Coastal Virginia Welcomes Food Festival Season

Headed to this popular vacation spot this summer? Check out these delicious events

Summertime is food festival time in coastal Virginia.

Located in the heart of the Mid-Atlantic, Norfolk, Va., attracts visitors from around the country for its heritage, family-oriented activities and attractions, and more recently, its cultural and culinary boom. With its range of versatile restaurants and local breweries, along with its biannual restaurant weeks and culinary-focused festivals, Norfolk is the ultimate food lover's destination.

Norfolk invites visitors and locals alike to taste their way through more than 100 public events and festivals that provide unique experiences for all ages. Festivals are largely located in Town Point Park, Norfolk’s premier waterfront venue. With events that feature everything from finger-lickin’-good barbecue and freshly brewed ales to authentic and eclectic New Orleans Cuisine, Norfolk offers various festivals this spring that match the likes of any palate.

Norfolk brings 25 of the best wineries from across the state to Hampton Roads at the seventh annual AT&T Spring Town Point Virginia Wine Festival. It opens the first weekend of May, and guests are invited to enjoy a day along the harbor filled with wine sampling from Virginia wineries and vineyards, live music performances, gourmet foods, and specialty wares for purchase. "One of Norfolk’s most popular festivals is the annual Spring Virginia Wine Festival, which brings food and wine connoisseurs from all over to sample the finest wines the East Coast has to offer," says Anthony J. DiFilippo, president and CEO of VisitNorfolk.

A favorite amongst locals and visitors alike, the annual spring Virginia Beer Festival will return May 18 and 19, 2013. Sample more than 125 tap handles of international premium beers, hand-crafted domestics, and local brews, along with live music and great food. "From dark lagers to pale ales, the annual Virginia Beer Festival offers a wide range of beers brewed from all over the state," says Cynthia Carter-West, director of marketing and communications for the Virginia Arts Festival. "For our 12th year, locals and visitors alike will come together for good food, beer, and music, and with the beautiful Town Point Park as the backdrop, who could ask for more?"

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The AT&T Bayou Boogaloo & Cajun Food Festival is going into its 24th year of delivering the heart and soul of Louisiana to Norfolk in true Cajun style, this year from June 21 to 23. Cajun delicacies at this event include fresh Louisiana crawfish, jambalaya, gumbo, etouffée, alligator, muffuletta, Andouille, and beignets. Musicians from Louisiana will also visit to enhance the Bayou ambiance. "As one of Norfolk’s oldest festivals, visitors travel from all over to take part in this celebration every year," says Donna Allen, vice president of sales and marketing for VisitNorfolk. "With real Louisiana soul food and exciting performances, everyone is guaranteed to have a good time."