Annual Events

Harrisonburg offers visitors and residents a like many opportunties to experience our vibrant downtown and surrounding area by providing great events throughout the year! Our annual events and festivals bring everyone of all ages together. Take a look at some of the amazing things to do. There is always something fun happening in Harrisonburg!

 
Year-Round | January | February | March | April | May | May - June | June | June - August | July | August | September | October | November | December

 

Year-Round


First Fridays Downtown
Free downtown art walks and open houses are featured every first Friday of the month beginning at 5pm. Enjoy live music, art exhibitions, and performing arts as you stroll through downtown.

 


January


Ice Bowl Disc Golf Fundraiser
This Annual Disc Golf Fundraiser helps raise money for the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank. All donations stay to benefit local people in need. The event is held in any weather conditions, playing one round of 21 holes. The $25 entry fee will be a donation to the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank as well.
 

 

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February


Aunt Betty's Story
An evening of readings and songs telling the story of Bethany's life.  Born in 1812, in Page County, Bethany Beney's narrative was published in 1889.  Her story is inspirational.  It is a story of strength, love of family, faith, and how these allowed so many to survive such difficult times.  This is a free event held at Lucy Simms Center.

 

 

Soul Food Dinner
Enjoy an evening of musical entertainment while socializing and sampling some traditional soul food dishes made by some of the Northeast Community's lifelong residents. This is a free event that will take place from 5:00pm-8:00pm in the Lucy Simms Center Auditorium.


 

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March


Taste of Downtown
Downtown Harrisonburg's locally owned restaurants offer specials throughout the week to entice you to taste downtown. This is THE week to eat out! Downtown Harrisonburg restaurants will showcase their finest cuisine with wallet-friendly creative menus.

 

Shamrock 5K Trail Run
Come out to Hillandale Park for a beginner's 5K run through the trails at the park and support the Shenandoah Valley High Rollers Wheelchair Basketball Team. On-line registration available here.

 


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April


Blacks Run/Downtown Clean Up Day
Celebrate our local waterways and volunteer your time with a couple of hours of good cleanup fun. Events include presenters, educational exhibits, the GreenScene and music. 


Harris-Roubaix
This casual group ride takes bikers from Harrisonburg to a family farm about seven miles north of the city, around a 10-15 mile loop, and back. A diversity of bikes are welcome, from road bikes and mountain bikes to single speeds and kids trailers.


 

Honk a Horn
Bring your kids to Purcell Park to get an up close look at all the vehicles they see on the roads everyday! The Police Department and Fire Department will be on hand as well as tractors, construction vehicles and many more.

 

Harrisonburg-Rockingham County, Historic Garden Week
Garden Week features historic gardens and homes. Join us in Harrisonburg as the Spotswood Garden Club greets visitors with inspired arrangements amid the beauty of the Shenandoah Valley.
 


Rocktown Beer & Music Festival
Join thousands of happy people in Downtown Harrisonburg to enjoy a day of great music, food, and craft beer. For the savvy beer fan we offer more than 60 beers with national names.

Food Truck Rally
Try out some of Harrisonburg’s food trucks and enjoy a great day in the park. Make sure to bring a blanket so you can have a picnic with your favorite food truck cuisine. This event will take place at the Lucy Simms Center.




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May

 

Mothers Day & Commencement Carriage Rides
Mothers Day & Commencement Carriage Rides at the Edith J. Carrier Arboretum create an occasion that goes beyond the ordinary to surprise Mom. While relaxing in the luxurious vis-Ã -vis carriage, riders are drawn through the woods by beautiful Belgium horses and an experienced coachman. (SOLD OUT)

 

Chocolate Walk
Participating businesses and organizations in Downtown Harrisonburg throw open their doors and invite you in to taste the mouth-watering decadence of the area’s best chocolate-makers. Each business will offer a different type of melt-in-your-mouth chocolate including truffles, fudge, cupcakes, brownies, cookies and so much more! All proceeds benefit the Collins Center.
 

Pound the Peak
Pound the Peak is back! The course is 2.1 uphill miles from bottom to top.  All abilities are welcome. Please note there is a two hour time limit on the course. It's a team event. There are challenges along the course, and don't underestimate the power of hustling up those hills.

 

Crusher Run 5K
The Crusher Run 5K gives you the rare experience of running/walking the terrain at Frazier Quarry. All skill levels are welcomed at this chip timed trail adventure that features live music amplified by the natural acoustics at the quarry, a short uphill climb and a backdrop unlike any 5K you’ve ever experienced.


 

Bluestone Trail Night Bike Ride
The Bluestone Trail Night Bike Ride will take place at Purcell Park. Activities and games will start at 7:30pm with the night ride taking place when it gets dark, around 8:15pm. Bluestone Bike & Run will be organizing games, and bike safety checks. You are encouraged to decorate your bike with glow sticks and lights! Some glow sticks will be available.

Spring Celebration Plant Sale
Wide selection of plants, shrubs and trees to make any home or business landscape ecofriendly and lovely, with Saturday educational activities that may include a lecture, demonstrations, ask-an-expert, raffles, live music, and a butterfly release.

 

Ride of Silence
Join cyclists worldwide in a silent slow-paced ride (max 12 mph/20 kph) in honor of those who have been injured or killed while cycling on public roadways. The ride is completely silent.
 


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May-June


Juried Art Exhibtions
Showcases working artists in a superior display for the enjoyment and enrichment of residents, staff and visitors alike! Each year, a delightful variety of original, one-of-a-kind works of art demonstrate mastery of design, technique, and creativity utilizing a range of media. For more information, email artexhibit@vmrc.org.



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June


The Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival
Bach Festival is a week-long summer music festival devoted to promoting an appreciation and understanding of the music of Bach. The festival takes place on the campus of Eastern Mennonite University as well as other venues in Harrisonburg.
 

Harrisonburg African-American Culture Festival 
The purpose of the Harrisonburg-Rockingham African-American Festival (HRAAF) is to create unity, promote family and celebrate heritage and diversity through expressions of faith and love. Join the celebration in Ralph Sampson Park and enjoy an afternoon of entertainment, fellowship, activities, crafts, art, music, food, exhibitors and more!
 

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June - August


Fridays on the Square
Beginning the first week of June and ending the last week in August. Live musical groups alternate with films every Friday evening on Courthouse Square in downtown Harrisonburg. Music starts at 7pm. Films start at 8pm or dusk. Bring your picnics, blankets, lawn chairs, and all the kids. Free summertime fun on the lawn of Court Square!


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July


Valley Fourth
It's Harrisonburg's quintessential 4th of July celebration! Great food, music and entertainment attract people to downtown for a full day of events, including the annual Grillin' at the Pavilion Cook-off Competition. Teams will serve up their best barbecue, and you will have a chance to sample and vote! It's the perfect complement to the live music, craft beers and local wines. Other crowd favorites include the annual parade; a kids’ zone; and a fireworks display.
 

Valley 4th RUN
The Valley 4th RUN is the ONLY chipped timing race in the Shenandoah Valley that lets you pick your distance and pick your charity.  Plus, it's a great opportunity to run/walk/roll through the streets of downtown Harrisonburg on the greatest holiday of the year. The Valley 4th RUN is built for YOU! Whether you're an avid runner/walker/roller or a first-timer, you are welcome. 


 

Red Wing Roots Festival
The Red Wing Roots Music Festival is the Shenandoah Valley's premiere family-friendly music festival. Three days, four stages and 40 bands at the beautiful Natural Chimneys Park and Campground! Red Wing focuses on the whole experience: an incredible variety of food, craft vendors, kids activities, camping, swimming, organized bike rides and hiking adventures, and much, much more! Join the fun and bring the whole family.
 

Shenandoah Valley Pride Festival
The Shenandoah Valley Pride Festival in Harrisonburg will recognize the diversity of the LGBT community in our area. The event will take place in Court Square.

 


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August


Virginia Craft Beer Month
Celebrate the diverse selection of Virginia craft beer all month long. Stop in at our local breweries and find specials.
Brothers Craft Brewery, Pale Fire Brewing Company, Three Notch'd Brewing Company, and Wolfe Street Brewing.


 

Rockingham County Fair
Selected by the International Association of Fairs and Expositions as the "Top Agricultural Fair in North America"! This week-long event brings agriculture, great music and traditional fair fun together for one of Virginia’s largest agricultural fairs bringing in approximately 90,000 visitors.

 

Brothers Brewing Three Miler
The coolest, most unique, and refreshingly rewarding event for you and your friends in the 'Burg.  The Brothers Craft Brewing Three Miler is a relay race that starts and finishes at Brothers Craft Brewing.  Live music, food trucks, and Brothers Craft Brew greet you immediately following the race.

 

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September


Shenandoah Valley Century Ride
The Shenandoah Valley Century Ride includes options for 25, 50, and 100 miles. Scenic vistas, small towns, beautiful farms, quiet roads, and more make it one of the finest ways to tour the scenic and historic Shenandoah Valley. All routes are paved and have low traffic volume. Participants ride at their own pace; the event is not a race.
 

Valley Vines Twilight 5K
The Valley Vines Twilight 5K is the best new winery running event in the Shenandoah Valley! You'll run through the vines at CrossKeys Vineyard on a crisp fall evening, then share a bottle of wine with family and friends while listening to live music.

 

Alpine Loop Gran Fondo
Hosted by professional cyclist Jeremiah Bishop, The Alpine Loop Gran Fondo is an event to welcome cyclists and spectators to his hometown of Harrisonburg, Virginia, for an exciting weekend of special events, challenging rides, charity fundraising and festivities for the entire family. Courses showcase the ideal scenery that makes Harrisonburg and Rockingham County famed riding destinations.
 

Harrisonburg International Festival
The Harrisonburg International Festival is a free day of family fun on the last Saturday of September every year that celebrates the many cultures that make up our community. We feature international foods, music, and dance, activities for all ages, a multi-language area, and a World Bazaar featuring traditional folk art. Our attendance numbers are currently around 6,500 people and we are accessible to disabled individuals and older adults. Come Celebrate with us.
 

Harrisonburg International CommUNITY Celebration
Serving as an extension of the ever-popular Harrisonburg International Festival, Harrisonburg's International CommUNITY Celebration is a 14-day lineup of unique events, activities, performances, and specials that celebrate Harrisonburg's diverse cultural background.



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October


Dayton Days Autumn Celebration
The first Saturday in October celebrates the beauty and artistry of the Shenandoah Valley at the annual Dayton Days Autumn Celebration with over 300 vendors with handmade crafts & goods and 10,000 visitors. Enjoy festival food and music set in historic downtown Dayton. Come and celebrate in Dayton, Virginia.


 

Shenandoah Mountain Bike Festival
The festival is the largest fundraiser for the Shenandoah Valley Bicycle Coalition. The trail and road riding around Stokesville and in the George Washington National Forest is beautiful and very challenging. During the Festival weekend there is plenty of time to experience the great riding in the area as well as the opportunity to camp and meet fellow cyclists.
 

Rocktown Cyclocross Festival
Come down to the Rocktown Cyclocross Festival if you are looking for a cross race to do. There are a number of different races and prizes at the event including $1000 in CASH for the top 5 of the PRO-1/2/3 race. Cross racing isn’t the only thing happening at the event. It's family friendly!


Race to Beat Breast Cancer 5K Run/Walk
Joining us for the  Annual Race to Beat Breast Cancer 5K Run/Walk. It will take place in Westover Park starting at 9:30 am. All proceeds will once again benefit the worthy cause of RMH Foundation for Breast Care and Treatment at the Sentara RMH Medical Center.
 


Handmade Holidays Craft Show
Shop for all your Holidays at the Handmade Holidays Craft Show held at the Cecil F. Gilkerson Activity Center. General admission for the public is free.  Food and crafts will be available for purchase throughout the day.

 



 

 

Haunted Harrisonburg Ghost Tours
A one-hour, outdoor walking tour of downtown's haunts. True tales of ghost sightings and unexplained spooky happenings in the heart of Harrisonburg's historic district. Tours depart promptly at 8 pm from the parking lot behind the Hardesty-Higgins House at 212 S. Main St. Reservations strongly recommended. Information: hauntedharrisonburg@gmail.com, 540-416-2882 (call or text).
 

Skeleton Festival
Start off Halloween week on the right foot...Activities kick off with trick-or-treating at downtown businesses and culminate with a fun, all-ages party at the Turner Pavilion & Park. The festival features kid, dog, and adult costume contests; face painting; fire dancing; food trucks; live music and so much more!



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November


Harrisonburg Veterans Parade
Come downtown to the flag-lined streets of Harrisonburg to honor the Veterans who have served our country.
 



Resolute Release Weekend
This weekend celebrates the release of Brothers Craft Brewing resolute beer. Stay with us and kick off this celebration at the pre-event at Capital Ale House. Come out to the annual event on Saturday at Brothers Craft Brewing in downtown Harrisonburg. There will be bottle sales, food trucks, music and more!
 

Rocktown Turkey Trot
The Rocktown Turkey Trot is the perfect mix of fun and fitness on Thanksgiving morning. The four mile course is designed with all skill levels in mind - and it's ideal for first-timers and veteran runners alike. The Gobble Gobble Kids Dash is sure to be a hit for kids ages 4-12.

 

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December


Harrisonburg Parade & Tree Lighting Ceremony
The annual Holiday Parade and Tree Lighting Ceremony spreads festive cheer throughout downtown Harrisonburg. Thousands of people will gather to watch as festive floats pass by on Main Street. The parade is followed by a tree lighting ceremony and a performance by the James Madison University Marching Royal Dukes.
 

NYE Glow Run 5K
The New Year's Eve Glow Run 5K is the hottest way to ring in the New Year with friends and family in Harrisonburg, VA. Enjoy a new out-and-back 5K course that starts/finishes downtown and runs through JMU's campus. All participants receive more glow paraphernalia than you'll know what to do with and the course is lined with flashy lights and DJ's.
 

Annual First Night Harrisonburg
Bring in the New Year downtown! Entertainment will kick off at 6pm and end with a fireworks display at Court Square at Midnight!
 

 


 

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