Home / Blog / Norfolk Harborfest returns to Downtown Norfolk waterfront June 9

Norfolk Harborfest returns to Downtown Norfolk waterfront June 9

Jun 04, 2023Jun 04, 2023

NORFOLK, Va — The 47th Annual Norfolk Harborfest: Music, Food & Maritime Festival returns to Town Point Park along the Downtown Norfolk Waterfront Friday-Sunday, June 9-11, 2023.

America's largest, longest-running, free maritime festival, Harborfest celebrates & encapsulates all of the unique elements that make Norfolk & Hampton Roads a historic maritime & Naval community. On both land and sea, thrilling activities and live music take center stage at Harborfest, including the annual Parade of Sail featuring tall ships, one of the largest fireworks shows on the East Coast, a mesmerizing drone show, interactive family games & activities, Navy exhibits and demonstrations, artisan foods & beverages, national & regional live entertainment, and much more.

The festival is FREE & open to the public. For more information, visit



Main Stage — Friday, June 9

Main Stage — Saturday, June 10

Main Stage — Sunday, June 11

Boathouse Stage — Friday, June 9

Boathouse Stage — Saturday, June 10

Boathouse Stage — Sunday, June 11


The spectacular Norfolk Harborfest Parade of Sail, presented by WVEC 13 News Now and under the direction of the Virginia Pilots Association, will enter the Downtown Norfolk Harbor on Friday, June 9 at approximately noon. Following tradition, this impressive fleet will include tall ships, Navy ships, Public Safety vessels, character vessels, sleek power cruisers, sailing craft, antique and classic wooden boats, military vessels, tugs and more! Thousands of onlookers stationed at vantage points along the Elizabeth River will be able to witness this expansive fleet as it dances down the river towards Town Point Park.

The following is a list of visiting tall ships:

Ships will be open for public tours from approximately 3pm to 6pm on Friday, June 9 and from noon to 6pm on Saturday, June 10 and Sunday, June 11. Ship tours are free & open to the public. Visitors are requested to wear flat shoes and be able to manage walking up and down access ramps and ladders. Strollers must be left on the dock. Strollers are not permitted on board the ship. Entry and Exit Ramps are not equipped to accommodate wheelchairs, walkers, or other types of mobility equipment requiring a flat and solid surface or hard hand rails (aside from the Impossible Dream).

For boaters, all docking on the Downtown Norfolk Waterfront is on a reservation basis only. Docking in the Hospital Point Anchorage in the Elizabeth River across from Town Point Park will be free of charge and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Personal watercrafts are permitted to follow the Parade of Sail into the Downtown Norfolk Harbor under the direction of U.S. Coast Guard.


Friday, June 9

Saturday, June 10

Sunday, June 11

Norfolk Harborfest Choreographed Drone Show: Produced by Image Engineering from Baltimore, Maryland, the Harborfest Drone Show is the highest quality drone show in the region. Be prepared as the sky is filled with the highest quality imagery, data and cutting-edge UAV technology synchronized to a nautical musical playlist. The show is scheduled for Friday night at 9:30 pm and will be performed over the Elizabeth River.

Norfolk Harborfest Fireworks Spectacular: The Norfolk Harborfest Fireworks Spectacular, presented by WAVY TV 10 and produced by Pyro Shows of Tennessee, is one of the largest waterfront pyrotechnics shows on the East Coast. Be prepared for the unexpected as the sky is filled with an explosive display of light synchronized to a booming musical score throughout Town Point Park. The Fireworks show is scheduled for Saturday night at 9:30 pm and will be fired from a floating platform on the Elizabeth River.

Ultimate Build-A-Boat Contest & Race: The very popular and zany Ultimate Build-A-Boat Challenge begins on Saturday, June 10, when teams construct boats from scratch in various engineering and decorative designs in the hope that their design will survive the test of Sunday's Ultimate Build-A- Boat Race Sunday, June 11 at 2:30pm, the competing teams place their boats, and boating skills to the test with an all-out race to the finish line! This nail-biting event is one not to be missed!


NEW! Boathouse Tribute Exhibit: Join us as we pay tribute to one of Norfolk's iconic and beloved music venues in what would have been the 40thanniversary of its opening. Performers the likes of Jay-Z, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, NOFX and The Violent Femmes all performed at the original Boathouse is Norfolk. Reminisce on the golden age of live music in Norfolk through memorabilia, original merchandise and a photo and video gallery displaying content captured at the historic venue.

NEW! Boathouse Tribute Silent Disco: New this year at Harborfest is an outdoor Festival Silent Disco! Grab a set of headphones and relive the golden days or jam to today's top hits at this new festival feature. Participants will dance to tunes provided by our silent disco DJ with cool lights and special effects.

NEW! The Mighty Mike Show: Enjoy a strongman show like you’ve never seen before! Witness Mighty Mike juggle bowling balls and sledgehammers, tear packs of cards, and bend pounds of metal. If his witty jokes don't make you laugh, his 1920's style bathing suit sure will.

NEW! The Red Trouser Show: Being friends since the first grade, this dynamic duo now travels the world together street performing. Their amazing acrobatics and use of fire is sure to draw a big crowd!

NEW! The Loose Cannon Pirate Company: Walk the plank into history by witnessing the swashbuckling tales of golden age pirates. Watch your head ye landlubbers and cover your ears while cannon balls fly. Grab your mateys and get ready set sail on your next voyage!

NEW! U.S. Airforce Shadow Strike: Shadow Strike puts people in the middle of a high- stakes, high-octane Air Force rescue mission. Featuring a 3D film, motion theater seats, sensory effects and 360-degree surround sound, this mobile tour is more than a ride, it 's an immersive 4D experience from start to finish.

The Back Bay Mermaid Entertainment: Splash into your wildest dreams with this once in a lifetime opportunity to witness a mythical mermaid! Listen to tales from the deep, learn how to protect their homes, and get the best tips for a life at sea. Photo opportunities and hidden treasures will be available throughout the day.

The Butterfly & Ladybug Experience: Spread your wings at this live walk-through butterfly exhibit where you can interact, feed and learn about them and why they are so important. In addition, a new inflatable ladybug experience will be available this year. A great activity for all ages, the exhibit was designed for wheelchair and stroller accessibility.

Splash City Golf: Make a splash at this unique pop-up driving range in Town Point Park! Participants will take aim at a floating green in the Elizabeth River with golf balls that are made from recycled oyster shells.

Arts & Crafts with Chrystal: Feeling artsy? Swing by Arts & Crafts with Chrystal to create handmade pieces of art to take home! This interactive workshop will allow you to create nautical themed artwork fun for the whole family.

Radio Harborfest: Broadcasting live at Norfolk Harborfest, local radio celebrity Paul Shugrue of WHRV hosts "Radio Harborfest", keeping you updated on the latest festival happenings including weather, traffic, entertainment and anything else Norfolk Harborfest throughout the weekend.

Nauticus: Nauticus is a maritime discovery center located along the waterfront in downtown Norfolk offering a unique form of experiential learning for all ages. Through interactive exhibits and STEM to STERN programming, Nauticus uses the museum, Battleship Wisconsin, sailing center, and Schooner Virginia to tell the story of the maritime environment, industry, and the military. For more information, visit

Waterside District: Waterside District features the best of national, regional and local restaurants, offers live music, and more. Located in the heart of the central business district and adjacent to the City of Norfolk's world-class waterfront and festival site, Waterside District is a central gathering place for local residents and visitors and serves as the official afterparty destination for Harborfest. For more information, visit


The Tastes of Harborfest: Sample a wide variety of world cuisines at Harborfest! This year's food vendors (listed alphabetically) include: Ben & Jerry's (Ice Cream), Chan's (Chicken on a Stick), Cinnaroast (Roasted Nuts), Crab Boss (Mac & Cheese, Crab, Fish, Chicken), Deep Fried (Funnel Cake, Kettle Corn & Lemonade), Granby Bistro (Kabobs & Gyros), Hammerheads (Bourbon Chicken, Beignets & Shrimp n’ Grits), Hawaiian Sno (Italian Ice), Jadean's Smokin’ BBQ (Brisket & Smoked Chicken), Jungle Juice (Smoothies), Old Style Foods (Lemonade & Roasted Corn), Pitt Country BBQ (East Carolina BBQ, Chicken & Brisket), Plaza Del Sol (Street Tacos), Pollard's (Fried Chicken & Gizzards), Real Cajun Cookin’ (Jambalaya & Gumbo), Rita's (Italian Ice), Sherri's (Crabcakes), Spuds (Cheesesteaks & Bloomin’ Onion), Strawberry Street (Nashville Hot Chicken), TDB Concessions (Dole Whip), Veggie Soul Planet (Seafood), Yolees’ G-Dawgz (Hot Dogs).

Virginia Craft Beer & Wine Garden: Located in TowneBank Fountain Park next to Waterside District, the Virginia Craft Beer & Wine Garden showcases a wide variety of Made-In-Virginia beer and wine. Relax in the garden & enjoy your beverage while enjoying live music from the Boathouse Stage.

NEW! Zoll Vineyards: Gloucester county's first winery is best known for their exquisite food and wine pairings. They provide farm to table ingredients that is sure to make your mouth water! They will be joining us at this year's Harborfest where they will sell wine and gourmet pickles.


The Harborfest Marketplace: Experience a shopping experience unlike any other, as dozens of local and regional artisans, retailers, crafters, designers, and artists make up the Harborfest Marketplace. This year's marketplace (listed alphabetically) includes: All Biz (Women's Apparel), Ashwear (Women's Apparel), Caddy Can (Mobile waste can for Boats, Cars, ATVs, Etc.), Celebrate the Chesapeake NWK Style (Oyster Jewelry), Changing Faces and Spaces (Face Painter), Coastin’ (Apparel), Emerson's (Cigars), Exclusively Coastal (Coastal Gifts & Home Décor), Hip Klips (Mini Purses & Pocketbooks) Jones Art Gallery (Paintings), Kaman's Art Shoppes (Caricature Drawings), McCollum (Hats), Mom & Pops Maple (Fresh Maple Products), Murphs This and That (Nautical Jewelry), Nuland Hot Stuff (Premium Hot Sauces), Peanut City Candle Co. (Soy Candles & Wax Melts), Plank (Eyewear), Shore Smoke Seasonings ( BBQ Seasoning), Soco Swings (Swinging Chairs), Sons of Vikings (Viking Hats, Games, & Apparel), Stephanie Foley Designs (Handmade Magnets & Trinkets), Sunshine Handicrafts (Native Apparel), Trails & Shores (Virginia-Inspired Apparel)

Harborfest Gift Shop: Norfolk Harborfest souvenir merchandise is available at all on-site Festival Gift Shops. The Norfolk Harborfest merchandise line, designed by Peacefrogs, offers a variety of pieces designed to suit a variety of tastes. From official t-shirts to warm fleece for cool evenings, the Norfolk Harborfest retail line offers visitors a high level of comfort and quality as well as the chance to bring a piece of Norfolk Harborfest home. The official 2023 Norfolk Harborfest poster will also be available for purchase at the Harborfest Gift Shop.

Visit or call 757-441-2345 for regular updates on the 2023 Norfolk Harborfest.

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Cloudy early, then off and on rain showers for the afternoon. High 74F. Winds NE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 60%..

Clear to partly cloudy. Low 56F. Winds light and variable.

Updated: June 8, 2023 @ 9:59 am

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FESTIVAL HOURS MUSIC LINEUP TALL SHIPS & THE PARADE OF SAIL WATER EVENTS Norfolk Harborfest Choreographed Drone Show: Norfolk Harborfest Fireworks Spectacular: Ultimate Build-A-Boat Contest & Race: LAND EVENTS NEW! Boathouse Tribute Exhibit: NEW! Boathouse Tribute Silent Disco: NEW! The Mighty Mike Show: NEW! The Red Trouser Show: NEW! The Loose Cannon Pirate Company: NEW! U.S. Airforce Shadow Strike: The Back Bay Mermaid Entertainment: The Butterfly & Ladybug Experience: Splash City Golf: Arts & Crafts with Chrystal: Radio Harborfest: Nauticus: Waterside District: FOOD & BEVERAGE The Tastes of Harborfest: Virginia Craft Beer & Wine Garden: NEW! Zoll Vineyards: SHOPPING The Harborfest Marketplace: Harborfest Gift Shop: Keep it Clean. PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK. Don't Threaten. Be Truthful. Be Nice. Be Proactive. Share with Us.