Posts Tagged ‘Art’

The Nutcracker Ballet, performed by the Richmond Ballet every year, is another favorite Richmond Christmas tradition.  The Richmond Ballet’s professional company, accompanied by the Richmond Symphony has been performing the Nutcracker here in Richmond for the last 27 years.  Local kids ages 7 and up can audition and for parts including party children, mice, and lambs.  This is the second year the ballet has been performed at the Carpenter Center and the space is getting great reviews.  The show itself is getting fantastic reviews this year as well.  The costumes and dancing are supposed to be amazing and there are quite a few locals dancing this year.  I am so excited that my daughter is finally old enough to go. 

If you have a daughter, then don’t forget to also look into the Clara’s Tea events.  There are two more to be held on  Wednesday, December 22, 2010 at 5:30pm, before 7:00pm performance and Thursday, December 23, 2010 at 5:30pm, before 7:00pm performance.  The kids will enjoy tea and other refreshments with the sugarplum fairy, Clara, and other performers from the show. 

The Nutcracker runs until December 23rd.  Times vary.  They have added an extra show during the day on the 23rd and some of the lower priced tickets are still available for that show.  There are also various coupon codes floating around out there, although I wasn’t able to locate any.  If you know them, please feel free to post them.   Enjoy this Richmond Christmas tradition!


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Fall is definitely in the air.  The weather has turned chilly, announcers at high school football games can be heard for miles on Friday nights, and the baseball playoffs are on TV.  All of this can only mean one thing.  Its time for the Richmond Folk Festival!  The Folk Festival is a beloved Richmond tradition and, at approximately 200,000 visitors every year, Central Virginia’s largest festival.  Surprisingly, this is only the third year for our Richmond Festival.  Prior to that the International Folk Festival was here.  Despite its short tenure, the Folk Festival has become a favorite in this region and has quickly made itself into a Richmond tradition.  This year the Festival starts Friday, October 8 and runs through Sunday, October 10.

The main focus of the Folk Festival is, of course, the music.  This year the Festival promises 20+ new performers.  There are seven stages and performances do overlap so be sure to map out your favorites ahead of time to avoid missing anyone. You can get information on the different performers and sample their music here.  A full schedule of events is available here.  Types of music will vary from Salsa & Chicago Blues to Andean, Haitian, and Gospel.  With all that music, you’d be crazy to not get out there and dance, at least a little.  Be sure to visit the dance pavilion and let loose.

The Folk Festival is definitely family friendly so don’t leave the kids at home.  Genworth is sponsoring a children’s area where the kids can do arts & crafts, make a sculpture, and see exotic birds.  There will also be vintage games and demonstrations.  Most of these activities are run/organized by the Children’s Museum so they will be top-notch.  There will also be music in this area and the best part of all, a harmonica giveaway (they only have 200 to give, so get there early).

During the festival, don’t miss the Documentary Film Series that will be showing at the Civil War Visitors Center.  Click here for a schedule of films slated to play.

Of course this is a Richmond festival so there will be plenty of food.  If you are all sugared out from the State Fair, be sure to check out some of the more unique dishes offered like alligator bites.  There will also be beer and this year you will be able to drink everywhere at the festival, so enjoy (responsibly of course)!

The marketplace is where you will find all the authentic crafts and artisan demonstrations.  Remember, crafts cost extra so bring your wallet.  It’s never too early for holiday shopping.

The Festival is large so be sure to study a map and bring it with you for your visit.  It is located downtown between 7th street, 2nd street, Byrd street, and the American Civil War Center at Tredegar (they are offering free admission on Saturday and Sunday) with spillover onto Brown’s Island.  You can see a full map here.  There is also a pocket map available and if technology is your thing, they even have an iPhone app this year.

There are multiple ways to coordinate travel to the event. There will be parking available in the surrounding parking garages (for around a $5 fee).  However, if you wish to avoid the traffic crowds, you can take advantage of  free parking and shuttle service leaving from The Diamond and Spring Rock Green on Midlothian Turnpike..

The Festival will go on rain or shine.  The bad weather kept the attendance down to approximately 160,000 last year so most people will not be deterred by the weather.  There are four tented stages so if it does rain (and come on, how likely is that these days) head over to the tented areas to continue enjoying the music.  Hours for the festival are:  Friday, Oct. 8:  6-10:30pm; Saturday Oct. 9: 12-10:30pm; and Sunday, October 10: 12-6pm.  No pets are allowed.

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It may be Fall, but the festivals continue.  In fact, Richmond has their own Fall Festival season, much like we have our Spring Festival Season.  It really started last week (I’m so sorry I missed it!) with the Armenian Food Festival and others.  Hopefully you got out to enjoy some of them.  It continues this weekend with several more festivals and it is going to continue throughout October so keep an open stomach!!  Tomorrow, Saturday, from 10am-5pm is the 19th annual 43rd Street Festival of the Arts.  This Festival is going to take you South of the River to the beautiful and historical Forest Hill neighborhood.  The intersection of 43rd Street and Forest Hill Avenue to be exact.

The focus of this Festival is art — it features about 65 of the Richmond region’s finest artisans and their crafts. Don’t worry, there will also be local musicians, including Susan Greenbaum, Blue Line Hwy, OminOtagO, Bluz Catz and Rachel Leyco,  and of course, plenty of festival food.  The festival is also for a good cause of course, with funds going to help the  Freedom House, a local homeless shelter.

Admission to the festival is free, but food and any arts and crafts purchases will cost money so, as I always say, don’t leave your wallet at home.  The weather this weekend (unlike the past couple of days) is supposed to be beautiful and autumn-like so this is a great time to get out and explore some of Richmond’s Fall Festivals.  Make sure to put this one your list.

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Today I went to the grocery store and they had pumpkins out all ready!  I think it’s just wrong to be selling pumpkins when  it’s still 80 degrees but Fall is coming and we can’t stop it.  What that really means is that I’m running out of time to write about all the awesome summer activities there are in Richmond.  This past weekend,  one of those traditional activities began, the Chesterfield County Fair.

The first Chesterfield County fair was held in 1911 and it has been held every year since, except for 2 years during WWII.  It came about because local farmers wanted a place to get together, see each other, and display what they had raised that year.  The fair was held at the Chesterfield County courthouse until 1987.  It moved to the airport in 1988 before it landed at what is now the Chesterfield County fairgrounds in 1989.  The fair began as a 2-day event and slowly grew to its 9-day length today.

Some of the more nostalgic activities scheduled include several seed-spitting contests, a hot dog eating contest, a sack race, and horseshoe tournaments.  There are also daily activities including barrel trains rides, a chain saw artist, antique tractor display, balloon sculptures, clowns, model train displays, pony rides, and more.  You can always expect to see animals at the fair.  This year there will be a petting farm, chickens, pigeons, ponies, camel rides and more.  One new show for this year is the Star Family Circus.  Circus performances will include acrobats, performing dogs, jugglers, and crazy motorcycle riders in a metal cage (think Barnum & Bailey). There will also be live music performances at the grandstand every day.

Finally don’t forget to stop by the Farm Crop exhibit to see the largest pumpkin, watermelon, and sunflower among other things.  If you have more of a sweet tooth (like me) then stop by the food exhibits to see the cakes, cookies, and pies.  There are also exhibits for arts & crafts, photography, flowers, and quilts.

Then there are the rides.  All those carnival rides you hate to love, the games, and plenty of vendors selling cotton candy and funnel cakes.  The rides are an extra cost at around $3-$5.  This can get pricey so look into the $20 for unlimited rides option.  That might be more cost effective depending on how many rides are there this year and how much you want to ride them.

This year the Fair runs from August 27 to September 4.  The hours are Monday-Friday 4-11pm, Saturday 11am-11pm, and Sunday 1-11pm.  Admission is reasonably priced at $7 for Adults, $3 for kids ages 6-12 are $3, and free admission for kids 5 and under. Go out and enjoy some home grown fun!

(Thanks to Richmond.com for the great pics!)

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So this is a street festival that I actually hadn’t heard of (this is its 3rd year).  It has some unique activities and sounds really interesting so it’s probably a good one to visit today.  The Jonny Z Festival is held on the 200 block of N. Shields (in the Fan) in front of Joe’s Inn. The festival is a celebration of arts, music and community named after Jonny Z,  a young local artist and musician who died in 2007. Proceeds from the day benefit Art 180.   

The festival is free and kid-friendly.  Richmond artists and Bizarre Market vendors will showcase arts and crafts and commemorative t-shirts for sale. There will of course be live music from local musicians including 

Josh Small
The Catnip Dreams
Ghostdog & Cinnamon
Photosynthesizers and The Girtles

There will also be DJ’s from WRIR 97.3 playing music between the live performances.  Other activities include raffle drawings throughout the day for restaurant gift certificates and other great prizes–including a set of wheels from Bunny Hop Bicycle Shop!

Families will enjoy all the children’s activities including screenprinting by Studio 23, squiggle drawings by Squiggle Champion of the World Matt Lively, and a Spider-Man moonbounce.

Local business owners from Joe’s Inn and Shields Market will have food available (including pizza by the slice).  Lamplighter Roasting Company will be serving up iced coffee (apparently pizza and coffee were Jonny’s favorites).  

The weather is supposed to be beautiful this weekend with no heat advisories or near tornadoes so get out and enjoy the day!

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Paint Outside the Box Day is hosted by ART 180 and will be part of the First Friday event tomorrow night.  100 young people from local Boys & Girls clubs, together with local artists will paint outdoor murals on construction debris recycling containers donated by Ace Recycling (think the large ugly dumpsters you see outside homes on the street everywhere in the Fan). The event was designed to promote public art, the importance of recycling, as well as ART 180’s mission to enrich the lives of young people through the arts. 

Paint Outside the Box Day begins at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, August 6 and the murals-in-progress can be viewed throughout the day. With its central downtown location, this would be a great stop at lunch  or after work.  Painting will take place in the grassy field behind CenterStage (on E. Broad, between 6th and 7th Streets).  It should also be fun for the kids to go and watch (some people are reporting the kids can join in.  I find this doubtful so don’t get their hopes up).  The completed murals will be celebrated on site from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in conjunction with First Fridays. They will then be taken to various locations throughout Virginia.  The celebration is free, open to the public and children are welcome.  Free refreshments and live entertainment will be available.  Visitors will also get complimentary valet parking at the Hilton Garden Inn, located between 5th and 6th Streets ( just by mention “ART 180”).

Enjoy this fun and unique way to celebrate the arts in Richmond!

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Its events like these that remind me Richmond hasn’t lost its artsy flair, although its sometimes hidden under riverside marinas and downtown penthouses.  Throughout the summer you can enjoy the Festival of the Arts at Dogwood Dell.  Activities include music, plays, singers, dance, and more.  The variety is a large part of what makes this event so much fun for everyone.  The festival has been held every sumemr since 1956 in Dogwood Dell, a 2400 seat amphitheatre owned and operated by the Department of Parks and Recreation.  It is located in Byrd Park, on the Carillon side, near the entrance to the Maymont children’s farm. 

Here is the schedule for the remainder of the Summer.  All of these events take place on the main stage unless otherwise noted:   

July 23: VOCAL, original songs, 8 p.m.
July 24: Joe Tan, R & B, 8 p.m.
July 30-31: “Pippin” Musical, 8:30 p.m. 


August 1: “Pippin” Musical, 8:30 p.m.                                                                                                                                                                                                                          August 3: Bill Wellington, songs & stories, 12:30 p.m.                                                                                                                                                                                            August 6-7: “Pippin” Musical, 8:30 p.m.
August 8: Groove Stu, R&B, jazz and funk 8 p.m.
August 9: “Twelfth Night,” Richmond Shakespeare, 8:30 p.m.
August 14: Latin Jazz Festival, Latino jazz, dance, 1-7 p.m. 

There is also the Ha’Penny Stage located behind the Carillon, which offers children’s theatre and entertainment on Sunday afternoons during the Festival of Arts. Programs include music, theatre, juggling, story-telling and more.  Here is the schedule for the remainder of the Summer: 


25th – Dance for Joy:  A Chinese Celebration 4pm 

30th – SPARC Summerstarz: Willy Wonka, Jr. 11am 


1st – Michael Hawkins Chorus – Gospel 4pm 

8 – Life Stage – Theatre

All events at Festival of the Arts are free and open to the public.  If you arrive early you may be able to get a seat in the amphitheater, but what is the fun in that?  Bring a blanket or chairs and enjoy the show from the park.  These productions do take place outside so be prepared for the heat/rain or whatever else the weather may throw at us these days.  Shows usually aren’t cancelled until showtime, to account for passing thunderstorms.  So, you can either show up and hope the storm passes in time or, hold off if there is bad weather and call 804-646-DELL to see if the show is cancelled.

The Dogwood Dell Festival of the Arts is another great Summer Richmond tradition, so try to get out to at least one show!

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