Last spring, the coronavirus pandemic shut down one of Loudoun’s most popular spring traditions, but the Leesburg Flower and Garden Festival is returning, although as a scaled-down version, for 2021.
For three decades, the event has drawn some 30,000 visitors to the historic district for two days of flowers, food and music on the third weekend of April.
With crowd limits still in place to curb the spread of the virus, downtown streets won’t be packed with visitors this weekend. Instead, for 2021 the festival has been moved to Ida Lee Park where admission will be limited through the distribution of free tickets, which were quickly snapped up by 7,200 garden enthusiasts.
The space will accommodate about half the number of vendors typically found at the event, but many longtime favorites are returning.
Although most activities will take place at the park, there will be plenty for visitors to do if they venture downtown. Many businesses and downtown restaurants are offering special deals during the festival weekend. There will be no beer garden or food vendors on the festival grounds this year.
The Flower and Garden Festival was founded in 1990 as a collaborative effort with the Town of Leesburg and has won local, state and international awards. The festival is produced by the Town of Leesburg, with efforts from many different departments, including Parks and Recreation, Public Works, Leesburg Police, and Leesburg Utilities.
For event details and updates, go to flowerandgarden.org
What to Know Before You Go
Where is the festival being held?
The 2021 Leesburg Flower and Garden Festival will be held at Ida Lee Park in the AV Symington Aquatic Center parking lots.
Why did you move the festival from downtown Leesburg?
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the event moved to Ida Lee Park to allow for better social distancing.
Where is festival parking?
Attendees will park in the Ida Lee festival parking field, accessed from North King St. The parking gate will open at 8:15 a.m. for the first session of the day. Handicapped accessible parking will be availableat the recreation center in a dedicated lot. Placard or tag required.
Do we need tickets for children?
Yes. A ticket is required for every person attending the festival, including small children and infants.
Are there still tickets available?
No, tickets are sold out.
How early may I come for my timed session?
Please don’t arrive in the parking area more than 45 minutes in advance.
May I leave the festival and re-enter?
Yes. You may leave and re-enter during your designated ticket session. Be sure to get a hand stamp before leaving the festival area as it will be required to come back in.
What measures will be in place to make the event safe?
Guest, vendor and staff safety is the top priority. The town is following all Virginia state regulations including those regarding capacity restrictions, universal mask-wearing in the event space, social distancing and hand washing/sanitizing.
Do I have to wear a mask or face covering?
Yes. All attendees, staff and vendors, ages 5 and older, must wear face coverings in the event area. Face coverings must fully cover the nose and mouth at all times. Disposable masks will be available for guests who do not have their own.
Will there be food vendors and a beer garden this year?
Due to current pandemic restrictions and guidelines, there will not be food vendors or a beer garden.
Will there be a children’s area?
There will be no children’s entertainment or craft area this year.
Will there be any entertainment?
Yes. Main stage acts are scheduled during each of the ticket sessions.
Can I bring my pet to the Flower and Garden Festival?
No, pets will not be permitted within the festival footprint.
On Stage at the Festival
While much will be different during this year’s Flower and Garden Festival, live music from some of the region’s most popular performers will still be featured.
Each of the six tickets visitor time slots will have a different act on the main stage.
Saturday, April 17
Snowday was founded in early 2008 with the mission of bringing a cappella and vocal music into mainstream education. It started as a collaboration of several DC-area groups, with members of the group started singing and playing instruments from a very young age, discovering contemporary a cappella in high school and college. While they spend a lot of time touring U.S. schools, they have also traveled internationally, including a trip to Russia as Arts Envoys with the U.S. Department of State.
A familiar face both in Loudoun’s winery circuit and in Nashville songwriting circles, Dave Mininberg brings a mix of classic covers and clever originals to the stage. Known for his troprock hit “Jimmy Buffett Didn’t Write This Song,” you’ll hear his songs in rotation on outlets such as Island Time radio show in Cleveland, Beachbarradio.com out of the Florida Keys, and Tampa Bay FM.
Michael Solan is a lyricist, singer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist who studied creative writing at California State University, Long Beach. He has written and produced music for over a decade, drawing inspiration from traditional American folk music, the strong lyrical content of Bob Dylan and Lou Reed and developing his musical styles form years with rock and roll bands, hip hop and rap acts, the folk scene, jazz projects, and EDM.
Sunday, April 18
Gary and Tom Smallwood
Gary and Tom Smallwood are homegrown Loudoun favorites and fixtures on the Flower and Garden Festival stage. The brothers blend their vocals and blazing guitar work to perform favorite classics as well as original material.
The Barretones is a group of veteran DC-area performers led by Randy Barrett offering an exciting mix of bluegrass, country, swing music and beyond. Randy is a triple-threat as a standout songwriter, vocalist, and instrumentalist on guitar and banjo. He has won several Washington Area Music Awards for Best Male Vocalist in Bluegrass and Traditional Folk as well as Bluegrass Album of the Year for his CD, Lights of Home.
Born in Baltimore and raised on the Chesapeake Bay, Amy Andrews was brought up on the sounds of Sinatra, Ella, The American Songbook, and Motown, and spent years training for a career in musical theater before writing her own music and taking to the road to the tune of more than 150 shows per year.