VIRGINIA BEACH — What do Coachella, Burning Man, Kentucky Derby, Mardi Gras and this city’s own Neptune Festival have in common?
All were recently named by the Travel Channel as the best festivals in their state.
The national recognition confirms what locals have known for years — the 46-year-old Neptune Festival is the biggest and best outdoor party in the state, festival officials said.
The Virginia Beach Neptune Festival is a private, nonprofit 501-C3 organization, producing more than 40 events per year, which generate tens of millions of dollars in the local economy and contribute to the charitable, educational, and recreational development of Hampton Roads, festival officials said.
In 2018, the economic impact of its flagship event alone, Neptune Festival Boardwalk Weekend, was $23 million.
The annual weekend event is ranked among the Top 100 Events in North America and within the Top 20 Events in the Southeastern U.S. by recognized tourism industry organizations. Neptune’s International Sandsculpting Championship is renowned as one of the best competitions of its kind in the world — 2019’s Boardwalk Weekend is scheduled for Sept. 27 through 29.
The Travel Channel, owned by Discovery, Inc., features programming related to travel, leisure and more recently, the paranormal. The network reaches over 91 million households in the United States.
For other top festival selections by State, see Travel Channel’s complete list.