Events

From outdoor parks and green spaces to museum courtyards and waterfront stages, Portsmouth’s diverse venues set the stage for parties, festivals, concerts, and more. Celebrate culture, food, art, history, music and pride in the community during events held throughout the year.

Featured Event

Portsmouth Paddle Battle

September 11th marks the inaugural Paddle Battle, a race for kayakers and paddle boarders on the Elizabeth River.  Heats for all ages and skill levels begin at 9:30 a.m. at High Street Landing. Spectators line the Seawall to watch the race while enjoying living history, family activities, food, beverages, and live music all day, including a performance by local favorite, Soul Intent. The event supports Friends of the Naval Shipyard Museum.

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Promotional Poster graphics for Paddle Battle

Signature Events

Family friendly entertainment for 40 years and counting!

Olde Towne Ghost Walk

The Olde Towne Ghost Walk is a 40-year-old walking tour based on the Jack-the-Ripper Walks in London, where you will learn about the haunting history of Olde Towne. Stretching over 20 blocks, you will encounter reenactors along the way, who dare to tell the ghostly tales of a time long since passed.

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Umoja Festival

Listen to music, participate in workshops, taste ethnic foods, and browse the marketplace in this celebration of contemporary and ancient African culture.

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Seawall Festival

Waterfront festival occurs annually to coincide with Norfolk’s Harborfest. There’s a party on both sides of the river, with bands, dancing, food and venders.

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Olde Towne Holiday Music Festival

This family favorite holiday tradition features strolling carolers, a Children’s Parade, and a variety of holiday music performances.

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Winter Wonderland

Visit the Children’s Museum of Virginia to enjoy reimagined holiday exhibits, such as the Eye Spy scavenger hunt, Sock Skating, and a visit with Santa in the “Santa Hut.” Walk over to the Portsmouth Art & Cultural Center to enjoy the nostalgic Coleman Collection re-envisioned.

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Scottish Walk

Modeled after Scotland’s Hogmanay Festival when townspeople honor their community and merchants, wishing luck and prosperity in the coming year.

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Seawall Art Show

The Seawall Art Show features works for sale by 85+ artists and includes a student art show, live entertainment, and food for sale.

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Cock Island Race

Head to High Street Landing for this “Celebration of the Sea,” where you can enjoy live entertainment, food, and libations along the water.

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More Events

Looking for something to do after work or this weekend? See what’s happening around
Portsmouth this week!

Olde Towne’s Farmers’ Market

Shop for seasonal fresh produce, fresh baked goods, coffees & teas, and other local crafts and goods.

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Olde Towne Antique & Flea Market

Enjoy the eclectic collection of unique and antique wares the first Saturday of each month.

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Sunset Thursdays

Leave the stress of the workday behind, and meet your friends at High Street Landing for the city’s free summer concert series.

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First Fridays

Enjoy performances in the courtyard and free admission to featured exhibits at the Portsmouth Art & Cultural Center.

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Happening Now

Check out our Happening Now Events page to see a list of current and upcoming happenings around Portsmouth!

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