California Watermelon Festival

It's an all-you-can-eat kind of weekend at Hansen Dam Soccer Complex.

BY LATE JULY, give or take a week, a produce-loving, fruit-seeking person has probably had at least one encounter with a watermelon. It might have come in the form of a watermelon gazpacho, or a watermelon smoothie, or a watermelon cocktail, or one of those roll-the-watermelon yard competitions that seem to shine brightest around the Fourth of July. But even if this is you, and you've already enjoyed some melon-based lusciousness this summer, the fact is this: Watermelon season zooms all too quickly for most fans of the large, oblong, seed-tastic, juicy-of-rind icon. That said, the watermelon-y window is open at the moment, and, through it, you can see something delightful just on the other side: It's the 55th annual California Watermelon Festival, which will roll into Hansen Dam Soccer Complex in Lake View Terrace. And it will bring the all-you-can-eat-a-tude to the...

FINAL WEEKEND OF JULY 2017: That's July 29 and 30, which is about as prime a time for watermelon enjoyment as a watermelonist can find. On the schedule? Watermelon skiing is one offbeat headliner of the Watermelon Games, as is a chariot race involving a watermelon bin. Some world records will be attempted, like the one involving the smashing of watermelons with a roundhouse kick, but if simply eating as many sweet triangles as you can is your main plan, that's part of the party, too. There shall be samples from the cooking demonstrations, too, meaning you could be chowing down on watermelon-y salsa or a zingy feta-basil salad featuring the star of the weekend. The price to get in? An adult ticket to the fest is twelve bucks and kids ages 3 to 12 get in for $7. Whether you can attend or not, that much-anticipated watermelon window is open, now, over the second half of July, when summer is at its warm peak and the juiciest of melons is dominating our picnics, barbecues, and cool-down daydreams.

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