June 13, 2017 News & Features » Cover Story


2017 Richmond Summer Guide 

We've got 77 days and 77 ways to get your summer on.

click to enlarge cover24_summer_no_headlines.jpg


Day 1: Tuesday, June 20 — Start the summer right — a day early — with the great British musician Elvis Costello and his band, the Imposters, at the Classic Amphitheater at the Richmond Raceway Complex on their Imperial Bedroom and Other Chambers tour. 8 p.m. $35-$75.

Day 2: Wednesday, June 21— Check out the highway-blues smile of the Mona Lisa during an immersive exhibit based on the works of the Italian master, Leonardo da Vinci. “DaVinci: the Genius” is the big inaugural exhibit at the new Dewey Gottwald Center at the Science Museum of Virginia. Open 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. $25.

Day 3: Thursday, June 22 — For meat lovers out there, this is the week to wolf down discounted burgers. Enjoy your favorite patty at participating venues for Style’s RVA Burger Week, which runs June 19 through June 25.

click to enlarge Galactic plays Friday Cheers on June 23. - JIM ARBOGAST
  • Jim Arbogast
  • Galactic plays Friday Cheers on June 23.

Day 4: Friday, June 23 — End the workweek right with New Orleans’ party band, Galactic, at Friday Cheers on Brown’s Island. A local jazz-influenced group, Future Prospect (Jellowstone Records) starts the night at 6:30 p.m. with Galactic taking the stage at 8 p.m. $10.

Day 5: Saturday June 24 — Grub down outdoors with two big food festivals: First, there’s the annual Richmond Vegetarian Festival at Bryan Park that runs from noon to 6 p.m. Delicious and healthy. There’s also Street Food Fest on Brown’s Island from noon to 9 p.m. that requires a ticket.
And if beer’s more your thing, check out Lickinghole Creek’s Magnificent Pagan Beast release on the farm, 4100 Knolls Point Drive in Goochland.

Day 6: Sunday June 25 — They don’t call it Sunday Funday for nothing. During the day, head to Williamsburg to check out the final day of Festival Williamsburg’s Funhouse Fest and party with Rhiannon Giddens, the Staves and Hiss Golden Messenger. Later that evening in Richmond, there’s a free performance from the community-based Richmond Pops Band at Altria Theater at 6:30 p.m.

click to enlarge Leila Ehtesham’s “Gonbad” at Lewis Ginter‘s “Wild Art” exhibit. - LEWIS GINTER BOTANICAL GARDEN
  • Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden
  • Leila Ehtesham’s “Gonbad” at Lewis Ginter‘s “Wild Art” exhibit.

Day 7: Monday, June 26 — Commune outdoors. Take a walk through the “Wild Art” exhibit at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, where regional artists intertwine art and nature. Extended summer hours for Flowers After 5 on Thursday nights until 9 p.m.

Day 8: Tuesday, June 27 — Celebrate words. There’s a release party for local writer Patrick Dacey’s debut novel, “The Outer Cape,” at 6 p.m. at Chop Suey Books. For more storytelling, you can head over to Secretly Y’all Presents Rain at the Hofheimer Building, which starts at 6 p.m. and runs until 10 p.m.

Day 9: Wednesday, June 28 — Catch a production of Virginia Repertory Theatre’s “In the Heights,” the first groundbreaking work by Lin-Manuel Miranda, creator of the cultlike Broadway smash hit, “Hamilton.” The Tony Award-winning musical runs at the November Theatre through July 30. $48-$60.

Day 10: Thursday, June 29 — Swing into the weekend with some jazz standards and Latin flavors when River City Swing plays for free at Dominion Jazz Café at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

Day 11: Friday, June 30 — One of Virginia’s most promising indie rock artists, Carseat Headrest, performs at Friday Cheers. If live music isn’t your thing, check out a trashy kung fu flick, “Riki-Oh: the Story of Ricky,” from the Trash Daddies series at Studio Two Three in Scott’s Addition, starting at 9 p.m.


Day 12: Saturday, July 1 — What’s your damage? Don’t you know one of the greatest ‘80s movies about high school has its own musical? “Heathers: the Musical” opens tonight at TheatreLab and runs through Aug. 19. Lick it up, baby. Lick. It. Up. And if you’re looking for something during the day, check out the new festival Jam Sandwich on Mayo Island featuring Michael Franti and Spearhead, Moon Taxi, and Chelsea Shag from noon to 8 p.m. $30-$135.

Day 13: Sunday, July 2 — Explore the diverse classes at Cultural Arts Center of Glen Allen and enliven your summer with a creative pursuit. artsglenallen.com.

Day 14: Monday, July 3 — Who cares if it’s Monday? You deserve a brewery crawl in Scott’s Addition. It’s the summer, for Pete’s sake. Make sure you hit the Veil, Ardent, or if cider is your thing, Blue Bee or Buskey Cider. Oh, and have a designated driver.

Day 15: Tuesday, July 4 — Catch a special view of fireworks on the James by rafting to a secluded island and watching the show with a catered picnic from Goatocado. Hosted by RVA Paddlesports and Richmond Grid, meet at Forest Hill Park at 6 p.m. before shuttling to a put-in point about 3 miles upriver. 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tickets are $109 per person, or $199 for two people with raft, shuttle, guide and dinner. Check out the RVA Fireworks on the James Facebook page.

Day 16: Wednesday, July 5 — Find a new significant otter, as a Style writer once put it. Check out the pair of cute new otters at Maymont who come to Richmond from Louisiana. $4 admission to Robins Nature and Visitor Center. It’s free for members.

Day 17: Thursday, July 6
— Watch bluesy rock and soul guitarist Gary Clark Jr. shred at Innsbrook After Hours. $25-$30. innsbrookafterhours.com.

click to enlarge First Friday - ASH DANIEL
  • Ash Daniel
  • First Friday

Day 18: Friday, July 7 — Support the arts. Celebrate one of Richmond’s best community events, our First Friday tour on the Broad Street Arts and Cultural District. Galleries, food, live music, vendors — it’s always lively.

Day 19: Saturday, July 8 — Get stained from the pride of Hanover County: Those fresh, plump tomatoes are the star attractions at the Hanover Tomato Festival, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Pole Green Park Lane in Mechanicsville. And if you’re looking for music, there’s Jammin’ on the James at the Wilton House Museum from 6 to 8 p.m. Free.

Day 20: Sunday, July 9 — Another musical from a beloved cult film? Seems like a trend developing. Fifth Wall is presenting “The Toxic Avenger” — based on the Lloyd Kaufman creature feature that helped build the Troma company — at the Basement, 300 E. Broad St. Tickets $32, or $15 for students. There’s a 4 p.m. matinee show this Sunday. 5thwalltheatre.org

Day 21: Monday, July 10 — Pretend you’re in Venice, Italy, except it’s empty of tourists and pigeons. Take a cruise along the Canal Walk. For information or reservations, call 649-2800 or visit venturerichmond.com.

click to enlarge Raekwon of the Wu-Tang Clan performs at the Broadberry on Tuesday, July 11.
  • Raekwon of the Wu-Tang Clan performs at the Broadberry on Tuesday, July 11.

Day 22: Tuesday, July 11 — Hip-hop legend Raekwon of the Wu-Tang Clan performs at the Broadberry with local talent including Noah-0, Black Liquid and Tennison. Doors open at 8 p.m. $30-$35.

Day 23: Wednesday, July 12 — Check out a book release party at Chop Suey Books for former Richmond Times-Dispatch reporter, Howard Owen. His latest hard-boiled mystery in the Willie Black series that’s set in Richmond is “The Devil’s Triangle.” 6 p.m. To learn about Owen, read our Style cover story that we print the same day.

Day 24: Thursday, July 13 — Drop by 1708 Gallery to check out the latest segment in its community engagement program — 3X3 Summer Sessions, featuring three socially engaged projects that connect with outside communities. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Runs through Aug. 5. 1708gallery.org.

Day 25: Friday, July 14 — Take yourself out to the ballgame when the Richmond Flying Squirrels take on the Harrisburg Senators. Plus, it’s free shirt Friday at the Diamond. Get a yacht-rock tank top and belt out a few verses to “Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl).” Or not. 7:05 p.m.

Day 26: Saturday, July 15 — Bring the kids to Doswell’s Kings Dominion and explore the new Planet Snoopy Expansion. Also, today the park is holding a musical event for gospel and R&B fans, Joyfest, featuring Kirk Franklin, the Mann Family, Tasha Cobb and Travis Greene. Ticket prices vary. kingsdominion.com.

Charm School
  • Charm School

Day 27: Sunday, July 16 — Scoop it up. Celebrate National Ice Cream Day by visiting an excellent new addition to the RVA ice cream landscape, Charm School at 311 W. Broad St. Creative flavors and combos abound.

Day 28: Monday, July 17 — Sharpen those claws, it’s a war on the catwalk. If you’re a fan of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” on VH1, you’re going to want to catch the queens from Season 9, including Sasha, Shea, Trinity, Farrah, Aja, Alexis and host Trixie, at the Dominion Arts Center at 8 p.m. $25 to $99.50.

Day 29: Tuesday, July 18 — Broaden your understanding of family. Check out portraits of LGBT families at the “One Love: LGBT Families” exhibit at Valentine Museum. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. thevalentine.org.

Day 30: Wed., July 19 — Sing karaoke at Bandito’s. If you croon Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart,” extra points for changing the closing lyrics to the literal video version: “Mullet with headlights/over-surprised guy/weirded out.”

Day 31: Thursday, July 20 — Don’t tilt. Chill out by playing some pinball at the new Richmond Pinball Collective in Bon Air. It’s a $20 flat fee for a month-long membership. Check its website for hours at richmondpinballcollective.org.

click to enlarge Bike the 52 mile Capital Trail. - ASH DANIEL
  • Ash Daniel
  • Bike the 52 mile Capital Trail.

Day 32: Friday, July 21 — Get some exercise and bike the Capital Trail, exploring 52 scenic miles between Richmond and Jamestown. Choose your own ride and definitely check out the Cap Trail bike shuttle. captrailbikeshuttle.com.

Day 33: Saturday, July 22 — Catch a screening of local filmmakers’ work for the 48 Hour Film Project from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. at Grace Street Theater (best-of screening is Sunday, July 30, from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the same venue). Also on this day, Candela Books and Gallery’s “Unbound 6” photography exhibit starts at 7 p.m.

Day 34: Sunday, July 23 — Travel back in time with the Radio Players at Pine Camp at Dogwood Dell. Shows at 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Or check out Shakespeare’s classic “Macbeth” as part of the Richmond Shakespeare Festival at Agecroft Hall. quilltheatre.org.

Day 35: Monday, July 24 — Who loves a flying squirrel more than your dog? Nobody, that’s who. It’s another Richmond Flying Squirrels game, but you can bring your dog this time for Bark in the Park at the Diamond. The first 250 furry pals get new leashes from the Richmond Public Utilities Department.

Day 36: Tuesday, July 25 — Holler and be rowdy at World Wrestling Entertainment’s Smackdown Live at Richmond Coliseum featuring the sweaty likes of Randy Orton, Kevin Owens, Naomi and Dolph Ziggler.

Day 37: Wednesday, July 26 — Sing along to Abba. There’s only two local performances of the feel-good musical, “Mamma Mia,” featuring Abba’s greatest hits, on July 25 and July 26. Catch the last night at Altria Theater at 7:30 p.m. $33 -$70.

Day 38: Thursday, July 27 — Celebrate the rich history of the roughly 100,000 Latinos in the Richmond metropolitan area by visiting the Valentine museum’s new exhibit, “Nuestras Historias: Latinos in Richmond,” opening today. thevalentine.org.

Day 39: Friday, July 28 — Blow this Popsicle stand. Get out of town and head southwest for one of Virginia’s most popular outdoor music festivals, Floyd Fest, which this year stars groups such as Thievery Corporation, St. Paul and the Broken Bones, and Steel Pulse. floydfest.com.

Day 40: Saturday, July 29 — Fiesta abajo! The Valentine is closing off Clay Street to celebrate Richmond’s Latino community and a new exhibit, “Neustras Historias: Latinos in Richmond.” The street party features live music by Bio Ritmo, dance by the Latin Ballet of Virginia, salsa lessons and empanada trucks from10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Earlier in the day, if you’d rather be on the water, check out Sports Backers’ Richmond International Dragon Boat Festival, featuring teams of 20 synchronized paddlers racing 500 meters up the river to the beat of a big drum. Check-in is at 8 a.m. sportsbackers.org.

Day 41: Sunday, July 30 — Have jazz brunch with Roger Caroll Duo at Savory Grain then head to soak at your favorite river spot. That night, drive west on Interstate 64 and catch the always mesmerizing Gillian Welch and David Rawlings at Sprint Pavilion on the Charlottesville Historic Downtown Mall.

Day 42: Monday, July 31 — Be traditional. Grab lunch at the new location of Sally Bell’s Kitchen, 2337 W. Broad St., one of Richmond’s longest running boxed-lunch paradises.


Day 43: Tuesday, Aug. 1 — Be fashionably late to an exhibit. The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts’ “Yves Saint Laurent: The Perfection of Style” runs through Aug. 27. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with extended hours to 9 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays.

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts’ “Yves Saint Laurent: The Perfection of Style” runs through Aug. 27. - VIRGINIA MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS
  • Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
  • The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts’ “Yves Saint Laurent: The Perfection of Style” runs through Aug. 27.

Day 44: Wednesday, Aug. 2 — Smell a giraffe’s breath. Visit the Metro Richmond Zoo, home to around 2,000 animals, according to its website. Open year round, Monday through Saturday, from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. $11.25 to $17.25.

Day 45: Thursday, Aug. 3 — Hear the Richmond Symphony Summer Series at Libby S. Gottwald Playhouse: Trombonist Zachary Guiles, pianist Yin Zheng and Aleksandr Haskin on the flute and piccolo perform. 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $18 for adults and $12 for children younger than 18 and college students.

Day 46: Friday, Aug. 4 — Take it all off. It’s probably going to be hot as Hades by now. Only 35 miles east of Petersburg is the White Tail Resort, a family nudist community, which is holding its 13th annual Beachfest this weekend. whitetailresort.org.

Day 47: Saturday, Aug. 5 — Watch movies under a blanket of stars. Check out the listings at the Goochland Drive-In Theater for a night of vintage Americana stretched out on the hood of your car. goochlanddriveintheater.com.

Day 48: Sunday, Aug. 6 — Smell the early morning rain. Hear one of Bob Dylan’s favorite artists, Gordon Lightfoot, at Dominion Arts Center. $29.50-$94.

click to enlarge T. Tyler Potterfield Bridge - SCOTT ELMQUIST
  • Scott Elmquist
  • T. Tyler Potterfield Bridge

Day 49: Monday, Aug. 7 — Start your week off with a bike trip or walk, culminating in a glorious sunset selfie on T. Tyler Potterfield Bridge. You look marvelous in that natural light.

Day 50: Tuesday, Aug. 8 — Get heavy. Sludgy metal weirdness rules the night when the legendary Melvins turn it up at the Broadberry. 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. $20-$25.

Day 51: Wednesday, Aug. 9 — Stop by the Visual Arts Center of Richmond and check out its annual work exhibition featuring faculty, staff and board members. visarts.org.

Day 52: Thursday, Aug. 10 — Enjoy chatting during a movie. Laugh at famous television characters as they ridicule cheese-ball movies when Mystery Science Theater 3000 holds two live shows at Dominion Arts Center. This will probably sell out, so get your tickets early.

Day 53: Friday, Aug. 11 — Groove in the park. This weekend is ripe for music when the Richmond Jazz Festival returns to Maymont. Among the artists performing this year are soul queen Erykah Badu, the Isley Brothers, Taj Mahal and Pat Metheny. $30-$140. jazzatmaymont.com.

Day 54: Saturday, Aug. 12 — Enjoy a day of Filipino cuisine and live music at the 12th annual Filipino Festival at Our Lady of Lourdes, 8200 Woodman Road in Henrico, running from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. with free admission. Then, at 7 p.m., catch a Richmond Kickers game versus the Orlando City B in City Stadium.

Day 55: Sunday, Aug. 13 — Stay sweet. Always a popular event, the Watermelon Festival in Carytown makes it OK to spit in public. The pavement usually is steaming this time of year, but tons of watermelon stands, live music and drink specials make it so much nicer.

Day 56: Monday, Aug. 14 — Assuming you don’t roll on Shabbos, Monday can be a great day to bowl, dude. Plenty of options, such as the massive Uptown Alley Bowling in Midlothian or something a bit more traditional, such as AMF Sunset Lanes on W. Broad St.

Day 57: Tuesday, Aug. 15 — Visit the new location of the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia in the Leigh Street Armory at 122 W. Leigh St. Open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Check the website for updated exhibitions. $10 for adults, kids go for free. blackhistorymuseum.org.

click to enlarge Virginia Historical Society’s “Toys” exhibit. - VIRGINIA HISTORICAL SOCIETY
  • Virginia Historical Society
  • Virginia Historical Society’s “Toys” exhibit.

Day 58: Wednesday, Aug. 16 — Remember your favorite toy from childhood? Wax nostalgic through the decades at the Virginia Historical Society’s “Toys” exhibit, still running from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. vahistorical.org

Day 59: Thursday, Aug. 17 — Summertime has come and (almost) gone, my, oh my! Get your dirt twirl on in the grassy fields of Innsbrook to music from the greatest Grateful Dead cover band in a long, bewildering history of them: Dark Star Orchestra performs at 6 p.m. $15 to $69.

Day 60: Friday, Aug. 18 — Creep yourself out by taking the Haunts of Richmond — Shadows of Shockoe Bottom tour. From 9 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. $16. Definitely some spooky vibes to be found in that part of town.

Day 61: Saturday, Aug. 19 — Drop the bomb — but not really. The Military Retirees Club at 2220 Chamberlayne Ave. is hosting a Washington music takeover featuring the classic go-go act, Trouble Funk with Tony Terry and Sugar Bear with — making his first RVA appearance — Stormin’ Norman. Early bird tickets are $15.

Day 62: Sunday, Aug. 20 — Walk and learn. Enjoy Carytown’s LGBTQ History Walking Tour and learn about those who’ve supported diverse communities from the 1970s to the present, a service of the Valentine. Meet at Nacho Mama’s at 3449 W. Cary St. Tour runs from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. $15.

Day 63: Monday, Aug. 21 — Look up! At 2:44 p.m., stop what you’re doing, go outside and gaze at the sun — safely, of course, with special solar-viewing glasses. It’s a total solar eclipse though it will be partial view from Richmond. It’s still a rare and spectacular sight. Ends at 4:03 p.m. Do it, Jaguar Paw, it may just save your life.

click to enlarge Quirk Hotel’s rooftop bar. - SCOTT ELMQUIST
  • Scott Elmquist
  • Quirk Hotel’s rooftop bar.

Day 64: Tuesday, Aug. 22 — Have cocktail hour on a rooftop. Quirk Hotel has a nice view, as does Kabana Rooftop.

Day 65: Wednesday, Aug. 23 — Give it up for classic Motown when the Temptations and the Four Tops play at Innsbrook After Hours. Showtime is at 6 p.m. $15 to $30.

Day 66: Thursday, Aug. 24 — Everybody loves sammiches. Well, a lot of folks do. And its Style’s Sandwich week, which means discounted $5 sandwiches at participating restaurants. styleweekly.com.

Day 67: Friday, Aug. 25 — Hit the golden road to devotion for Lockn’ Festival in Arrington, Va. It runs all weekend, highlighted by members of the Grateful Dead performing “Terrapin Station,” as well as headlining sets by John Fogerty and the Avett Brothers. Or if melodic punk rock is more your thing, don’t miss Philly’s Sheer Mag at Strange Matter in Richmond tonight. Rockin’ good news.

Day 68: Saturday, Aug. 26 — Bike freely. It’s time to ride bikes on a vehicle-free course. This evening, enjoy the Anthem Moonlight Ride, then afterwards celebrate with pizza, ice cream, live music and beer. sportsbackers.org. During the day, from 1 to 10 p.m., it’s the Hardywood Foolery release, an imperial milk stout.

Day 69: Sunday, Aug. 27 — Stay surreal. Catch the final day of our local Great Southern “Twin Peaks” festival: This year celebrates the 25th anniversary of the film “Fire Walk With Me.” All details have yet to be announced, but the event also runs on Saturday, Aug. 26. There will be a listening party at Steady Sounds, taco night and tarot at Don’t Look Back, a Sunday brunch and bands at Strange Matter. Check thegreatsouthern-richmond.com for updates.

Day 70: Monday, Aug. 28 — Ride the Ferris wheel at the Chesterfield County Fair, 10300 Courthouse Road. They’ll also crown Miss Chesterfield tonight, if that’s your thing. chestefieldcountyfair.org

Day 71: Tuesday, Aug. 29 — Breathe. Get your week flowing by taking a yoga class to calm those nerves. There are a lot of choices, but outside might be nice, such as the free King of Pops yoga at the Carillon in Byrd Park. Check Facebook for an updated schedule.

Day 72: Wednesday, Aug. 30 — Watch a movie in splendor at one of our city’s crown jewels, the Byrd Theatre in Carytown, which should have a center section of brand new seats installed by the end of summer. Hallelujah!

Day 73: Thursday, Aug. 31 — Dance. You live in a town with Bio Ritmo. That means you need to take at least one salsa lesson in your life. Salsa night at Havana59 is every Thursday, ages 21 and up. From 8 to 9 p.m., instructor and Bronx native Clara Toro holds an hour class — then you can cut loose the rest of the night.


Day 74: Friday, Sept. 1 — Stargaze in the Dome at the Science Museum of Virginia with cosmic expeditions, giant-screen movies and live astronomy presentations. The Science After Dark series runs every third Friday of the month beginning at 5 p.m. $10. Advance reservations are recommended.

Day 75: Saturday, Sept. 2 — Catch a Richmond Flying Squirrels game when the organization joins CultureWorks to bring Arts Night at the Diamond, featuring a variety of local artists.

click to enlarge feat24_james_river_kayak.jpg

Day 76: Sunday, Sept. 3 — Spend a day kayaking on the river. Check out trip guides at jamesriverassocation.org.

Day 77: Monday, Sept. 4 (Labor Day) — Savor that last day at the pool. Maybe read a history book about unions and the death of organized labor that will help you understand why wages are stagnant and income inequality is soaring — and just where the middle class went. Then it’s back to work, people. Chop chop.



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