Home / Locations / Local Events / Virginia International Tattoo event guide

Event guide: Virginia International Tattoo

Each year, the Virginia Arts Festival attracts people from all over the country to the delightful city of Norfolk as well as several other Hampton Roads communities for two months of music, theater, dance and other cultural performances. Visitors can use their Virginia rental cars to get to the variety of venues in the area that serve as host to these intriguing events, including the fest's signature event: the Virginia International Tattoo.

History of the Virginia International Tattoo

The word "tattoo" has nothing to do with body modification when it comes to the Virginia International Tattoo. Rather, it's an exciting military drum performance that, in this case, honors America's Vietnam War veterans as well as their families. It's been running since 1997, when the Virginia Arts Festival was established, and has since been come to be known as the most patriotic spectacle among all the world's tattoos. It's such an illustrious display of nationalism that it has been designated an official part of the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration.

What to expect

The Virginia International Tattoo is an entirely different experience every year, and there's so much more to it than just military drumming. The whole things kicks off in the afternoon with the Virginia International Tattoo Hullabaloo at Norfolk's Scope Plaza, where there's ample parking for your Norfolk car rental and crowds of people gather for a free pre-tattoo celebration. Live music and dancing keep things energetic, and vendors offer food, wine and other delights produced in the area.

Guests can sip ale in the beer garden, help judge a piping competition and take part in festivities aimed at raising money and support for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund. As you stroll the festival grounds, you'll see a variety of exhibitions, including "The Wall That Heals," a 250-foot replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and helicopters straight out of the wartime era. But this is all lead-up to the main event at Scope Plaza - the tattoo is a sensational amalgamation of music, lighting, choreography and patriotism featuring more than 800 performers from America's drum and pipe corps, drill teams and choirs.

Other things to do in Norfolk

During your stay in Norfolk, take some time to explore the other sites of this enchanting city. Use your Virginia International Tattoo rental car and take a tour of the area's several cultural and historic institutions. The Chrysler Museum of Art located on Olney Road contains an impressive collection of works dating as far back as ancient Egypt. You'll also find pieces by the great masters including Renoir, Matisse, Monet and Warhol. Then head to Nauticus, an interactive museum that showcases the area's rich maritime history. Stop by Naval Station Norfolk for a peek at the largest navy base in the world and the MacArthur Memorial to see the burial spot of World War II hero General Douglas MacArthur. Afterward, stop by one of the many delightful eateries, such as Todd Jurich's Bistro, Doumar's or Luna Maya.



Get your lowest rate here!
Click to select your travel date.
Click to select your travel date.
Promo Code:
Dollar Express
Reservation Status   View, Modify, Cancel , Rapid Rental
Sign up for Dollar E-mail Specials