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Photos: Folk Festival Saturday & Sunday

Records were broken, beer was drunk, art was created, songs were sung, and the dancing never stopped.



A stunning weekend for the Richmond Folk Festival wrapped up on Sunday. We’re still recovering which is why these photos are late. We weren’t the only one that thought the Festival was great. According to Venture Richmond, the organizers, a record $136,000 in donations were raised this year, almost $6,000 of that total from the newly launced text message program. Over 200,000 people attended the festival over the three days and they drank a record amount of beverages. 

Even Senator Tim Kaine swung by for a song.




Richard Hayes is the co-founder of RVAHub. When he isn't rounding up neighborhood news, he's likely watching soccer or chasing down the latest and greatest board game.

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Arts & Entertainment

Richmond Folk Festival and 2nd Street Festival Will Return

Short on details but the good news is the best event in Richmond will be back.



I was thrilled to see this in my inbox this morning.

Two of Richmond’s largest and most beloved events will return this fall, live and in person. 

Venture Richmond Events plans to produce both the 2nd Street Festival and the Richmond Folk  Festival as live events, while also following state and federal guidelines for outdoor gatherings. 

The 2nd Street Festival, in partnership with the City of Richmond, will take place October 2-3,  2021, in the historic Jackson Ward neighborhood.

The Richmond Folk Festival, in partnership with the National Council for Traditional Arts and the  City of Richmond, will take place October 8-10, 2021, along Downtown Richmond’s riverfront. 

“We look forward to getting back to in-person festivals with the 33rd year of the 2nd Street Festival and the 17th year of the Richmond Folk Festival,” said Stephen Lecky, director of events. “Now more than ever we know how important it is for us to come together safely in a shared celebration of culture and experiences, whether they are the rich traditions of the historic Jackson Ward community, or those from around the nation and the world presented on Downtown’s riverfront.  Certainly, the joy we receive from producing these two festivals is immeasurable and we will do  so with everyone’s wellbeing as our utmost priority.” 

More information will follow this summer as we continue to stay informed and aware of CDC and state guidelines for Covid-19 protocol at events. A commitment to safety and adherence to local,  state, and federal ordinances and guidelines is crucial. 

The 2nd Street Festival is sponsored in part by: Dominion Energy, Brown Distributing,  Community Foundation, Virginia Union University, and the City of Richmond.

The Richmond Folk Festival is sponsored in part by: Dominion Energy, CoStar Group,  Community Foundation, WestRock, CarMax, City of Richmond, Brown Distributing, National  Council for Traditional Arts, and the Children’s Museum.



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South of the James Community Festival Morphing into Mile of Music at Forest Hill Park

On Saturday, June 12th you’ll be able to walk around Forest Hill Park and enjoy some sweet sounds.



In previous years the Richmond Symphony would set up their really big tent and host music. This year they’re still playing music but it’s a little different. On Saturday, June 12th you’ll be able to walk around Forest Hill Park and enjoy some sweet sounds.

South of the James Community Festival

While we are encouraged by the progress being made in the state of Virginia, the Richmond Symphony has decided to take a different direction with the South of the James Community Festival this year, primarily due to COVID and still needing to maintain social distancing protocols, etc. With that in mind, we are moving forward with an alternative approach.

Please join us at the new event, Mile for Music:

Over the course of two hours, Mile of Music will have several performing groups set-up along an approximate 1-mile route within Forest Hill Park – you can take your time to enjoy music in the park from 2-4pm! Hope to see you there!



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2nd Street Festival releases full schedule for virtual event October 3-4

Venture Richmond Events will present new musical performances, favorite artists from past festivals, cooking demonstrations, virtual tours, neighborhood remembrances, fun family activities, and so much more.



The 2nd Street Festival marks its 32nd anniversary October 3-4 with a virtual event celebrating downtown’s Jackson Ward community. Venture Richmond Events will present new musical performances, favorite artists from past festivals, cooking demonstrations, virtual tours, neighborhood remembrances, fun family activities, and so much more.

Featured Festival Artists

Saturday, October 3 from 6:00 – 7:15 p.m.

Legacy Band – Don’t miss this new festival performance by one of Richmond’s favorite bands playing top hits with a mix of soul, R&B, funk and jazz. The band was originally formed by guitarist Jose Pomier and vocalist Kaila Valdez.

EU (Experience Unlimited) – A favorite past performance from the 2019 festival headliner. EU is one of the original Washington, DC Go-Go bands, fronted by founding member Gregory “Sugar Bear” Elliott.

Sports Backers Fitness Warriors and D & G Line Dancing – Let’s get up and move with fun new dance workouts with our friends at Sports Backers and D&G Line Dancing. Learn along with great instructors!

Sunday, October 4 from 5:00 – 6:15 p.m.

Desirée Roots – Hear Desirée perform some of her new jazz favorites. As a theater and jazz sensation, she has been the opening act for several internationally acclaimed jazz music entertainers throughout her career. Her repertoire includes R&B and gospel.

Remembrance of Debo Dabney – Listen in as local musicians and friends including J. Plunky Branch, Glennroy Bailey, Desirée Roots, and more share their reflections of Herbert A. Dabney, III, a dynamic and animated pianist who passed away earlier this year. Affectionately known as “Debo,” he was a beloved friend of the festival and an all-around fan favorite. His repertoire ranged from jazz, gospel, R&B, swing, blues and children’s classics. Debo performed for 31 of the festival’s 32 years.

Virginia Union University Gospel Choir – Sing, clap or hum along with the university’s gospel choir as they perform two new selections. This choir recently performed on ABC’s Good Morning America with Latin musician Jose Feliciano.

Virtual Festival Activities

Cooking Demonstrations

Chefs from popular 2nd Street Festival vendors, Croaker’s Spot and Chef MaMusu of Africanne on Main, will both prepare and share dishes through culinary demonstrations live-streamed directly into homes to capture the same delicious foods that we’ve all come to expect from the 2nd Street Festival.

Kidz Zone Fun

Young viewers will enjoy story time with Candice Smith of NBC12 News and with the Children’s Museum, and a balloon twisting demonstration by festival favorite Eddie Cook with Balloons By Extreme.

Spotlight on Jackson Ward

Gary Flowers of Walking the Ward Tours visits two popular community sites, the Maggie L. Walker statue and Sixth Mount Zion Baptist Church. Also, hear remembrances from longtime residents and business owners of Jackson Ward during the live stream event. 

Get 2nd Street Ready!
Show your support before, during and after the virtual festival.

Festival Marketplace

Visit Venture Richmond’s website for a full list of your favorite 2019 2nd Street Festival Marketplace vendors to shop online before, during and after the festival weekend! 

Official Festival Poster

Purchase an official 2020 2nd Street Festival poster designed by local quilter and artist, Unicia Buster. Learn more about the artist and her festival poster design. The new poster will be unveiled on September 23, watch on Facebook Live for your chance to win a signed print! Posters will be available for sale at Plan 9 Music in Carytown or at Plan 9 Online here starting on September 24.

Radio One “2nd Street MIX” Weekend

Get ready for the festival by listening to Radio One’s “2nd Street MIX” weekend on Saturday, September 26 from 1:00pm-10:00pm and Sunday, September 27 from 12:00pm-7:00pm. Enjoy a very special MIX weekend on 99.3/105.7 KISS FM featuring your favorite artists that have played at the 2nd Street Festival over the years and your favorite DJs too! The MIX lineup will feature DJ King Tutt, DJ Drake, and DJ Lonnie B. Listen for songs by Morris Day and the Time, Average White Band, SOS Band, and many other great R & B groups!

“Show us your 2nd Street Smile” Photo Contest

From September 28 to October 4, use the #2Street hashtag to “Show us your 2nd Street Smile” and win prizes! On Facebook and Instagram, post photos of where and how you plan to watch the virtual 2nd Street Festival. Are you watching with your best friend, your furry friends, or your family? Show us your 2nd Street smile! On October 5, we’ll choose 10 winners to win $50-$100 gift cards to your favorite spots in the Jackson Ward neighborhood! Don’t forget to label your photos with #2Street to be entered to win.

Historic Jackson Ward Neighborhood

Even though we can’t be together in Jackson Ward this year, be sure to shop the Jackson Ward businesses and restaurants and tour the Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site on 2nd Street to show your support for downtown Richmond and the 2nd Street Festival. Don’t forget to wear your mask!

Ways to Watch This Year’s Virtual Festival

This year’s virtual festival is a great opportunity for families to plan gatherings and watch parties at home in a safe, fun and responsible way.

For up-to-date information, visit



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