21 Sep 2021
Neptune Festival's 47th Anniversary!
This year marks the 47th anniversary for the Virginia Beach Neptune Festival Boardwalk Weekend. The tradition of the Neptune Festival brings the community together every year for a plethora of activities and fun! The festival boardwalk weekend always takes place on the last weekend of September, this year starting Friday, September 24th, and is the largest annual special event in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
The royal court is a huge tradition of the Neptune Festival and brings residents of the City of Virginia Beach together to celebrate the Neptune Legend. King Neptune and the Royal Court are nominated to participate in numerous events as well as the parade to be recognized for their community service and as role models in the city. It’s truly an honor to become a city ambassador for the whole year. Neptune’s Grand Parade takes place during the boardwalk weekend, Saturday, September 25th from 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. The parade starts on 16th Street and not only has King Neptune and his court but an assortment of decorated floats, marching bands from schools across the city, colorful balloon floats, and the streets lined with people.
The weekend will be filled with live music concerts by talented local and national artists. These concerts are completely free and will take place on the Boardwalk stages located on 24th and 31st streets. Also, new this year is the family fun zone which is located by the 17th Street Boardwalk stage. Throughout the day there will be magicians, face painters, fun games with a silent disco and movie night following in the evening.
The International Sand Sculpting Championship is a bucket list event you won’t want to miss! The sculpting starts during the boardwalk weekend as 26 pros from five different countries make their way to the Virginia Beach Oceanfront to transform sand into wonderful art in just three days. At the Land of Sand Tent on 7th Street, the sculpting pros will hold free teaching clinics to learn sandcastle building 101 and the art of sculpting a dolphin in sand.
Add some more fun to the weekend with the Neptune’s 8k Race and Atlantic Regatta taking place on Saturday. The kickoff to the race is at 8 a.m. with the finish line at the 31st Street Park where there will be a post race party. Every runner receives an 8k race finisher medal, Neptune Festival t-shirt, one ticket to the International Sandsculpting Championship, along with pizza, drinks, and music crossing the finish line. A great reason to participate in this race is a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Virginia Beach Lifeguard Association so make sure to sign up! Another fun event is Neptune’s Atlantic Regatta which is part of the Southern Bay Distance Racing Series. This race is the last of the season for Broad Bay Sailing Association and you are able to watch the boats finish sailing into the Rudee Inlet, which is a great way to switch up the fun from all the activities going on at the Boardwalk.
All weekend long the Boardwalk will be lined with tents and displays with amazing work from over 250 artisans who make their way to the beach every year for the Neptune Festival Art & Craft Show. Artists and craftsmen have the opportunity to win cash awards for their work and the public is open to explore all of the displays and purchase pieces that are available!