Throughout the year, Harrisonburg and the surrounding areas provide numerous outstanding events for residents and visitors alike to enjoy. Whether it is marveling at the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains, or taking a step back in time to the 19th century for a day with your family, there is something for everyone to enjoy. The following calendar of annual events is just a small sampling of all the options available for residents to experience -- make sure to mark these on your calendar to help get you started.
Ski, tube, and snowboard at Massanutten -- Harrisonburg and Rockingham County residents are simply spoiled with the proximity of Virginia’s four-season mountain resort, Massanutten. Jump in the car and within as little as 15 minutes you will be able to enjoy the extreme sports of winter - skiing, tubing, and snowboarding.
Opening of the Green Valley Bookfair -- Featured in 'Southern Living' and 'Cooperative Living Magazine', this discount book outlet store features over 500,000 new books at incredible bargain prices. Save 60-90% off retail in more than 60 different categories while shopping in comfort in the 25,000 square foot climate-controlled warehouse.
Taste of Downtown (Spring) – During a designated week in the spring, many of Harrisonburg’s downtown restaurants offer delectable specials. It’s a perfect time to try out those restaurants that you’ve been meaning to try, or to enjoy an old favorite at a discounted price. You’ll be able to find specials for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and any time in between.
Tour of Shenandoah -- Harrisonburg and Rockingham County’s version of the Tour de France. Some of the best cyclists from all over the world compete in this seven stage event taking place on many roads throughout the county.
Historic Garden Week in Virginia -- Sponsored by The Garden Club of Virginia, visitors will step through the gates of more than 250 of Virginia’s most beautiful gardens, homes and historic landmarks - many right here in the historical Shenandoah Valley. The Historic Garden Week is the oldest (going strong for almost 80 years!) and largest statewide house and garden tour event in the nation.
Rocktown Beer & Music Festival -- This festival started in 2011 and was such a huge success that it is back by popular demand and will be for quite some time. It takes place in April and September at Turner Pavilion in Downtown Harrisonburg, and features an extremely wide variety of beers, with live music playing throughout the event. It is wise to purchase tickets in advance!
Dayton Redbud Festival -- This is a family-fun event with springtime arts and crafts vendors, beer and wine garden, local food, live music, sales at downtown shops, children's activities, museum tours, carriage rides, antique car cruise-in, dog adoptions, and of course, free redbud saplings on College Street in the charming, historic Town of Dayton!
African American Festival -- This annual celebration provides fun for all ages with music, dance, children's rides, food, craft vendors and clowns. A basketball tournament and educational exhibits are also scheduled.
Valley Fest -- There is no better indication of the arrival of summer than the Shenandoah Valley Beer and Wine Festival held at Massanutten Resort. Bring your lawn chair or blanket and enjoy the day on the mountain as you listen to the music of great local bands and sample your favorite beverage from Virginia's finest micro-breweries and wineries.
Bach Festival -- The Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival is a week-long summer musical festival devoted to promote appreciation of the music of Bach. You will be sure to enjoy the vocal and instrumental soloists of national acclaim. Past festivals have included performances from the Bach Festival Orchestra and Festival Chorus.
Valley 4th -- What would the 4th be without an Independence Day Celebration? This free event downtown starts at noon, and is sure to provide enjoyment for all ages. Activities include food vendors, children's activities, annual parade, pie-eating contest, and various musical recitals. The day long celebration ends with the Grand Finale featuring fireworks set off from the roof of One Court Square!
Red Wing Roots Festival – Started in 2013, this is a family-friendly event featuring outdoor activities, delicious food vendors, camping (if you so choose), and live music. It takes place about half an hour outside of Harrisonburg at the beautiful Natural Chimney’s Park and Campground. If you don’t have kids, it’s a great event to attend with friends as well. You can sit down with your food, a beer, and enjoy live music into the night.
Summer Jam -- Food, kid-friendly fun, fireworks, live music, a wine and beer garden... what could be a better way to celebrate summer in the Valley? Every year around Independence Day, Massanutten Resort hosts this popular event that is truly fun for the entire family.
Rockingham County Fair -- Slide on a pair of your most comfortable shoes and head out to one of the best county fairs in the country. Feel the warmth of the Shenandoah Valley as you sample great food, view award-winning livestock from local farms, and enjoy carnival rides and games late in the Shenandoah Valley night! Events take place nightly in the Grandstand all week long including music from national recording artists, a demolition derby, and tractor pull.
Mountain Jamboree -- Not to be outdone by their own Summer Jam, Mountain Jamboree is an annual festival at Massanutten Resort featuring a similar vibe, with live music, food vendors, kid fun, wine and beer garden, and more.
Harrisonburg International Festival -- Celebrate our city's cultural and language diversity every September at Hillandale Park. This free, family-friendly event includes food and crafts available for purchase, plus dancing, music, and more.
Hess Corn Maze -- Looking for some good family fun? Head on over to Hess Corn Maze (located at the North end of Harrisonburg) to enjoy the challenge of a corn maze and other Fall favorites like pumpkins, gourds, mums, and more! This farm puts on many events throughout September and October of each year. Don't miss it!
Rocktown Beer & Music Festival -- This festival started in 2011 and was such a huge success that it is back by popular demand and will be for quite some time. It takes place in April and September at Turner Pavilion in Downtown Harrisonburg, and features an extremely wide variety of beers, with live music playing throughout the event. It is wise to purchase tickets in advance, or sign up to volunteer for free entry!
Taste of Downtown (Fall) – This is the autumn counterpart of Taste of Downtown. Just like in the spring, the downtown Harrisonburg restaurants rally together one week in the fall to provide specials that encourage people to get downtown and enjoy the many, tasty establishments Harrisonburg has to offer.
Massanutten Fall Festival -- This is your opportunity to enjoy the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains in all its glory! Massanutten Resort invites you to their home and witness the beautiful fall foliage. Young and old will enjoy the free chair ride up the mountain to see the best view of the changing seasons over the Shenandaoh Valley.
Dayton Days Autumn Festival -- If there is one event Valley residents mark on their calendar it may be this festival. Over 250 crafters and 75+ food vendors take over the main streets of Dayton extending great fun for children and adults of all ages.
Virginia Mennonite Relief Sale -- This popular sale occurs on the first Saturday in October each year. Over 1,000 people donate their time to this event. This particular relief sale began in 1967 and has since raised over $3.3 million! Relief sales are put on to bring in money to help needy people around the world. Check it out at the Rockingham County Fairgrounds.
Turkey Trot and Kids Dash --On the morning of Thanksgiving, head to downtown for a fun 4-mile run hosted by VA Momentum. Before the Turkey Trot, though, is the annual Kids Dash, where kids get to run through downtown with the roar of the crowd cheering them on.
Veterans Day Parade & Concert -- A downtown event in honoring our nation's heroes! Flags line Main Street as local Veterans groups ride by on patriotic floats accompanied by the Harrisonburg High School Marching Band and JROTC, Boy Scout Troops, civic organizations and a convoy of military vehicles. Following the parade, a concert is performed.
Downtown Holiday Tour -- Take a festive tour of several Old Town homes, downtown lofts, and businesses during the holiday season.
Shop Til You Drop: Holiday Open House -- Shop locally for your holiday gifts at downtown businesses, and celebrate the season with special promotions, music, art, food, and drinks!
Holiday Parade -- A Harrisonburg tradition for over 50 years. So much fun, even Santa takes a break from his busy schedule and headlines this fabulous event!
First Night -- There is no better way to usher in the New Year than enjoying the festivities in downtown Harrisonburg. Arts, vendors, and musicians keep the fun going late into the night.