Fairfax: Music, Food, Crafts, Carnival and Fun

Fairfax: Music, Food, Crafts, Carnival and Fun

Fairfax Fall Festival is Saturday, Oct. 8.

Carnival rides are always a highlight at the festival.

Carnival rides are always a highlight at the festival. Photo by Bonnie Hobbs.


Map of the festival’s activities and attractions.


Rocknoceros will perform on the children’s stage.


The Vigilantes will rock the crowd from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at Old Town Square.


Mirage covers Fleetwood Mac and Stevie Nicks songs.


Mr. Skip is a popular, children’s entertainer in Fairfax.

Autumn is on its way and so is the 40th annual Fairfax Fall Festival. It’s set for Saturday, Oct. 8, in downtown Fairfax and admission is free. Vendors will be there from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., with the carnival running until 8 p.m. and musicians performing in Old Town Square until 8:30 p.m. (Rain date, Oct. 9).

“We’re looking forward to four stages of fantastic entertainment, over 400 artisans and vendors, amusement rides and many other fun attractions for the entire family,” said Fairfax City Mayor Steve Stombres. “I’m especially excited about the addition this year of a mechanical bull for the thrill seekers, a silent disco for the quiet types and a petting zoo for children, all at Old Town Square. We hope to see everyone from the City of Fairfax, plus residents from around the region, at this fun, annual tradition.”

Crafts booths and displays will line both sides of University Drive, Main Street and Sager Avenue, where hundreds of juried fine artisans will sell their handmade works. Items will include jewelry, dolls and toys, quilts, woodcrafts, needlework, pottery, vases, wind chimes, paintings and photography.

Food offerings – from booths as well as specialty food trucks – will include burgers, fries, chicken, barbecue, Thai food, kettle corn, ice cream and pie. There’ll be two food courts; one will be at University Drive and Sager Avenue, and the other will be at University Drive next to the SunTrust Bank parking lot at 4020 University Drive.

Three beer gardens are on tap: At the Main Stage at University Drive and South Street, in Old Town Square at University Drive and North Street, and at University Drive and Sager Avenue.

The festival fun also includes a community market, business expo and Touch-a-Truck. Presented by Fairfax City Parks & Recreation and Department of Public Works, Touch-a-Truck will be on University Drive near Armstrong Street and will enable children to see and explore City of Fairfax work vehicles and equipment. There’ll also be a Harley Davidson show-and-tell; and new this year for parents is a baby rest stop at Sager Avenue.

Children’s Stage

The Children’s Stage will be in the SunTrust Bank parking lot at 4020 University Drive, The entertainment lineup is as follows: 10:30-11:15 a.m., Mr. Skip; 11:30 a.m.-noon, Turley the Magician; 12:15-12:45 p.m., eMotion Dance & Fitness; 1-1:45 p.m., Rocknoceros; 2-2:30 p.m., Tiger Eye Tae Kwon Do; 2:30-3 p.m., Reptiles Alive! (wildlife educators with exotic animals); 3:15-4 p.m., Mad Science; and 4-5 p.m., Bach2Rock.

  • In addition, the carnival rides will be in that same area, as well as face painting, balloon art and fake tattoos.

Main Stage

The Main Stage and beer garden, at South Street and University Drive, will feature live music from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Performing will be: 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Vinyl Invention, playing classic and modern rock, R&B and funk; and 2:30-5 p.m., Mirage, playing Fleetwood Mac and Stevie Nicks songs.

Old Town Hall

Old Town Hall, at 3999 University Drive, will host Art Alive! It’s presented by the Fairfax Commission on the Arts and will feature hands-on entertainment for all ages. The fun will include a chalk festival and painting for everyone, and Paint Your Own Pottery will help people make either free, paint-and-take pottery or mosaic pumpkin plaques.

Old Town Square

Old Town Square is at the corner of University Drive and North Street. Entertainers there will be: 10 a.m.-noon, Main Street Community Band; 12:30-3 p.m., Alex Hilton Band, (original country music out of the Shenandoah Valley; 3:30-5 p.m., Wicked Olde (Celtic, bluegrass and blues); and 5:30-8:30 p.m., The Vigilantes (a cover band performing Top 40 music and classic rock).

  • Also in this area will be a petting zoo, mechanical bull, baseball pitch game and silent disco (people dancing to music they hear via wireless headphones).

Open Houses

There’ll also be open houses at Fire Station 3, 4081 University Drive, 10-5 p.m., including Sparky’s Harvest Bash, educating children on fire prevention and safety; City of Fairfax Museum and Visitor Center, 10209 Main St., 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; and Ratcliffe-Allison House, 10386 Main St., 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Historic Blenheim and Civil War Interpretive Center, 3610 Old Lee Hwy.; gallery and interpretive walking trail, self-guided tours, noon-4 p.m., and historic house (first floor) and guided tour at 1 p.m.

Fairfax Circuit Court Historic Courthouse and Records, at 4000 Chain Bridge Road, will also be open for tours from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Documents on display will include pages from George and Martha Washington’s original wills.


Parking will be available at The Judicial Center parking garage B on Page Avenue and the Old Town Village parking garage (Chain Bridge Road between Whitehead and North Street). Or attendees may take shuttle buses from Fairfax High, 3501 Rebel Run, and GMU’s Rappahannock Parking Deck, 4400 University Drive, from 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

Handicapped parking is at City Hall, 10455 Armstrong St. (accessed via Chain Bridge Road) and Old Town Village parking garage.

Additional Information

A first aid station will be at the entrance to Old Town Hall and Fire Station 3.

Pets are kindly discouraged at the festival. The main sponsors are Fair City Mall and 97.1 WASH-FM, plus Allstate and the Fairfax Commission on the Arts. For more information, call 703/385-7858 or see www.FairfaxFallFestival.com.