Neptune Festival’s 43rd Annual Boardwalk Weekend Schedule of Events

Neptune Festival’s Grand Finale!


Friday, September 30 - Sunday, October 2, 2016
Along 2nd - 36th Streets on the Virginia Beach Oceanfront Boardwalk
Fri., Sept. 30, 2016, noon - 11 p.m., Sat., October 1, 2016, 10 a.m. - 11 p.m.
Sun., October 2, 2016, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

For more information call 757/498-0215 or visit
You can also visit us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat @Neptune Festival

Virginia Beach, VA: It’s Virginia Beach’s most famous party - The Neptune Festival’s Boardwalk Weekend! This grand finale to the 43rd Anniversary and 2016 Neptune Festival season includes something for everyone! Boardwalk Weekend’s signature event is the renowned Neptune’s International Sandsculpting Championship. Internationally known as the largest competition of its kind in the United States, this event has the richest prize purse in the country and draws professional sand artists from around the globe to cultivate their finest masterpieces. These showy sand masterpieces will be on display in the Neptune Sand Gallery, Neptune’s Land of Sand, from Friday September 30 - Sunday, October 9. The weekend also includes a continual series of daily outdoor concerts along 35 blocks of the Boardwalk with a variety of live music. Music headliners for 2016 include Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds, The Ocean Blue, Rusted Root, Robert Randolph & The Family Band and Firefall. Additional weekend features include the Neptune Art and Craft Show with over 250 artisans showcasing their talent along the boardwalk; a spectacular Saturday night fireworks display over the Atlantic Ocean; volleyball tournament; Atlantic Sailing Regatta; and an 8K, 5K, 1 mile run. There is even a 26-yard Crab Crawl for kids up to 5. Additionally, the Grand Parade features more than 100 floats, military units, costumed characters and marching bands along the oceanfront.

Boardwalk Weekend Highlights

Neptune’s International Sandsculpting Championship
Between 4th and 10th Streets on the beach under the big tent, Entrance to Land of Sand on 7th Street. Neptune’s International Sandsculpting Championship returns to the oceanfront as one of the world’s largest sandsculpting competitions. The results of this spectacular competition will be on display under the big tent (Neptune’s Land of Sand) for 10 days beginning Friday, September 30 - Sunday, October 9. Admission to “Neptune’s Land of Sand” is $5.00 per adult with children 12 and under free when accompanied by an adult. A discount “Buy 1-Get 1 Free” lunch coupon is included with purchase. NO PETS allowed. “Neptune’s Land of Sand” is wheelchair accessible. Special sand “photo ops” for the family are also available.

Neptune’s “Land of Sand” hours:
Friday, 9/30: 9 am - 11 pm
Saturday, 10/1: 9 am - 11 pm
Sunday, 10/2: 9 am - 9 pm
Monday - Sunday: 10/3 - 10/9: 10 am - 6 pm

Vote for your favorite solo and team sculpture in the People’s Choice Voting available at the event. Also, receive a discount lunch coupon with admission ticket. On Friday and Saturday of
Boardwalk Weekend, don’t miss the excitement of speed sand sculpting with the “Quick Sand” as master sculptors square off in a game of speed against the clock.

Amateur Sandsculpting - School Division and Freelance Sculpting Divisions
Saturday, 10/1: 8 a.m. - 1 p.m.
School Division: 4th - 6th Streets
Freelance Division: 8th - 10th Streets | During Boardwalk Weekend, you can also cheer on your favorite local school or freelance entrant as the amateur division shows its style. This year’s theme is “Throw Back Virginia Beach.” Pre-registration is required to participate. For more information, call 757/498-0215 or visit

Neptune Festival Art and Craft Show
Friday: Noon - 7 p.m. • Saturday: 10 a.m.- 7 p.m. • Sunday: 10 a.m.- 6 p.m.
18th - 29th Streets, Virginia Beach Oceanfront
More than 250 exhibitors present original works of art in individual displays along the boardwalk. The artists exhibiting between 25th - 28th Streets have been selected as eligible for judging for awards. Free and open to the public.

Neptune’s Family Stage
Friday: 6 p.m. - 9 p.m., Saturday: 1 p.m. - 9 p.m. and Sunday: 1 p.m. - 5:45 p.m.
13th Street, Virginia Beach Oceanfront
This stage is the perfect family destination and includes a wide variety of family friendly entertainment! The Family Stage lineup will be available online or at the stage during Boardwalk Weekend.

Neptune Festival Boardwalk Weekend Music
3 musical stages located at 17th Street, 24th Street, and 31st Street on the Boardwalk
Stages times: Fri: 6:00 p.m. - 11 p.m. • Sat: 1 p.m. - 11 p.m. • Sun: 1 p.m. - 6 p.m.
Visit for complete stage lineup.

Boardwalk Weekend Food & Exhibitors
Friday: Noon - 11 p.m. • Saturday: 10 a.m. - 11 p.m. • Sunday 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Along the Boardwalk between 10th - 35th Streets, Virginia Beach Oceanfront
This year’s outdoor dining experience features all of your favorite festival fare - enjoy the view of the Atlantic Ocean along with fresh crab cakes, mouth watering barbecue, fresh cut French fries,
savory chicken on a stick, hot funnel cakes and cool Italian ices to list just a few! You’ll find these delectable food offerings, great exhibitors and bountiful shopping all along the Boardwalk.

Neptune’s 8K & 5K run, 1-mile and 26-yard Crab Crawl Presented by PNC Bank
Saturday: 7:45 a.m.
24th Street, Virginia Beach Oceanfront
Run, walk or skip your way down Atlantic Avenue to Rudee Inlet as spectators and family members cheer you on. The event also includes a 1-mile run and 26-yard “Crab Crawl” race for kids up to 5 years old. After the races, enjoy the camaraderie and the festivities in the 24th Street Park; the fantastic after-race party is fun for participants and their guests! Registration IS required to participate. Register at Viewing is free and open to the public.

Neptune’s Atlantic Regatta
Saturday: 8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Virginia Beach Oceanfront
This recreational sailing event is presented in conjunction with the Broad Bay Sailing Association. Cruisers and catamarans will sail between Cape Henry and Rudee Inlet. Limited beach viewing.

Neptune Volleyball Tournament
Saturday and Sunday: 9 a.m.
32nd- 36th Streets, Virginia Beach
Oceanfront. In cooperation with Volleyball Virginia, this tournament features numerous skill levels of 2 on 2 men’s, women’s, and co-ed divisions. Pre-registration is required to participate. For
more information, call Virginia Volleyball at 757/467-4719. Viewing is free and open to the public.

Neptune Grand Parade
Saturday: 11:30 a.m.
16th - 32nd Streets, Atlantic Avenue, Virginia Beach Oceanfront
One of the highlights of the weekend, The Neptune Festival Grand Parade includes over 100 parade units from floats to marching bands, larger than life balloons, costumed characters and more! Even King Neptune XLIII and his entire Royal Court join the fun!

Fireworks Extravaganza
Saturday: 9 p.m.
20th Street from the ocean, Virginia Beach Oceanfront
Our spectacular fireworks show just gets bigger and better each year. Watch as thousands of brilliant colors explode over the Atlantic Ocean. Produced by Dominion Fireworks Company. Free and open to the public.

Youth Art Show
Sunday: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
27th - 28th Streets, Virginia Beach Oceanfront
Open to all young artists in grades 9 - 12, this event gives them a chance to display and sell their creations in a juried venue. Prizes totaling $1,600 will be awarded in various categories, including Best in Show, Neptune Youth Artist, Photography, and Most Creative. The awards also include Visual Arts High School (HS) and Visual Arts Magnet (M) in the medium categories to encourage participation from high school visual arts programs.

Boardwalk Weekend Special Events
Meet the Virginia Beach Police Department
Saturday & Sunday: 10 am - 3 pm
10th Street on the Boardwalk
Join us for a special Neptune Festival exhibit by the Virginia Beach Police Department. Meet and visit with officers of the city’s finest! Tour the Mobile Command vehicle and Bomb Squad Response Vehicle. Both vehicles house state-of the-art equipment critical to the safety of our community. There will also be an opportunity to visit with the Virginia Beach Mounted Patrol and get and up close view of the Equine Officers who serve our city! We are also planning a special sandsculpture dedicated to the VBPD entitled “VBPD - Guardian of Democracy.” Photos opportunities will be available. The VBPD Foundation will also be handing out free stickers and blue lights for citizens. Come meet the extraordinary men and women who protect and serve our city!

Take the perfect Instagram photo with the larger than life “Virginia is for Lovers” L-O-V-E letters. Find us on the Boardwalk all weekend at 8th Street! #LOVEVA #NeptuneFestival

General Information
Restrooms are located along the boardwalk and the 17th, 24th and 31st Street Parks.
Beverage Tents are located at 17th, 24th, and 31st Streets. At 31st Street Park local craft beers will be available including BackBay Brewing’s “Neptune’s Nectar.” Please have a valid photo ID. You must be 21 years or older to purchase and consume alcohol.
Festival Information is located at kiosks on 11th and 24th Streets on the Boardwalk.
Poster and t-shirts - Commemorative posters will be for sale at 24th Street. Posters and a limited number of autographed posters are available for purchase on the boardwalk or in advance at the Neptune Festival office or online at Commemorative T-shirts are available for purchase along the Boardwalk at 14th, 24th and 31st Streets
Road Closures: Atlantic Avenue (between 5th -34th Streets) will be closed Saturday, October 1 from 7 am - 9:15 am and again from 10 am - 1 pm.
Parking: Please visit for travel options as well as parking locations and pricing.
Neptune is Green - Our goal is to reduce our environmental impact through recycling, water and energy conservation, and community and business involvement. Please look for recycling available throughout the Boardwalk.
Festival Transportation - HRT Trolleys will run along Atlantic Avenue between 1st and 42nd Streets between 8 a.m. and Midnight throughout the Boardwalk Weekend. Rides are just $2 each. The easily identifiable trolley stops are conveniently located up and down Atlantic Avenue. Trolleys arrive approximately every 20 minutes but can take longer due to heavier traffic on event weekends. Visit for more information on oceanfront transportation

About the Neptune Festival
From galas to golf, wine tastings to sporting events, the 43rd annual Virginia Beach Neptune Festival offers something for everyone! The award winning festival began in 1974 and has blossomed over the years into the city’s “official celebration” and largest event as well as one of the most successful festivals on the East Coast. The Neptune Festival is produced by a private non-profit organization and directed by a volunteer Board of Directors. Support and funding for the event comes from the community at large and corporate sponsorships. Each year, the Neptune Festival attracts hundreds of thousands of people to the Virginia Beach oceanfront and generates approximately $21 million in economic impact for the City of Virginia Beach. For more information on the 43rd Annual Neptune Festival, please call the Festival office at 757-498-0215 or 1-866-NEP-FEST or visit You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat @ NeptuneFestival