It seems a new "Charlottesville Article" hits the press everyday.The reasons are many, but I'd argue that one of the primary draws is the packed calendar appealing to all manner of tastes. As the Charlottesville Chamber of Commerce states on their Events page, "One sign of a vibrant community is a calendar packed with events, and Charlottesville is no exception!" While the Chamber's event page lists over 450 events we've whittled the list down to nine you don't want to miss:
- First Night Virginia – The 2017 event will mark the 35th annual festival of the arts with many family-friendly activities on and around the historic Downtown mall. This event is the perfect way to ring in the new year.
- Restaurant Week– January 22 – 30 and July 15 – 23 – Modeled on similar events in other cities, this is seven days of good food and good fun. Diners choose from each participating restaurant's special prix fixe menu and enjoy three courses – typically an appetizer, an entree and dessert – for $19, $29 or $39. $1 from each Restaurant Week meal served will be donated to the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank. With every $1 donation, BRAFB is able to provide 4 meals.
- Virginia Festival of the Book – March 16 – 20 – A five day program of mostly free events including author readings, book signings, panel discussions, StoryFest programs for children and more. For more info check out our VA Festival of the Book post.
- Historic Garden Week – April 24 – 25 – The first day of this year's Albemarle county event is in our neighborhood. On the 25th the tour moves to the University of Virginia's Pavilion Gardens.
- Foxfield Spring Races – April 30th – The Foxfield Spring steeplechase races are a vivacious tailgating affair, with over 25,000 guests in attendance. Foxfield Racing Association selects local charities to receive a part of race proceeds from both the spring and fall races.
- UVA Graduation Weekend (Finals) – May 20 – 22 – Degree candidates, faculty, family and friends gather on Grounds each year to celebrate the accomplishments of the graduating class.
- Monticello Independence Day Celebration and Naturalization Ceremony – July 4th – Monticello hosts one of my favorite Charlottesville events when dozens of people from countries all over the world become U.S. Citizens. Past speakers have included George W. Bush, Colin Powell, Madeleine Albright, I.M. Pei and Dave Matthews.
- Lockn' Music Festival – September 8 – 11 – A four day music festival held at Oak Ridge Farm in Arrington, VA (45 minute drive from our house). The festival focuses primarily on jam bands and other music improvisation acts.
- Heritage Harvest Festival at Monticello – September 12 – The 9th annual Heritage Harvest Festival, hosted at Monticello and in partnership with Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, celebrates Jefferson's legacy in a fun, affordable, family-oriented, educational event promoting gardening, local food and the preservation of heritage plants.
If you attend any of the events listed above share your experience in the comments.