There’s a lot of things going on at the Convention Center. Check out this list

VIRGINIA BEACH — The Convention Center here is chuck-full of activities this summer. And perhaps the best thing, it’s free parking.

Just check out this list and plan accordingly:

  • Through July 21: StarQuest International
    Broadway-caliber performances, extraordinary productions and on-time performances in a friendly atmosphere are the hallmarks of a StarQuest event. StarQuest is one of the longest running performing arts competitions in the industry. Performers in various age brackets will vie for awards in more than a dozen categories. There is no admission charge for spectators.
  • July 20 – 22: Treasures of the Earth Gem & Jewelry Show 
    A favorite for locals and visitors alike, Treasurers of the Earth shows feature estate, classic, handcrafted and fashion jewelry made from a variety of metals, as well as a vast array of crystals, minerals and fossils. Jewelers and wire wrappers will be on site that can design, remount or repair jewelry. In addition, there will be a gemologist present at the Virginia Beach shows to do appraisals while you wait. Click here for a coupon to save on admission.
  • Aug. 10 – 12: 6th Annual Tattoo Festival
    More than 250 artists will be on hand to create ink masterpieces during this three-day festival celebrating the ancient art of tattooing. The weekend also brings unique entertainment from the Carnival of Curiosity and Chaos and mainstream acts such as the Freestyle Collection BMX Stunt Team. A variety of seminars, live music and mural painting, contests and dozens of vendors round out the weekend. This is a ticketed event.
  • Aug. 16: NAS Oceana’s 75th Anniversary Gala
    First commissioned in 1943, Naval Air Station Oceana is the Navy’s East Coast Master Jet Base, home to 19 F/A-18 Hornet and Super Hornet squadrons. The base, including its Dam Neck Annex, employs 10,500 active-duty personnel, as well as 4,500 civilians. Oceana and Dam Neck are vital for training naval members in both the Atlantic and Pacific. Join the Navy League of the United States, Hampton Roads, current and former NAS Oceana commanding officers and a host of dignitaries and special guests at this historic event. The evening includes a pre-function reception, dinner, a preview of the NAS Oceana documentary screening and more. Tickets are on sale now.
  • Aug. 31 – Sept. 2: Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon and Health & Fitness Expo
    For more than 20 years, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series has made running fun by infusing each course with live bands, cheer teams and more. In 2018, they promise to bring their best to Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach Half Marathon with more music, runner support, and community engagement every step of the way. Held each year on Labor Day weekend in conjunction with the American Music Festival, half marathon runners are treated to a 3-day music festival in addition to miles of music on the course and a grand finish along the oceanfront Boardwalk. With a half marathon, 5k, and 1-mile option, there is something for everyone. Online registration is open through Aug. 26.

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John Mangalonzo ( is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.