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The Virginia Living Museum has three main fundraising events every year: Otter Ball, Oyster Roast, and Bacchus. Events like these keep the Virginia Living Museum running and support our mission of connecting people to nature through educational experiences that promote conservation. Thank you to our patrons for all of their support.


Oyster Roast Festival

Each November, people aged 21 and up can enjoy all-you-can-eat fresh local Virginia Oysters, fried seafood, chowder, and dessert! Voted Best of the 757 Gold for Outdoor Festivals by Coastal Virginia Magazine and 2021 Green Event of the Year by VA Green Travel Alliance, this official Virginia Green Event has local craft brews and bar, live local entertainment, and a DJ. Live animal encounters and conservation education, commemorative glass, and prize opportunities are all available in our beautiful conservation gardens. Each ticket includes all-you-can-eat oysters, seafood, chowder and 2 complimentary drink tickets for beer and wine. Additional drink tickets are available for purchase.

This event often sells out. Events in previous years raised over $50,000 dollars, with $50,289 raised in 2019. Oyster shells from the event are recycled and used to help new oysters grow, which are then released into the Chesapeake Bay.


Otter Ball

Each May, the conservation gala known as the Otter Ball is held.  Attending individuals turned their passion into action and adopted a program, native animal, or educational experience of their choice. $200,665 was raised for unique conservation and education programs and mission experiences through the passionate live auction/paddle raise and event support. There are four levels of sponsorship, ranging from Platinum/Ambassador status for $10,000 to Bronze/Friend status for $1,000.


BacchusBacchus Wine & Food Festival logo

Each February, Bacchus, the god of Nature, Vine, and Wine, invites you to the Virginia Living Museum’s Annual Bacchus Wine & Food Festival – a 2018 Best of Hampton Roads event. Enjoy delicious samplings of fine wine, local restaurant fare, animal encounters, a diverse Silent Auction, and an eclectic mix of live music and entertainment as you mingle with friends among the beautiful museum galleries and exhibits. Sway to the beat of live entertainment with a wine glass in hand as you taste fine wines and fabulous food selections by local restaurants.

The event tickets often sell out.  In 2022, over 600 guests attended. The Bacchus Wine & Food Festival supports science education at the Museum. $85,503 was raised for the museum in support of science education, animal welfare, and conservation.


If you have any questions about the events above, please contact Hannah Craft at hannah.craft@thevlm.org.