The Best of Norfolk Harborfest and Bayou Boogaloo: Making Norfolk Cool for 41 Years

I'm sure you and everyone around the country has heard the news, if not I'll fill you in. Time Magazine has named Norfolk, VA (and Virginia Beach/Newport News) as the #1 area in the country where millennials are moving.  I might be a resident of Chesapeake but I've got lots of love for my cool neighbors. There are a ton of businesses that have opened in the past 2-3 years that have been a part of the movement to increase the cities attractiveness. From restaurants featuring biscuits, grilled cheese, and toast; glass art museums, monthly Friday street parties and pop up Yoga, I can understand why us under 40 folks love the city

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But lets give credit where its due, Norfolk has always been fun, and as the hipster saying goes, I loved it before it was cool. Of all the events that are held in Norfolk (specifically Downtown), Harborfest and Bayou Boogaloo are my personal favorites. Although Harborfests' focus is on the tall ships, the inclusion of Nathans Hot Dog Eating contest, beer and wine tents, and of course the food vendors have made it into a weekend long festival that I always get excited to attend. 

harbor fest coast guard ships
 Chocolate Covered Cheesecake

Chocolate Covered Cheesecake

 Lamb Gyro from Granby Bistro and Deli

Lamb Gyro from Granby Bistro and Deli

 Lobster Roll from A Bite of Maine  

Lobster Roll from A Bite of Maine  

Bayou Boogaloo, although smaller in size, brings big flavors and sound for an authentic New Orleans experience. While I'm really only there for the Crawfish, Beignets and Pralines, the sounds of a Brass Band, Craft Vendors and Piano Bar make it a perfect event that pleases all the senses.

 

Praline Connection

Praline from The Praline Connection

 

 Chicken and Beignets from The Praline Connection  

Chicken and Beignets from The Praline Connection  

While talking to random strangers at both events, I was shocked (but happily surprised) to hear that people travel from up and down the east coast for these festivals, some for as long as it has existed. As Norfolk continues to grow in new and innovative ways, its good to see that events that like this are holding on strong.   

Do you have any favorites from these festivals? What out of state festivals have you attended?