Each April, Norfolk, Virginia hosts a spectacular, not to be missed music extravaganza – The Virginia International Tattoo. Not to be confused with those colorful pieces of artwork displayed on ones’ skin, THIS “tattoo” meaning is derived from the 1600s signal (via drumbeat or bugle) calling soldiers or sailors to quarters at night.
Beginning in 1997, the International Tattoo is the signature event of the annual Virginia Arts Festival, and is the largest show of its kind in the United States. Featuring military bands, pipes & drums, military drill teams and performers from around the globe (typically 27+ countries are represented during any given performance) this festival draws nearly 40,000 spectators each year (including 16,000 students).
In the hours leading up to the big show, festival goers enjoy several pre-show activities and performances including the Hullabaloo (a three-hour outdoor festival of pipers, dancers, drill teams and drum lines), a Drum Line Battle, Highland Heavy Athletic Championship, American Pipe Band Championship, Norfolk NATO Festival, the Parade of Nations, and the Flag Raising Ceremony.
Whether you are local to the Tidewater area, or live hundreds of miles away, take it from this Girl Camper that this incredible show of Patriotism and pride is well worth the trip!
Written by: Teresa White Carver, Girl Camper Guide to Virginia
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