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13News Now Vault: The Neptune Festival back in 1984

1984’s festival was the fifth rainy event in a row at the time, so people decided to embrace the bad weather.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — It’s one of the most prized events at the Oceanfront.

The Virginia Beach Neptune Festival turns 48 this year.

A packed boardwalk, art, music, and sand sculpting are some of the many draws that bring hundreds of thousands of people back every year.

In 2021, it was one to remember for artist Tamara Seraph.

“Best weekend we’ve ever had,” said Seraph. “More local artists were here than any other year.”

Next weekend’s festival could also be one to remember, but for different reasons.

More activity brewing in the tropics means a significant storm could be in our vicinity right as Neptune Fest kicks off on September 30.

But it wouldn’t be the first time weather got in the way of the fun. The 1984’s festival was the fifth rainy event in a row at the time, so people decided to embrace the bad weather.

Thousands still came out to enjoy the boardwalk, despite downpours throughout the weekend.

In fact, the weather came with its benefits for some of the artists that year. What better time to sell wind chimes than a windy Saturday afternoon?

This year, here’s to hoping we can channel some of that optimism the Oceanfront saw back in 1984.

The 48th Annual Neptune Festival will have performances by the Virginia Symphony Orchestra and Symphonicity, beer and wine festivals, the Atlantic Sailing Regatta, sand sculpting contests and more. 

Here's a breakdown of what's going down:

Neptune Festival's Symphony by the Sea Concert Series

The concert series takes place at Neptune's Park at 31st Street and Atlantic Avenue from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., and the remaining shows will feature:

  • August 11 - Symphonicity
  • August 18 - Virginia Symphony Orchestra
  • August 25 - Symphonicity 
  • September 8 - Virginia Symphony Orchestra 

Neptune's 7th Annual Coastal Craft Beer Festival

The craft beer festival will take place on Saturday, August 27 from 1 p.m. until 6 p.m. at Neptune's Park. It will feature local Virginia beers, ciders and seltzers as well as national and regional craft beers. There will be over 60 beers from 30 breweries and live music from ETC3 and Anthony Rosano & The Conqueroos

Tickets will cost $45 and include a tasting glass and tastings throughout the day.

Neptune's 25th Annual Fall Wine Festival

The wine festival will be Saturday and Sunday, September 10 and 11 from noon to 5 p.m. at Neptune's Park. It will feature Virginia wines and offer an opportunity to meet the vintners behind them. There will also be live entertainment. 

Tickets start at $40 and go up into the hundreds depending on what type of add-ons people get. 

End of Summer Bay Bash

The Bay Bash promises a party to celebrate the close of summer with food and beverages, exciting interactive entertainment, live music and dancing by the water all in a dance party atmosphere. 

It will be Friday, September 23 at the Cavalier Golf and Yacht Club from 7-11 p.m. 

Tickets for the event are $125.

Neptune Festival 48th Annual Boardwalk Weekend

Boardwalk Weekend is the flagship Neptune Festival event. It promises 30 blocks of "nonstop action." It will feature work from over 200 artists, the Atlantic Sailing Regatta, its signature event -- the International Sand Sculpting Championship, and more. 

Boardwalk Weekend will run from September 30 through October 2 on Atlantic Ave from Oceanfront 2nd - 33rd streets. 

Find out more information about Boardwalk Weekend, the Neptune Festival and all of its events here

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