food trucks, artisanal food vendors, local arts and crafts vendors, and a variety of other vendors. The festival is sponsored by BOB FM, 96X, US106.1, WNIS, and Sports Radio 850. Proceeds from the tasting will go to the Center for Child & Family Services.

The Not So Basic Fall Festival (Newport News)

November 6

12pm to 4pm

727 Blue Crab Road, Newport News

This event has been cancelled.

Bodacious Bazaar

November 12

1610 Coliseum Dr., Hampton (Hampton Roads Convention Center)

This Fall Bazaar will feature more than 300 unique and quality vendors, find arts and crafts, and Virginia wineries. This is a three-day shopping extravaganza designed to promote talented artists, crafters, and local businesses. This is a great way to get holiday shopping started.

Tickets will be available online starting October 1, and will also be available at the door on the day of the event. Three-day passes will be available for those who want to get full immersion. Visit the Bodacious Bazaar website for updates.

Virginia Living Museum Oyster Roast

Saturday, November 13

3pm to 6pm

524 J. Clyde Morris Blvd., Newport News

Enjoy all-you-can-eat fresh local Virginia oysters, fried seafood, chowder, and a dessert buffet. Craft beer, wine, and a full bar will be available, and event admission includes DJ/live music, commemorative glasses, raffles, and more.

The event will be held rain or shine and tickets are non-refundable. Ages 21 and older only. A new feature this year is the availability of an exclusive “pod” option. Purchase a pod for your group of six or eight and enjoy the festivities in your uniquely reserved space. Pod quantities are limited.

Individual tickets are $65 in advance and $75 starting Monday, November 8. Pod tickets are $600 for a pod of six and $800 for a pod of eight. Pods of six include admission to the event for six people, six extra drink tickets, and 12 museum admission tickets. Pods of eight include admission to the event for eight people, eight drink tickets, and 16 museum admission tickets.

Online tickets are available here. NOTE: This event tends to sell out quickly, so purchasing tickets early is highly suggested. All proceeds from this event will benefit the Museum’s conversation, education, and animal welfare programs.

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