The Neptune Festival is an annual festival in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Virginia Beach Chamber of Commerce President and RK Chevrolet founder Richard Kline created the idea in 1973, to celebrate the heritage of the city. The first celebration took place in 1974.
The Virginian-Pilot Beacon reported attendance of about 50,000 people at the first festival, with seafood selling out before the festival ended. Actor Lyle Waggoner from The Carol Burnett Show was the Grand Marshal of the parade.
At the corner of 31st and Atlantic in Virginia Beach, there is a 34-foot-tall (10 m), 12.5 ton statue of Neptune, Roman god of the Seas. The statue was dedicated on September 30, 2005 during the Neptune Festival Boardwalk weekend.
The Virginia Beach Neptune Festival Boardwalk Weekend has an economic impact of more than $20 million to the city, and annually receives more than 400,000 visitors. The Boardwalk Weekend includes the North American Sandsculpting Championship, arts and crafts, food, and live music. It also includes a surfing contest, a 5K and 8K race, a volleyball tournament, and a parade. The event is free and open to the public, with the exception of a tent-covered viewing fee of the sandsculptures.