Crowds are making their way to the oceanfront this weekend for the 45th Annual Neptune Festival. This weekend-long event is full of live music, tasty food, and loads of arts and crafts. Not being from the area, I took this as the perfect opportunity to explore the event for myself.

It was around 11:15 on Saturday morning. The weather was amazing, and the boardwalk was busy. As I made my way through the crowds, I was in awe of the tents filled with the most beautiful craftwork. There was artwork, tapestries, leather hand goods, jewelry, clothing, and more. Even if there were multiple tents selling the same thing, they were each unique way. Hearing some of the vendors talk about their work, I could feel the excitement and joy they experienced from creating their goods. This made for an enjoyable experience on the boardwalk.

Along with the amazing vendors, there were many different events scheduled for the duration of the weekend, including things an 8k race, volleyball tournament, international sandsculping championship, and even a youth art show. There was something for everyone in the family to enjoy, and yes, that does include your furry family members. The festival hosted an event called “Dock Dogs,” a competition where dog owners could sign their pups up for some exciting performance sport events.

As live music continued to fill the boardwalk, there was a host of bands performing during the weekend. All shows were free to the public and easily accessible through the 17th, 24th, and 31st Street parks. The amazing smells from food trucks made it nearly impossible to walk past them. Well, actually it was impossible. I had to make a stop at Holy Mole My Enchiladas, and let’s just say, AMAZING!

My first experience at the 45th Annual Neptune Festival was great, and it made me fall in love with the Virginia Beach area even more. A definite must for locals, and a great event to check out if traveling to the area in September.