Coming to Virginia Beach in May Are Music, Festivals, Wine Tasting, Military Celebrations, Family-Friendly Fun, Pirates, Fly Fishing and More
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (May 4, 2015) –Virginia Beach will host several sun-soaked events for visitors and locals alike this May, providing many opportunities to explore the city, dance in the sand and taste amazing coastal cuisine. With flowers in bloom, the mercury rising and shores welcoming beachcombers, Virginia Beach is gearing up for an exciting summer.
The breathtaking Resort Beach transforms into an “island paradise” during the Virginia International PAN Fest (May 8-9). This free festival brings the soothing sounds of steel pan music, fusing together the rhythm of steel bands, ocean breezes and Caribbean food. Co-produced with the Virginia Arts Festival, the event has long been a top draw for travel groups who return year-after-year for the festive island atmosphere and live drum band performances. Save the packing, passports and jet lag; instead, travel the world by wine at the 13th Annual Neptune Festival International Spring Wine Tasting (May 16). Virginia Beach’s Neptune Park at 31st Street transforms into a hub of tasting stations from around the world with wines from nine countries, each featuring blends and styles that are sure to ignite one’s inner global traveler. Enjoy the Atlantic Ocean backdrop while embracing an afternoon of traveling by way of your taste buds, live music and good company. Kick off Memorial Day Weekend at the 32nd Annual Pungo Strawberry Festival (May 23-24), a family-oriented, fun-filled event that welcomes more than 120,000 attendees who make their way to Virginia Beach to sample strawberries served up more than 50 different ways. Visitors can compete in the pie-eating contest or strawberry bake-off, stake a spot along the parade route, step on up to one of the largest carnivals on the East Coast or just take in the three stages of live entertainment, multi-million dollar military display, youth art show, arts and more. Keeping with the celebratory spirit, for the past 11 years the USO has hosted the Patriotic Festival (May 29-31), a weekend-long celebration honoring the armed forces and their families. This red, white and blue event includes air shows, military demonstrations and free concerts in the sand. This year, dance along to live performances by Lynyrd Skynyrd, Alabama, Lee Brice and Chase Rice. Don’t miss the Military Expo Village’s demonstrations and displays such as the Navy dive tank, military vehicle display, memorial challenge and more.
WARM WEATHER FUN
Stop by the second annual Legends of the Fly (May 8-9) to learn how to become an expert fly fisherman from the legends themselves. Receive instruction on fly fishing tactics, tips and culture, plus meet headlining legend and world-famous fly fisherman, Chico Fernandez, and view winning entries from this year’s Fly-fishing Film Tour. Additionally, local legend Cory Routh will conduct a three-hour teaching demonstration covering everything from casting, fly tying, bait tactics, watercraft demos and more. Spend Mother’s Day on the Chesapeake Bay at Beyond the Paddle (May 9) and treat the special woman in your life to a day of beach fun, including a group flotilla! The day’s festivities will include paddle races, beach walks, raffles, an awards ceremony and a special after-party. Give a “Star-Spangled” salute to great music, fun in the sun, and the military men and women who fight for our freedom every day during Salute to Summer (May 22-24). Stroll the “Heroes Walk” between 17th and 31st Streets at the Resort Beach to take in live entertainment on three outdoor stages and hear stories of heroism during U.S. military conflicts throughout history.
PLANES, PIRATES AND ADVENTURE
The Military Aviation Museum, near Sandbridge Beach, will once again host its wildly popular annual WWII Air Show, Warbirds over the Beach (May 15-17). Visitors are invited to dress the part and don their best 1940s attire to dance the Charleston, Lindy Hop and of course, Swing. Complete the air show experience by riding in the MAM's 1941 Stearman biplane, P-51 Mustang "Red Nose" or SBD-5 Dauntless, for which advanced reservations are required. Be prepared for an amazing air show, delicious dinner, hangar dances, live music and great family entertainment. The Pirate Party on the Beach (May 16-17) returns to the 17th Street Park at the Resort Beach for two rocking days of music, mayhem and more! This family-friendly event features activities designed to bring out the “pirate” in everyone. Costume contests, games, a treasure hunt, pirate re-enactors and movie on the beach all combine to celebrate those scallywags we all wish we could be: pirates. The Moody Crewe, pirate re-enactors, will be posing for photographs, singing sea shanties and demonstrating swordplay. Other activities throughout the weekend include bandana-making, face-painting, storytelling, weapons demonstrations and strolling entertainers. This arr-mazing Pirate Party on the Beach is free and open to the public. The Virginia Aquarium Family Great Adventure Series (May 23) is all about discovery and entertainment at the Resort Beach. Families can take part in an interactive adventure that leads them to various sites along the boardwalk and Atlantic Avenue to unravel a mystery. During each adventure, participants dress up as characters, use “brain and brawn” to win the contest at hand and settle into the sand for a family-friendly themed movie shown on a giant inflatable screen on the beach! All events are free and open to the public.
OUT ON THE TOWN
Hit the downtown district for the Town Fair at Town Center (May 15) featuring local handmade art, jewelry, goods and fair trade merchandise. On the third Friday of each month, April through September, residents and visitors alike can stroll around the fountain plaza of Town Center to view more than 30 merchants’ handmade and fair trade goods. There is no better way to spend spring than at these sand-tacular events in Virginia Beach.
To learn more about Virginia Beach, plan a stay or request a complimentary vacation guide, contact the Virginia Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau by calling 1-800-VA-BEACH or going to www.VisitVirginiaBeach.com.