Virginia Beach Neptune Festival canceled

With lots of rain from Tropical Storm Ian in the forecast for the weekend and state of emergency declared in Virginia, the popular Neptune Festival in Virginia Beach has been canceled.

Because heavy rains, tidal flooding and gusty winds are predicted, the festival said it was “unable to guarantee a safe and enjoyable environment.”



The festival was set to run from Saturday, Sept. 30 through Sunday, Oct. 2, and would have included more than 40 events.

This would have been the 48th year for the Neptune Festival. Typically, the three-day event attracts more than 400,000 visitors and generates more than $23 million to the region’s economy.

“This heartbreaking decision was not made lightly, but it’s the right one. The community’s safety is paramount,” said Kit Chope, Neptune Festival CEO.

According to the organizers, the following events are canceled:

  • Neptune’s Art & Craft Show
  • All Concerts at 24th and 31st Street Parks
  • All Boardwalk vendors
  • Neptune’s Healthy Haven
  • Neptune’s 8k Race
  • Poseidon’s Playground Family Fun Zone
  • Neptune’s Touch-A-Truck Experience
  • Neptune’s Grand Parade
  • Neptune’s Surfing Classic (potential postponement)
  • Atlantic Regatta
  • Youth Art Show
  • Chrysler Museum Mobile Glass Studio
  • Sandsculpting Clinics

The Hometown Heroes event, featuring Super Bowl champion Rocky Bleier, will go on at the Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront Sunday. The International Sandsculpting Championship tent will be open Oct. 3 through Oct. 9.

Another Virginia event that has been canceled is the 47th Fall Festival in Newport News Park.

Colleen Kelleher

Colleen Kelleher is an award-winning journalist who has been with WTOP since 1996. Kelleher joined WTOP as the afternoon radio writer and night and weekend editor and made the move to WTOP.com in 2001. Now she works early mornings as the site's Senior Digital Editor.

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