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HomeArts & EntertainmentVirginia Arts Festival presents the annual Virginia International Tattoo this weekend

Virginia Arts Festival presents the annual Virginia International Tattoo this weekend

Tickets on sale now.

Now in its 27th year, the Virginia International Tattoo returns to Scope Arena in Norfolk this week with a stellar line up of talent from around the world. Every year, the Tattoo welcomes over 800 performers from all over the world in a display of military bands, drill teams, massed pipes and drums, Celtic dancers, choirs, and more.  It is the largest tattoo in the United States, drawing an international audience each year, and was listed as American Bus Association’s Top North American Event for 2016.

Tattoo festivities kick off with the Tattoo Hullabaloo on Thursday, April 18 at 4:30 PM at the Scope Plaza. Come early and enjoy music, dancing, drill routines and drumming exhibitions that kick off each Tattoo performance. Food, drink and souvenirs are available for purchase. Prepare for the downbeat of the Virginia International Tattoo.

The traditional NATO flag raising ceremony will 6take place at 5 PM at Scope Plaza, then followed by the Tattoo Hullabaloo International Drumming Showcase also at Scope Plaza.

The Hullabaloo and Drumming Showcase also take place on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Saturday’s events kick off at 10AM with the  71st Annual Parade of Nations in downtown Norfolk followed by the Virginia International Tattoo Highland Dancing Competition. Highland dancers of all levels will compete in this brand new competition which is one of the most physically demanding forms of dancing in the world and originated as a way for Scottish warriors to stay fit and learn the complicated footwork necessary for fighting.

The Norfolk NATO Festival International Village will be open at Town Point Park from 11:30 AM until 3 PM on Saturday. Join in a celebration and appreciation of our local NATO Headquarters. Interact with NATO Representatives and explore international heritage with cultural performances, international art, cuisine, and craft beers. Come celebrate with the whole family in a European Street fair atmosphere in Downtown Norfolk.

At noon the Virginia International Tattoo American Pipe Band Championship will take place back at Scope Plaza with pipers competing until 5 PM. This traditional Scottish contest features the largest gathering of the best pipe bands in the Eastern United States adjudicated by an international panel of judges. The event concludes with an exciting massed band performance and awards ceremony.

The Tattoo closes out Sunday with a Rugby Exhibition Match at 5 PM at multiple locations in  Norfolk.

The Tattoo is part of the annual Norfolk NATO Festival which is the longest continuously running Festival in the Hampton Roads region, and the only one of its kind in the United States which honors the NATO Alliance and its member nations. Its mission is to honor and promote the international influence the NATO Command in Norfolk, VA, and its Member Nations brings to our city. Festival events include education programs for our children, cultural events to engage all citizens, and opportunities to empower our industries.


WHEN: Thursday, April 18 through Sunday, April 20 at multiple locations




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