Watermelons Inside a (Rose) Bowl

A Sunland summertime tradition blooms in Pasadena.

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Sunland's Watermelon Festival rolls toward the Rose Bowl from Friday, Aug. 16 through Sunday, Aug. 18.

    The only people who tend to send "We've Moved!" cards are usually, well, people. Individuals and families and couples and the occasional business owner will drop a postcard or two in the mail, the better to let friends and associates know that they've landed in a new place.

    But a 52-year-old festival is a bit more unusual. Take Sunland's Watermelon Festival, which indeed spread out, like so many twirly vines, in the mountain-close city for over half a century. The fruity fest is now headed for the Rose Bowl, meaning that any "We've Moved" cards would be very colorful indeed. (We're picturing a lot of splashes of red on the card, both for roses and for watermelon.)

    Turns out the juicy hoedown outgrew its longtime location, and the most famous bowl in all the land was big enough to hold a whole bunch of watermelons (and watermelon fans). The dates? It'll roll as easily as a melon down a short slope from Friday, Aug. 16 through Sunday, Aug. 18.

    (We're not sure why a melon would roll down a short slope, but we can all agree that few fruits are as instantly mobile as melons.)

    So what are festival's rind-sweet haps? There shall be the eating of watermelon, of course; don an outfit that can get damp and sticky. The watermelon is free and all-you-can-eat, yep yep. Admission is $10. 

    Proceeds help out "over 70 different community organizations," including Guide Dogs of America and Make A Wish Foundation.

    There's also a wearable art contest (you've always longed to stick half a melon atop your noggin, surely). Rides, a marketplace, and, of course, a royal court, fill out the three days.

    After all, what's a Rose Bowl party without a royal court that has fruit and/or flower associations?

    And, yep, stand clear: People shall be spitting watermelon seeds for great distances to win a "$500 prize" and all the glory. Other contests include watermelon growing, meaning that if you have a hefty specimen in your garden, you might want to stick it in the car trunk -- gently, gently -- and make for Pasadena.

    Do not tie it to the roof, is all we're saying, regardless of how colorful a sight that might make on the 210 Freeway.

    And speaking of gardens? We're quite sure that a seasoned gardener would not plant roses and watermelons in the same bed. Melon vines have a way of running amuck, and roses most certainly are into their queenly space. But this bash feels like a good fit for a warm Pasadena August day.

    Let's call it the one flavorful place that the fruit and flower grow well together.

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