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Spring is a great time of year in the greater Roanoke Valley, because we kick off the festival season. Some of these events have been held for years and are really classics in the area.

Because there is so much to choose from, I thought I’d share a few of my favorites and help you plan your calendar. Any of these will add plenty of fun to your spring season.

Oh, and speaking of events, come out to Flat Pickin’ Fridays on May 12 from 5 to 9 p.m. at the Daleville Town Center in Botetourt County. We’re excited to help sponsor this edition of the country concert series.

Art by Night.
April 7. The first Friday of each month, downtown Roanoke art galleries, museums and artists’ studios stay open late and welcome visitors. If you follow my blog, you know I love art, so this is a no-brainer. And don’t worry: There’s plenty of free parking after 5 p.m. Visit the site for more information and to download a brochure.

19th Annual Blue Ridge Kite Festival.
Set against our beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, this is a visual feast!
10 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 15
Green Hill Park
Free admission.

Foot Levelers Blue Ridge Marathon, Half Marathon and Anthem StarK (10K)
Even if you’re not running, there’s a ton going on marathon weekend, and a visit to the course to cheer on the runners will be well worth it.
Races are April 22. Check the website for registration and other event details.

Down by Downtown Music Festival
Three days of live music that coincides with race weekend.
April 20-22
Multiple venues downtown. Check website for details.

The Roanoker: A 611 Excursion
Steam into Roanoke on the old 611.
April 22-23
See website for details.

Community School’s Strawberry Festival
Roanoke’s Favorite Annual Festival, as named by the readers of The Roanoker magazine.
10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. May 5, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 6
Free admission. Treats available for purchase.

Smith Mountain Lake Beer & BBQ Festival
Featuring barbecue like you wouldn’t believe and 20 craft breweries and cideries.
1 to 7 p.m. May 6
Route 122, Downtown Moneta
Tasting tickets are $20 in advance and $30 at the gate. $5 admission.

Ramble Weekend
With canoe and kayak races, the Great Duck Race, food, music and camping.
May 19-21
See website for more details.

Sidewalk Art Show
Blocks of local art in downtown Roanoke.
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 3-4
Free admission.

Looking for more to do? Check out the calendar at Virginia’s Blue Ridge.