Court & Market Days celebrates history and culture this Saturday, June 2

From Stonewall Jackson’s 1862 Valley Campaign, which helped save the fledgling Confederacy, to Phillip Sheridan’s 1864 Shenandoah Campaign, which helped seal its doom, the Shenandoah Valley was the setting for some of the most pivotal and memorable campaigns of the American Civil War (

The 8th Annual Court & Market Days commemorates this legendary time in history this Saturday, June 2, from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Turner Pavilion & Park in downtown Harrisonburg.

The festival was originally created to celebrate Court Days, a nineteenth-century tradition that was created when the General Assembly decreed that every county should meet once a month to hold court and conduct business. On this day, the city became a hub of activity – a day of political speech making, business transactions, and merchants selling their wares. People came from many miles around to buy, sell, and trade all types of goods and livestock.

In the 21st century, animals are no longer traded. But the Turner Pavilion & Park will be the location for the recreation of this hub of community activity through the Court & Market Days Festival.  Festival attendees will enjoy a Civil War encampment by the 10th Virginia Infantry, artisan demonstrations, period music and dance, lectures, museum displays, living history re-enactors, food vendors, shops, and more! Check out the full schedule of events for more information.

In honor of the sesquicentennial celebration of the American Civil War, the Civil War 150 HistoryMobile will also make a special appearance. The HistoryMobile is an 18-wheeler “museum on wheels” that shares stories of the Civil War using state-of-the-art technology and immersive exhibits. This free exhibit is open to the public, school groups, and attendees of the festival to tour. It will be located in the heart of the festival behind the City Municipal Building during the following times:

• Friday, June 1: 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
• Saturday, June 2: 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Finally, we hope you will take time to explore the Harrisonburg Farmers Market while at the festival. You will find 50+ local vendors offering a wide variety of farm fresh food, tasty baked goods, prepared foods, a variety of local crafts, and much more.

We hope to see you there!

Kim Kirk is the Special Events Manager for Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance.


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