Charlottesville’s Spring Traditions and Events
Editor’s Note: this blog was updated on March 2, 2023.
With spring comes a plethora of unique events in Charlottesville including, but not limited to, food and beverage festivals, concerts, and other art events. Charlottesville is rich with tradition, but also welcomes the bustling presence of other trendy options in the area. Although there are hundreds to choose from, this blog includes a compilation of the ones you absolutely need to learn more about. So, here is a list of Charlottesville’s spring traditions and events you cannot miss!
Virginia Festival of the Book
Wednesday March 21st – Sunday March 25th: Come enjoy a large number of featured programs in the Charlottesville and Albemarle area for both children and adults! A popular event every season, be sure to experience this springtime fun, including luncheons at the Omni Hotel and an evening with the National Book Awards at the Paramount Theatre.
The Charlottesville Ten Miler
Saturday, March 25th – 7:15am: nearly 50 years in the running, the Charlottesville Ten Miler is one of Virginia’s premier road races, attracting over 2,500 runners each year. It begins at a brisk hour in the morning and winds through the heart of scenic Charlottesville before the finish at the UVA Sports Complex on McCormack Road where Bodos, juices and plenty of dopamine ensure a dynamite apres-run party.
Farmers Market at IX Art Park
Saturdays 8 am to 1 pm: Your farmers market fix is found at IX Art Park. Tons of vendors and local artisans set up shop at the park, with fresh produce and other goods right next to the captivating outdoor art space. 522 2nd St SE, Charlottesville VA 22902
Charlottesville City Market at Water and South Streets
Saturdays, 9 am to 1 pm beginning April 1: The premier farmers market in Charlottesville can be found in the large Water Street parking lot near South Street, and it never disappoints. This array features hundreds of vendors, with items ranging from food – donuts, pastries, produce and more – to locally sourced goods – clothing, home decor, and art. Water Street and South Street, Charlottesville, VA 22903
Tom Tom Founders Festival
Wednesday, April 19th – Sunday, April 23, 5:30 to 7:30 pm: the 11th Annual Tom Tom Festival will focus on Future Forward communities with “ideas by day” and “celebrations at night.” A packed agenda explores expansive ideas about the future, alongside the creative doers who launch businesses, spear-head initiatives, organize neighborhoods, write policy, create art, and lead organizations for the betterment of our community. It all happens in the center of creative Charlottesville, the Downtown Mall. See website for detail and tickets. 522 2nd Street SE, Charlottesville, VA 22902
Historic Garden Week
Saturday April 15th – Saturday April 22th: As the nation’s oldest statewide house and garden tour, Historic Garden Week features beautiful gardens in the Charlottesville and Albemarle County area. Many of the venues include sites on grounds at the University of Virginia, such as the Pavilion Gardens and their surrounding serpentine walls and Carr’s Hill, home to the University’s president. (Carr’s Hill: Located on the hill above the corner of Rugby Road and University Avenue).
Foxfield Spring Races
Saturday April 28th, gates open at 9am: Foxfield is among one of the most popular of Charlottesville’s spring traditions and events. Students, locals, and alumni all come together to enjoy this annual horse race that incorporates both school spirit and tailgating fun. 2215 Foxfield Track, Charlottesville, VA 22901
Orange Uncorked Wine Festival at Montpelier
Saturday May 5 – Sunday 6, 11 AM-6 PM: The Uncorked Festival shows off some of the bounty of the countryside to the north of Charlottesville. Formerly the Montpelier Wine Festival, this springtime event has moved to nearby Grelen and features springtime event in the Charlottesville area, the festival features a variety of Virginia wineries, arts and crafts, speciality food vendors, and live music. With separate tickets for adult tastings, dd tickets, youths, and free admission for children 12 and under, this event is the perfect way to celebrate Virginia wine culture. Consider combining your day with a tour of James Madison’s Montpelier for a full Virginia experience!
Crozet Arts and Crafts Festival
Saturday May 13th from 10 am – 5:30 pm and Sunday May 14th from 10 am – 5pm: Another can’t miss festival among Charlottesville’s spring traditions and events is the Crozet Arts and Crafts Festival. The event includes exhibitions, performances, food and beverages, and even a Mother’s Day celebration. With free admission to children 12 and under AND free on-site parking, you absolutely cannot miss this festival! 1075 Park Ln, Crozet, VA 22932
UVA 2023 Graduation
Saturday May 20th – Sunday May 21th: Each year, the final exercises are an opportunity for U.Va. alumni, parents, students, and Charlottesville community member to come together to celebrate another year of academic success. Come join the class of 2023 and President Jim Ryan for final exercise on both May 20th and 21th. On the previous day of Friday May 19th, a celebrity to-be-named will speak at valedictory exercises.