Every year Virginia is filled with big festivals and major events alive with excitement and fun and celebrating the things that make the Commonwealth one of America's top travel destinations.
From world-class headline entertainment to small-town fiddlers and from hot air balloons to hurdling horses, 2013 looks to be one of Virginia's best years ever for major gatherings that bring people together sharing good times and making memories.
It's also a year for big anniversaries. Historic Garden Week turns 80 this year, the Waterford Historic Homes Tour turns 70, the Highland Maple Festival 55 and the Neptune Festival 40. Newer events such as the Richmond Jazz Festival have likewise become big crowd pleasers taking their place beside established favorites and looking forward to their own milestone anniversaries in years to come.
Here are a few of the favorites in the early part of the year:
The sap runs deliciously sweet in Virginia's mountainous Highland County. Now in its 55th year The Highland Maple Festival draws thousands of visitors to enjoy the bounty of the maple industry, including tours of maple camps, in mid-March.
In March/June world-class performers come to Virginia's Tidewater Region for the Virginia Arts Festival for performances ranging from opera to choreographed air shows. Past performers have included the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Al Pacino, Liza Minelli, Ravi Shankar, Etta James, the Peking Acrobats, the Martha Graham Dance Company and the Count Basie Orchestra. The annual Virginia International Tattoo is a major highlight.
Each year during the last full week in April some of Virginia's most beautiful private homes and gardens are opened for guided public tours. Sponsored by the Garden Club of Virginia, the Historic Garden Week has been described as "America's Largest Open House."
Visit Virginia is for Lovers for details.
For more information about top events in Virginia take a look at the Top Events USA selection of the annual main festivals and events in Virginia.