VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Virginia Beach Neptune Festival's Boardwalk Weekend has been canceled because of the approaching storm, but you can still catch a few of the festival's trademark events.
Normally from 2nd Street to 33rd Street, hundreds of vendors would be lined up along the boardwalk. That won't be happening this year, because of forecasted heavy rains, tidal flooding, and gusty winds ushered by Hurricane Ian.
"We were really excited here in 2022, to return to a full normal slate of activities, from spring to fall and we got right to the very end," said Virginia Beach Neptune Festival CEO Kit Chope.
The boardwalk weekend is the culmination of weeks of celebration each year. At least that means people were able to enjoy some of the festivities already.
The Virginia Symphony Orchestra put on a series of free concerts at the Oceanfront, and there was also a Craft Beer Festival in late August.
Chope told 13News Now they did not take the decision to cancel this weekend's outdoor booths and activities lightly, but he underscored that the community's safety is paramount.
"We were mindful of folks coming from literally across the East Coast, Mid-Atlantic region to come visit us ... not only as attendees but also as artists, crafts persons and vendors," Chope said.
"I feel very bummed," said resident Lucia Beltz, who would have attended the weekend festivities. "It's very interesting to see all the different art pieces and the vendors, the people are very friendly."
Here's what's been 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
Boardwalk weekend usually generates an annual $23.5 million for the local economy, Chope said.
"We recognize that hotel rooms aren't going to be as full and restaurants aren't going to be as busy. And we're sorry for that."
There are plans to salvage a few key events, though.
The International Sandsculpting Championship tent at 7th Street will open to guests from October 3 until at least October 9, after the forecasted storm.
"We're going to have to come back, I think. We live two hours away," said visitor Joanne Ruffa. "Might call for a return trip. Not a bad thing."
Additionally, the Hometown Heroes event inside Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront will go on. Four-time Super Bowl Champion Rocky Bleier will be speaking there.
You can find the festival's full details online.
Other weekend events around Hampton Roads have also been canceled.
Hampton City updates:
In Hampton, multiple events have been cancelled:
- The Crawlin' Crab 5K on Saturday and half-marathon on Sunday along with all events associated with the races
- The inaugural Virginia Peninsula Community College Community Day 5K on Saturday
- All after-school and evening activities on Friday and Saturday, including athletic events
- The Buckroe Beach Farmers Market scheduled for Saturday.
- The James T. Wilson Fishing Pier at Buckroe Beach closed at 10 p.m. Thursday
- The Downtown Hampton Live concert event scheduled for Friday evening at Mill Point Park
- All youth football league games scheduled for Saturday
- The two outdoor candlelight vigils planned to commemorate the 41st Annual “National Day of Unity Night of Remembrance," on Monday, October 3, have either been moved indoors or postponed
York County updates:
York County also saw multiple cancellations due to the storm. They are listed below.
- The Yorktown Wine Festival was postponed to November 13, and tickets bought for the event will be honored on the new date.
- Most park facilities
- The county's Skate, Rattle and Roll Program scheduled for Friday evening
Jamestown Settlement and the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown will close at 1 p.m. Friday, September 30.
Newport News Fall Festival
The Newport News Fall Festival has also been canceled for 2022.
In a Facebook post on Wednesday, Newport News Special Events said the festival has been canceled for this year, and the group said it looks forward to planning the festival in 2023.
The festival, which was expected to feature a wide variety of unique vendors, live entertainment, hot air balloon rides, and pumpkin patch, was supposed to run from October 1 to 2.
Virginia Children's Festival
Virginia Children's Festival has been cancelled due to forecasted weather impacts from Ian.
The event won't be rescheduled. All ticketholders will be automatically refunded in 7-10 business days.
Suffolk Peanut Fest parade
The Suffolk Peanut Fest Parade set for Oct. 1 was canceled due to the incoming inclement weather and it won't be rescheduled.
The event's other festivities are still on, though. Between Oct. 6 and 9, there will be carnival rides, live bands, a shrimp feast, a peanut cup race, a chalk art competition, fireworks, and a demolition derby.
Chesapeake Autumn Fest & Arbor Day Ceremony
The Chesapeake Autumn Fest planned for the Arboretum on Saturday was just canceled.
Chesapeake Parks, Recreation and Tourism said the Arbor Day element of the celebration will be rescheduled later.
Waller Mill Park closed at 1 p.m., and The Quarterpath Recreation Center will close at 4:30 p.m.
The park will reopen Monday, and the Quarterpath will reopen Sunday.