Rain puts a damper on the start of the Patriotic Festival in Norfolk city center

Part of the Oceanfront’s move was due to the need for interior space, organizers said late last year. This indoor space came in handy on Friday.

NORFOLK, Va. – For the first time, the Patriotic Festival is here in downtown Norfolk.

Rain forced organizers to cancel all events at Town Point Park on Friday afternoon; however, festival-goers and organizers remained in high spirits considering what the rest of the weekend has in store.

Thousands of people were still able to see country music artist Jon Pardi perform, as planned at the Scope Arena.

Kane Brown and Morgan Wallen will also take to the stage along Waterside Drive this weekend. Tickets are still available for Kane Brown on Saturday night.

If you buy a three-day Patriot Festival pass, it includes a ticket to Morgan Wallen on Sunday night. Single tickets are sold out for his show.

“I’ve never been to any of these three events this weekend before, so I’m definitely preparing to see them all,” said Alex MacDonald.

Some attendees come from states like Texas and Louisiana.

“I got trained. I’m excited though. I like to do things,” Blake Crandaddy said.

On Saturday and Sunday, military exhibits and demonstrations will fill the Town Point Park area.

“We are thrilled to support in any way we can,” said Angelica Gonzalez. She, Maddie Jenkins and Lorena Gonzalez of Virginia Beach are excited to see this festival in a downtown Norfolk setting.

Organizers decided to quit the patriotic festival on Virginia Beach’s waterfront, but the boardwalk appeared busy Friday night with many people enjoying the evening and hotels remaining booked.

“Business is good for the hotels this weekend. The weather on Friday wasn’t the best, but the rest of the weekend is looking great. The National High School Wrestling Championships in town, the surfing contest Steel Pier, live music on the beach stages, what more do guests and visitors want?” said John Zirkle, president of the Virginia Beach Hotel Association.

An Oceanfront business leader said he hopes the Patriotic Festival can make a comeback to boost beach attendance even further.

However, a local said he could stay in the mermaid town, expressing his confidence in the other events the resort town can offer.

Back in Norfolk, festival-goers said they were looking to have a good weekend.

“I hope the weather is good and that it allows us to spend this good weekend. But otherwise, no one is complaining about being here [at the Scope] neither,” said Angelica Gonzalez.

In case the weather impacts the evening concerts this weekend, the rain venue will be Scope.

During events, you can expect to see lots of police, security, and other agencies around.

Organizers said they would carry out thorough checks at the entrances. You are not allowed to bring weapons, bulky bags or coolers.

David H. Henry