Festival Guide: Celebrate Fairfax! Starts Friday

Pat Benatar, Digital Underground, the petting zoo, festival food, carnival rides and much more are part of this weekend's county festival.

Four-time Grammy winner and multi-platinum selling artist Pat Benatar is headlining Celebrate Fairfax! this year. In the 1980s, she had 19 Top 40 hits, including "Love Is a Battlefield", "Hit Me With Your Best Shot", and "We Belong." Benatar will play Saturday night at 8 p.m. on the main stage.

Legends of Hip Hop and the Legwarmers are also taking the main stage Friday and Sunday, respectively. Several other stages will also host musical and other acts (see the full entertainment schedule for more information).

As is tradition, the festival will also include dozens of carnival rides, food, entertainment, a petting zoo and more.

Here’s what you need to know:

Hours and Directions

Celebrate Fairfax! opens Friday evening at 6 p.m. and continues Saturday and Sunday outside the Fairfax County Government Center, 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax.

The hours are:

  • Friday: 6 p.m.–midnight
  • Saturday: 10 a.m.–midnight
  • Sunday: 11 a.m.–7 p.m.

Very limited parking is available at the Government Center. Festival attendees are encouraged to park in the free shuttle bus parking lots off of Fair Lakes Circle. Click here for directions.

Note: Some festival features, like children’s areas, may have different hours. Check the Celebrate Fairfax! website for additional information on individual attractions.


Regular adult admission is $12 and youth admission for children ages 3 to 11 is $5 at the gate. Discounted advance-purchase tickets are $9 for adults and $4 for children and may be bought online or bought at the Fairfax Wegmans through Thursday. Senior citizens and active-duty military may purchase adult tickets for $10 at the gate. More information about various ticket options for Celebrate Fairfax! is available on the festival website.


This weekend’s weather is foreast to be sunny and warm.

Temperatures Friday evening during the festival will be in the 70s, dropping to the low 60s overnight.

Saturday will be sunny with a high temperature of 86 degrees. Saturday night, temperatures will drop into the mid-60s.

Sunday will be the warmest day with temperatures in the low 90s under sunny skies. There is a 10 percent chance for rain Saturday and Sunday.


Aside from the obligatory funnel cake (what’s a festival without funnel cake?), there are more than 30 food vendors at Celebrate Fairfax! this year. Food options include American, Mexican, Asian and Greek food, ice cream and frozen yogurt, kettle corn, sno-cones and more. The main food court is located. The Ruth’s Chris Steak House Food Court is located next to the Bud Light Main Stage.

Musical Entertainment

Though Pat Benatar is headlining, there are dozens of musical entertainment options, including the Legends of Hip Hop with Digital Underground (of “The “Humpty Dance” fame), The Legwarmers (a 1980s tribute band) and the 2012 Fairfax County Karaoke Championship.

The Cox Rocks Stage presents regional and local artists, including the Lloyd Dobler Effect, the Jack Diamond band and others.

The Starr Hill Music Showcase Bimini Rd., The Weathervanes and others.

Other Entertainment

The Dominion Virginia Power stage is going green this year, presenting demonstrations and more on how to be more environmentally friendly (and save money in the process).

Entertainment for the Kids

The Busch Garden Children’s Stage includes local dance performances, animal shows, magic from The Great Zucchini and Brad Matchett's Magic 4 U and more.

The KidWay MidWay will be located in between ExxonMobil Children's Avenue and the Extreme Zone. The MidWay will feature child-friendly rides and other age-appropriate entertainment.

The ExxonMobil Children’s Avenue features educational entertainment, the petting zoo, and activities with Caring Kids Cards for Operation: Military Kids and America's Adopt A Soldier.

Much more information about Celebrate Fairfax! is available at celebratefairfax.com.

Note: Patch is a sponsor of Celebrate Fairfax!


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