Martinsville, Virginia


Virginia Museum of Natural History receives $4,500 grant from Virginia Tourism Corporation in support of museum's Dino Festival

By: Zachary Ryder, Virginia Museum of Natural History

May 28, 2024

Entertainment, Family Fun

Virginia Museum of Natural History receives $4,500 grant from Virginia Tourism Corporation in support of museum's Dino Festival

Governor Glenn Youngkin announced that the Virginia Museum of Natural History (VMNH) has received $4,500 from the Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC) Virginia Special Events & Festivals Program in support of the the museum's Dino Festival taking place July 26 and 27, 2024. This grant will support overall festival marketing and activities, while also supporting community partnerships for lodging, restaurants and visitor attractions, along with overall regional tourism.

"Dino Festival is an incredibly popular event that continues to grow in both scope and visitation," said Deputy Director Ryan Barber. "Not only is it popular with visitors from Martinsville and Henry County, but it also draws thousands of people from outside of the local area, many of whom visit from out of state. We're incredibly grateful to have the support of the Virginia Tourism Corporation, which will play a significant role in our efforts to continue marketing this event, the museum, and the region as unique and exciting tourist attractions and destinations."

Hailed as a two-day dinosaur extravaganza, Dino Festival provides visitors with the ability to view an extraordinary variety of life-size dinosaur cast skeletons and dinosaur fossils, the opportunity to interact with expert paleontologists, as well as the chance to participate in engaging dinosaur-themed activities.

"We truly believe Dino Festival is one of the premier dinosaur-themed events you can attend on the east coast," said Barber. "The amount of displays, fossil specimens, and activities that are offered make the event an exceptional attraction. Having the support of the VTC will go a long way towards helping us continue building awareness of this spectacular event."

The funding is provided to the museum as part of the VTC's Virginia Special Events & Festival Sponsorship Program, which assists with marketing and production of established Virginia special events and festivals.  Preference is given to special events and festivals that have a significant and positive economic impact on the Virginia local community.

VTC’s tourism marketing and sponsorship programs are designed to increase visitor spending by leveraging limited marketing dollars, to stimulate new tourism marketing through partnerships, and to extend the “Virginia is for Lovers” brand to drive visitation. Using the hub and spoke tourism partnership model, Virginia entities partner to apply for funding. Partners may consist of Virginia cities, towns, counties, convention and visitors’ bureaus, chambers of commerce, other local or regional destination marketing organizations, museums, attractions, cultural events, and other tourism-related non-profits and tourism-oriented businesses. More information about VTC’s Grant Programs can be found at

“VTC’s marketing and sponsorship programs are powerful incentives creating tourism partnerships across Virginia that are a robust part of Virginia’s economic ecosystem,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin. “Across the Commonwealth, the tourism industry recognizes the importance of having inventive strategies to showcase all that Virginia has to offer. These grants will support those efforts and help draw thousands of additional visitors to the Commonwealth to experience everything that makes Virginia so special.”

Dino Festival takes place Friday, July 26 and Saturday, July 27, 2024 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. General admission rates apply.

To learn more about the festival, including a list of available exhibit displays and activities, visit