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40th Annual Norfolk Harborfest

Water Events



Parade of Sail

Presented by WVEC 13 News Now

The spectacular Parade of Sail, under the direction of the Virginia Pilots Association, will enter the Downtown Norfolk Harbor on Friday, June 10 at 12 pm.  Following tradition, this impressive fleet will include tall ships, charecter vessels, sleek power cruisers, sailing craft, antique and classic wooden boats, military vessels, tugs and more!  Thousands of onlookers stationed at vantage points along the Elizabeth River will be able to witness this expansive fleet as it dances down the river towards Town Point Park.

Public tours of the ships will begin at noon on Saturday June 11, and Sunday June 12, 2016, and conclude at sunset, unless otherwise posted at the ship.


Harborfest Fireworks Display

Presented by WAVY TV 10

Produced by Pyro Shows of Tennessee, the Harborfest Fireworks Display is one of the largest waterfront pyrotechnics shows on the East Coast.  Be prepared for the unexpected as the sky is filled with an explosive display of light synchronized to a booming musical score.  The show is scheduled for Saturday night at 9:30 pm and will be fired from TWO floating platforms in the Elizabeth River.


Fly Board NEW!

Check out the newest extreme sport to hit the water!  Keep your eyes on the Elizabeth River and take in this exciting new Fly Board propulsion through air and water by world class professional Fly Board riders providing three shows each day Saturday, June 11 & Sunday, June 12, 2016.


Tug Muster


The muscle men of the harbor bring their tugboats out for an all out demonstration of power in the popular Tug Muster Saturday, June 11 at 4:30pm in the Elizabeth River.  This "bragging-rights" competition will get your heart racing as over a dozen tugs dance in the river and show off their skills


Chesapeake Bay Workboats

For over a century the Chesapeake Bay Workboats have been used as transportation to and from the waters where these men make their living.  The Chesapeake Bay Workboats are the official Virginia State boats.  Because of the decline in the safood industry, the Chesapeake Bay waters that once flourished with these beautiful handmade boats has become a scarce sight.  The Chesapeake Bay Workboat Parade on Saturday, June 11 at 2:30pm highlights the creative decorating skills of the Watermen and their families as they dress their clam boats, crab boats and oyster boats to the "T" for this great family showcase!  Be sure to come back on Sunday, June 12 at 12:30pm to witness the power of these boats as they race down the Elizabeth River.  The Chesapeake Bay Workboat Race at Harborfest is an event that the Watermen prepare for all year long.  The races are serious competitions that allow the heat winners a full year of bragging rights.


Build-a-Boat Challenge

The very popular and zany Ultimate Build-a-Boat Challenge begins on Saturday, June 11, when several teams construct boats from scratch, in various engineering and decorative designs in the hopes that their design will survive the test of Sunday's Ultimate Build-a-Boat Race!  Sunday, June 12 at 3:30pm, the competing teams put their handmade boats and boating skills to the test with an all-out race to the finish line!  This nail-biting event is not to be missed!