The Virginia Highlands Festival

Each summer, Abingdon is completely transformed, playing host to one of the biggest and best arts festivals in the southeast. The celebration extends beyond the downtown street festival, though, with opportunities to play outdoors in nature, attend classes and workshops, time travel to Abingdon's colonial past with living historians, or even ride in a vintage biplane.

Named "Best Art Event" in the region by readers of Virginia Living magazine, the Virginia Highlands Festival offers activities and entertainment for the whole family.

The runs July 22 to July 31, 2022. For a full listing of events, visit

Anchored by an antiques market and an award-winning juried arts and crafts show, the Festival includes live music, historical re-enactments, fine art and photography competitions, performances, creative writing workshops, guided nature hikes, and numerous activities for kids.



Robert Porterfield, founder of both the Virginia Highlands Festival and the famed Barter Theatre, held the first Festival in 1949 at the Martha Washington Inn. His purpose was to preserve and celebrate the cultural heritage of this area. The Festival, over the past six decades, has grown in scope to represent all of Southwest Virginia. 

Now it not only preserves the arts, crafts and skills that developed in this region, but also imports talented artists and performers from all over the USA and the world for the enjoyment of area residents and visitors.

Visitor Information

Held in Historic Abingdon and the surrounding area, the annual Virginia Highlands Festival offers juried fine art and crafts, antiques, performing and literary arts, music, local history, the great outdoors, and fun for kids of all ages!

The Martha Bedroom Jb0357


Sign up for the Abingdon, VA email newsletter

Abingdon Vineyards with Kayak

WanderLove: Find what you love in Abingdon, VA