Weekend Events: Chesterfest, Armenian Food Fest, St. Benedict Oktoberfest and many more

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September 16 – 17

Celebrate Latin American Art: Central America – Experience the art, culture, and traditions of countries in Central America. Featuring art activities, and artist demonstrations and performances from the Latin Ballet of Virginia and La Palma Panamanian dancers. Learn about the history and culture of this diverse region, Mayan pottery, craft a “gold” pendant, and more. Parade at end open to audience!   Saturday, 11 am – 3 pm, at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, 200 N. Boulevard.

VCU Southern Film Festival:  The Life & Times of Elizabeth Keckly –  A documentary about  the life of Elizabeth Keckly against the national crisis of the Civil War. She was born a slave in Virginia and her skill as a seamstress enabled her to purchase her freedom. She became the favorite dressmaker and personal confidante of First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln, and she later established a relief organization for freedmen and injured black soldiers. Friday, 6:30 pm – 9 pm, Leslie Cheek Theater –  at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, 200 N. Boulevard.

Lewis Ginter Fall PlantFest — Dozens of vendors & knowledgeable Garden volunteers help you choose your best plants. The Raptor Conservancy of Virginia will be at Fall PlantFest on Friday, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. only with live, rescued raptors that cannot be re-released into the wild. Friday, 9 am – 5 pm, Saturday, 9 am – 3 p.m., 1800 Lakeside Ave.

The American Legion Battlefield Post 144 – Karaoke 3rd Friday Night Live Season Finale. Friday, 6 pm, dancing, food, and Karaoke, dinner will be served – baked/fried chicken, Mac ‘n Cheese, green beans, corn on the cob, roll & dessert $8. For information call 804-310-3442 or 804-554-6705. The Post is located at 1717 Old Hanover Road, Sandston.

September 16 – 18

58th Annual St. James Armenian Food Festival –  Music, dancing, and Armenian cuisine, pastries and wine! The “Hye Burger” voted Top 5 Burgers in Richmond and it’s the one time of year to try. Free admission, pay as you go for food and drink. Former American Ambassador, John Evans will be speaking and signing his book “Truth Held Hostage” on Sunday at 1 pm. Friday & Saturday 11:30 am – 9 pm, Sunday noon – 7pm at 834 Pepper Avenue, Richmond.

Field Day of the Past –  Historic displays, buildings, demonstrations and re-enactments, Tractor and Truck Pulls, Small Engine Displays, Living History exhibits for antique machinery including a sawmill, broom handle making machine and others. Arts and Crafts Vendors and a Flea Market Antique and Modern Construction Equipment, Heritage Craft Area, Carnival Rides, Sorghum Molasses making, Animal Exhibits and Equestrian Events. Friday – Sunday, gates open 8 am, carnival opens noon – 10 pm Friday; 10 am – close Saturday, 10 am – 6 pm Sunday. Truck Pulls – 7 pm Friday & 6 pm Saturday . Admission $10 Friday; $15 Saturday; $10 Sunday; $8 Senior Citizen 62.  At Fairground at Route 623 (Ashland Road) and Route 622 in Goochland.

Louisiana Blues and Cultural Festival –  More than 20 bands perform. Experience Louisana food and music. Tickets are $15 at the gate/ $10 in advance. VIP tickets are $25 and include After Party Admission. Albert. W. Jones Athletic Field at 522 South West Street.

“Romare Bearden: Vision and Activism”  is a new traveling exhibition at the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia, featuring some rarely seen pieces by the renowned American artist. On display through Dec. 1, includes more than 50 works of art celebrating and examining the black experience. Bearden is recognized as one of the most important visual artists of his century and is known for his collages depicting American culture. He died in 1988. The museum is open 10 am – 5 pm, Tuesday-¬Saturday and on Sundays by appointment only.  Admission Adults – $10; seniors and students $8 with IDs; $6 for children 4-12 years old; and children 2 and under are free. Membership for the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia includes admission and starts at $35 per year.  122 W Leigh Street.

South African Food and Wine Festival – Experience the cuisine, wine, food, music and culture of South Africa during a two-day festival at Grayhaven winery. The event first launched in 2006. Wine taster admission includes samplings of South African and Grayhaven wines plus a souvenir glass. Saturday & Sunday, 11 am – 6pm, at Grayhaven Winery, 4675 East Grey Fox Circle, Gum Spring.

St. Benedict Oktoberfest  –  Featuring over 100 German specialty and craft beers, authentic German foods including desserts and wines. Vendors, live bands and kid activites. Friday – 4 to 11 pm, Saturday – 10 am – 5 pm  & Sunday – 12 – 6 pm, at 300 North Sheppard Street.

The AFRIKANA Independent Film Festival continues through Saturday Sept. 17, Saturday’s Short Films: Several Locations from Noon to 5:00pm,  Short Films: Candela Books + Gallery, Black Iris Gallery, Elegba Folklore Society, Black History Museum, Ada Gallery, ART180 (Youth Programs).

Calendar Saturday – Shop Afrikana from 11am-5pm, 12 W. Broad Street; The Hip-Hop Fellow w/ 9th Wonder at the Bijou Theater at 3:15pm; Red Carpet Finale: Encore of Miles Ahead w/ score producer, Robert Glasper Post Screening Talk Greater Richmond Convention Center at 8:00pm. Official AFRIKANA After party w/ DJ 9TH WONDER at the Hippodrome at 10pm. The festival will include youth films and a Shop AFRIKANA artisan market experience from 11am – 5pm on Saturday. For more details visit www.afrikanafilmfestival.org.

The American Legion Varina Post 233, sponsors Bluegrass Music Jam, Sunday, from 5 pm – 1- pm at 8088 Recreation Drive, Henrico. Free event, food and drinks available.

September 17

Chesterfest   Festivities begin at 10 a.m. and will feature 150 vendors, food, contests, live music, and family activities before the Richmond Symphony closes out the day at 7 p.m. Hardywood craft beer selections will be sold. CBS 6 Bill Bevins and Rob Cardwell will serve as Emcees. 3524 Festival Park Plaza, Chester, VA 23831

7th annual Richmond Out of the Darkness Community Walk hosted by the AFSP – American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Virginia Chapter. This fundraiser supports the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s local and national education and advocacy programs and its bold goal to reduce the annual rate of suicide 20 percent by 2025. Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States, yet suicide is preventable. CBS 6 Nikki-Dee Ray is the Emcee. Saturday, 9 am at Deep Run Park, 9900 Ridgefield Parkway.

RTD Fido Fest – Activities include dog jumping competition, ultimate air dogs competition, pet photo booth, on site micro-chipping, dog agility demos,  and the latest in pet products, vendors and you can adopt a dog from the Richmond SPCA’s Tail Wag ‘N mobile adoption service. Tickets $10 at the gate. Saturday, 11 am – 6 pm, Brown’s Island.

FUTURE Events:

Sept. 22 – 24, Thursday through Saturday

Poe Film Festival

The Poe Museum, in partnership with the Byrd Theater, will host the Poe Film Festival to showcase the best in Edgar Allan Poe movies of the past 90 years from around the world.  Extraordinary Tales, House of Usher, The Black Cat, The Tell-Tale Heart will be screened at the Byrd. Admission for each film or panel is $8. Admission to the Saturday evening reception is $75. Unhappy Hour at The Poe Museum  on Thursday night is $5.

Sept. 23, Friday

Midtown RVA Fall Festival
This free, all-ages, family style event will feature live music, food trucks, games, and an outdoor movie with popcorn once the sun goes down.

Hosted by the United Methodist Family Services, at 3900 W Broad Street.

Sept. 24 – 25, Saturday and Sunday

Festival of India
A cultural and culinary event with live music and dance performances,  as well as many different varieties of Indian cuisine, including vegetarian and non-vegetarian delicacies, such as dosa, kachori, samosas, tandoori chicken and sweets, all of which are supplied by local Indian restaurants and families, and prepared fresh in front of patrons.

11 a.m. to 9 p.m. both days
Free admission
Richmond Convention Center
403 N Third St, Richmond

Richmond Italian Festival

Downtown 17th Street Market transforms into an Italian village. The festival raises money for charities Reinhart House, SCAN, ASK and the  VCU Italian Studies Program.

Free admission
Saturday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. abd Sunday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
17th Street and Main Street, downtown

Saturday, September 24

Sisters Network Central Virginia, Inc. 1st Community Health Fair, annual breast cancer educational outreach initiative to the community.  Family event with games, face painting, line dancing and performances featuring Cora Armstrong & Joy E. Moore, health related vendors, and breast health care survey. Sisters Network® Inc. is the only National African American Breast Cancer Survivorship Organization in the United States. Happening 10 am – 2 pm, at the Bill Robinson’s Recreational Park, East End, Richmond, 825 North 35th Street.

Sept. 24, Saturday

Capital Ale House Oktoberfest
Virginia beers paired with traditional German food items. Surrounding streets are closed off. Gates open at 11:30 a.m. and the first keg is tapped at noon. There will be live musical performances, German dance groups and family-friendly Kinderplatz: a kid’s space with giant inflatables, face-painting, balloon animals and many other family features.

11:30 a.m. – 10 p.m. (Cap Ale House open until 1:30 a.m.)
623 E. Main Street

Pridefest 2015
PRIDE will be held on Brown’s Island. There will be food, brews, music, organizations, outreach, and performances.

Free admission
12 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Brown’s Island
Bottom of 12th St (at the James River)

RVA Makerfest

A family-friendly event intended to encourage a collaborative DIY community in Richmond. Over 80 businesses and hobbyists present. See full list of makers, and exhibits, here.

10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Science Museum of Virginia, 2500 W Broad St, Richmond

VCU Broad Street Mile 

The third year of this fitness-themed festival. Broad Street will be transformed into two areas, a running course and festival.

10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Broad Street between Belvidere Street and Hermitage Road
Click to see the different themed runs and sign up. 

Innsbrook After Hours Concert Series

  • Friday, Sept. 16 — Alabama Southern Drawl Tour
  • Wednesday, Sept. 28 –Trace Adkins.
  • Thursday 29–Gov’t Mule & Blackberry Smoke

Tickets and more information here: http://innsbrookafterhours.com/

Historic Beacon Theatre in Hopewell

  • Saturday September 17 –Pure Prairie League
  • Friday September 23–Tanya Tucker
  • Thursday September 29–Marty Stuart
  • Friday September 30–Lez Zeppelin

Free Thursday concerts from 7-8 p.m. at the North Courthouse Road Library

  • The Buck Stops Here –Blending old-time, bluegrass and country harmonies into soaring folk music, Sept. 29,
  • Blue Cactus – From gritty honky-tonk to heart-breaking balladry, Oct. 20, 7-8 p.m.
  • Angela Easterling –Angela Easterling combines classic folk, roots and country with stories of her musical journey and her North Carolina home.

DON’T MISS: Richmond September Festival Guide 2016