Watermelon is the perfect summer food. Brought to the New World by European colonists and slaves from southern Africa in the 1600s, the universal appeal of the fruit and vegetable — it’s sort of both — is the unifying theme of the Carytown Watermelon Festival. The annual event always packs in a varied crowd numbering in the six-figure range. Hopefully the weather will be hospitable, because eating watermelon and losing yourself in the street parade of vendors, live music and humanity on a nice day is a cherished Richmond tradition. That’s why we’ve been going, rain or shine, for 32 years. Presented by Martin’s, the largest one-day festival in the state takes place Sunday, Aug. 9, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free. carytownrva.com. — Chris Bopst
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