Second Place: First Fridays
Third Place: Richmond Folk Festival
Richmond is an outdoor town, even when it comes to arts events. The juried show Arts in the Park, sponsored by the Carillon Civic Association and held on the grounds of the Carillon, is a longtime favorite. In the course of 45 years, the event has grown to feature more than 400 artists chosen individually by a small panel of judges who ignore submissions of mass-produced goods in favor of true artisans creating original work. On a beautiful weekend, attendance runs into the tens of thousands, and it’s rare not to run into a neighbor or friend while perusing paintings, woodwork, stained and leaded glass works, handmade clothing, ceramics, and jewelry. The monthly street party and art fest that is First Fridays draws fans to the downtown arts district. And the admirably curated Richmond Folk Fest along the river is an annual stunner.