These festivals will make you want to get out of the house and celebrate the coming spring!

As the weather slowly warms up here in Virginia, and the outside world becomes an inhabitable place once again, the thought of escaping our house-tombs to partake in springtime camaraderie becomes less of a daunting one. With the arrival of March, the first day of spring, and Daylight Saving Time, there suddenly comes a seemingly endless list of outdoor festivals, concerts, and block parties. Discerning between events that are worth going to and ones that aren't is no easy feat, but lucky for you, I've done the work on your behalf! Now you'll have less time fretting over what you should do and more time to actually go and do it.

Virginia Festival of the Book

[caption id="attachment_6549" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Image courtesy of[/caption] This festival, happening in Charlottesville, March 21 – 25, celebrates literary culture and has drawn over 20,000 people a year for the past 13 years. Book signings, author-led discussions, film screenings, and nearly 250 other bookworm-centric events fill up the five-day festival. And the most exciting part? Most of them are completely free to the public. You can see the complete schedule of events here.  

Church Hill Irish Festival

[caption id="attachment_6547" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Image courtesy of[/caption] On March 24 and 25, historic Church Hill in Richmond will draw enthusiastic party-goers from all regions of Virginia to celebrate Irish heritage. During what is essentially a giant block party, the annual Church Hill Irish Festival provides participants with live music, food trucks, kid-friendly activities, and of course, plenty of beer. There is a $5 suggested donation at the gate, which goes towards St. Baldrick’s Society and their fight against childhood cancer, Child Saver’s Clinic of Richmond, and many other neighborhood causes.

Luray Festival of the Arts

[caption id="attachment_6548" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Image courtesy of[/caption]   If you're in the mood for a small town stroll, check out the first-ever Luray Festival of the Arts, happening in Luray, March 23 – 25. This festival will have a packed schedule of entertainment, including plenty of live music, dance performances, literature readings, and even art demonstrations. Some exhibits have suggested donations, but the majority of the festival is free.  

Northern Virginia Restaurant Week

[caption id="attachment_6550" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Image courtesy of[/caption] For foodies and restaurateurs, the Northern Virginia Restaurant Week, happening March 19 – 26, may provide the culinary experience you're craving. A long list of local restaurants, ranging from fine dining to more casual eateries, offer special deals below their regular menu pricing. The list of participating restaurants can be found here, and reservations are strongly encouraged!  

Highland Maple Festival

[caption id="attachment_6551" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Photo courtesy of[/caption] Have a sweet tooth? Make a trip out to Highland County on March 10, 11, 17, or 18 to be one of the thousands who partake in this sweet celebration, which has been happening annually since 1958. The festival not only features demonstrations on maple-syrup making, but also bluegrass and Americana music, an arts and crafts show, and tons of maple-flavored foods for you to try. Also, be sure to enjoy the spring scenery surrounding rural Highland county.   After a cold winter's hibernation, getting out and enjoying the budding spring is crucial. So whether you're a bookworm, a party-goer, an art-lover, a foodie, or a lover of sweets, there is something for everyone to enjoy this month. Visit for a more complete list of Virginia happenings. What are some other fun things happening in Virginia this month? Let us know in the comments!

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