Events Returning to Charlottesville

Caldwell Boyles

Two of the more popular events to hit Charlottesville the past few years have been the Downtown Sprint Pavilion’s Friday After Five and McIntire Park’s Dogwood Festival.


Friday After Five was a live music festival that occurred every Friday on the Downtown Mall during the summer season of the calendar year. 2020’s season was supposed to run from late April to early September before having to be canceled due to COVID-19. 2019 was the 32nd year that this event has been running in Charlottesville. 


After not having live music in over a year, the Sprint Pavilion’s general manager, Kirby Hutto, was quoted on NBC29 saying he hopes to have some form of live music at the Sprint Pavilion by May. He was also quoted as saying that he and his co-partners are waiting for signals from the government saying that it is safe to gather in crowds of that size again. 

Since it seems to be a fairly popular event in the city of Charlottesville, as a recent poll showed that over 70% of a group of surveyed students said they had previously attended Friday After Fives, we can be hopeful for a return sometime soon of live music downtown. 


The Dogwood Festival was an event held in the spring that ran from March through late April and included a carnival, firework display, home run derby competition, and other family-friendly activities. The carnival was the main attraction and it featured rides, games, and food for people of all ages to enjoy. Around 90% of the previously mentioned surveyed students said that they had attended the Dogwood Festival/Carnival sometime in the past as well. Many of the students stated that they enjoyed riding the rides and playing the carnival games. 


The limit on social gatherings is currently very limited, but Governor Ralph Northam just recently announced that some of the restrictions will be loosened starting April 1st including the limit on social gatherings indoor and outdoors. In relation to the two main events mentioned, outdoor gatherings will be limited to 30% of capacity with no numeric cap on attendance. 


As we move closer to a post-COVID era with more restrictions being loosened and people getting vaccinated, we hope to see these events that bring joy to a lot of people return in some form.