If you visited the beach this weekend, you may have been surprised by what you saw. On the boardwalk, the great statue of Neptune loomed above with its trident held high in the air, tents pitched on either side. Each way you looked, vendors sold their wares, music drifted on the sea breeze, and crowds of people strolled down the boardwalk. Why were they here? What was going on?
This year, Sept. 26-28, Virginia Beach celebrated its 45th annual Neptune Festival. Local vendors, artists, and musicians crowded the beach. On one side of the boardwalk, tents were filled with clothes, pottery, instruments, wooden sculptures, and more. Musicians were spaced out along the other side so that as you walked, the sound of rock, reggae, or electric violin was never far off. Throughout the weekend, a number of exciting events occurred, including a grand parade, a sand sculpting event, and a dog dock diving competition.
Because the ocean is such a big part of Virginia Beach, the festival plays off of the sea-god Neptune and his court, picking local citizens to stand in as King Neptune, Queen Neptune, royal Tritons, and Attendants to the King. Generally, people are selected to act in these roles because of their high involvement with the Virginia Beach community. Held after the close of tourist season, this festival allows the locals to gather as a community and enjoy their own land.
Though the Boardwalk Weekend is over, the sand sculptors are still competing until Oct. 7!