Saturday, September 30, 2023

Five things you need to know: 2nd Sundays Art & Music Festival

Williamsburg's 2nd Sundays festival starts again on March 8. (WYDaily/Courtesy Shirley Vermillion)
Williamsburg’s 2nd Sundays festival starts again on March 8. (WYDaily/Courtesy Shirley Vermillion)

Williamsburg’s 2nd Sundays Art & Music Festival starts March 8 and for those ready to check out the music and vendors, here’s some background and tips to prepare.

  1. How it all started: Shirley Vermillion said when she moved from Seattle to Williamsburg in 2001, she was disappointed to find a thriving tourist town that didn’t have as many recurring festivals for local artists as she expected. During her time in the area, she started to meet many different local artists and musicians and she started a small art show in her neighborhood’s club house. After a few years she wanted a location closer to downtown Williamsburg and started doing a street art festival on Summer Sundays in 2010. After the festivals were so well received, she started planning a longer season from March through December.
  2. What’s changed: Vermillion said the festival originally started with just 20 artists and one performance stage covering a half a block downtown in 2010. It has grown to cover four blocks, feature four performance stages and in recent years has even started featuring a couple food trucks at each event. She said this year’s first 2nd Sundays event will feature the food truck FoodaTude…Food with Attitude.
  3. Creating inclusion: The festival also tries to feature different activities and events for guests of all ages and abilities. Vermillion said organizers welcome and love to see guests who use walkers, wheelchairs or strollers. There are typically several free children’s art projects at each event that allow children to make and take home their work and this year the festival will feature a monthly drum circle and acoustic music jam for all ages and ability levels.
  4. New performances: This year’s events will feature new performances from The Irish Drinking Band on March 8, Uncle Jake and the 18 Wheel Gang on April 12 and Brass in Pocket on Sept. 13. During the festival’s run, there are at least 10 performances each month from musicians, magicians, jugglers, hula hoop performers and mimes.
  5. Prepared parking: Vermillion said street parking is often available for the event but the closest and most consistent parking availability is through the city’s Prince George Street parking garage on North Henry Street, which let’s guests walk from their car and between Kilwins and the Blue Talon Bistro into the event. There’s additional parking on North Boundary Street near the Williamsburg Regional Library.

The 2nd Sundays festival runs from March 8 to Dec. 13 and will feature a variety of local vendors, music and artists.

“For me and many [others], it just feels good to support the makers of the things we buy, wear, use and consume,” Vermillion wrote in an email. “We’d much rather design a gift for a special person in our life with a local artist that we meet at 2nd Sundays than go on Amazon and purchase something made in China.”

To learn more about 2nd Sundays, visit the festival online.

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Alexa Doiron
Alexa Doiron
Alexa Doiron is a multimedia reporter for WYDaily. She graduated from Roanoke College and is currently working on a master’s degree in English at Virginia Commonwealth University. Alexa was born and raised in Williamsburg and enjoys writing stories about local flair. She began her career in journalism at the Warhill High School newspaper and, eight years later, still loves it. After working as a news editor in Blacksburg, Va., Alexa missed Williamsburg and decided to come back home. In her free time, she enjoys reading Jane Austen and playing with her puppy, Poe. Alexa can be reached at

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