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Eat and Dance the Summer Away in Virginia's Historic Richmond Region at Food Festivals and Concerts

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Eat and Dance the Summer Away in Virginia's Historic Richmond Region at Food Festivals and Concerts

Tomatoes, watermelon, Dragon Boats and live performances take center stage in the Historic Richmond Region this summer. Summer time is festival time throughout the area and many of the festivals are free to attend.

More than 60 Richmond restaurants will offer up samplings of their best for $3 during Broad Appétit , taking place June 5, along Broad Street. The event also includes demonstrations and a cook-off. Tomato lovers can taste the beloved Hanover tomatoes at the Hanover Tomato Festival featuring music, crafts, delicious Hanover tomato dishes and the Little Miss Tomato contest July 9 at Pole Green Park. Later in the summer, the Carytown Watermelon Festival will provide cool relief for visitors with more than 2,500 juicy watermelons, sidewalk sales and music Aug. 7 in Carytown, Richmond's "Mile of Style."

Summer nighttime concert series bring new meaning to TGIF in downtown with tickets starting at just $5. Friday's @ Sunset brings an eclectic array of artists to Richmond's Kanawha Plaza every Friday evening throughout the summer. Friday Cheers on Brown's Island beside the James River will celebrate 27 years of music with some of the nation's hottest touring acts and the Region's top bands every Friday night through June 24. The always in bloom Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden will host Groovin' in the Garden every Thursday evening through June 23. Visitors can relax in the garden to a soundtrack of talented artists amidst breathtaking floral designs.

The 55th annual Festival of Arts will bring performing arts to Richmond's Dogwood Dell amphitheater. The Upper East Side Big Band, innovative and avant-garde performances including classical music and dance; drama, comedy, and musical theatre; reggae, pop, swing, rhythm and blues, rock, jazz and contemporary music will wow audiences throughout June, July and August.

The Elegba Folklore Society will host its annual celebration of Juneteenth , A Freedom Celebration, on June 18. The event, taking place at the Manchester Dock, will include music, dance, a symposium and a torch-lit walk on the Richmond Slave Trail, which recently added new interpretive signage.

The 2nd Annual Dragon Boat Festival on the James River combines boat racing, food, music and dance. The race highlights incredible 40-foot human-powered canoes decorated with ornate Chinese dragon heads, led by the rhythmic beat of a drum. Visitors to the July 30 event can cheer on boaters from around the country and enjoy Chinese performances including a Dragon Dance, Lion Dance and Kung Fu.

For out-of-town guests eager to experience all that the Richmond Region has to offer this summer, downtown hotels are offering packages to help make summer travel affordable. The five-star, five-diamond Jefferson Hotel is offering the Incredibly Flexible Summer Package that includes: choice of accommodations, a $50 Jefferson Hotel gift card and valet parking. The package is available May 22-Sept. 6. The Omni Richmond Hotel, located in historic Shockoe Slip, is offering the Retreat and Relax Package that includes: deluxe room accommodations and 15% off regular room rates. The historic and charming Linden Row Inn is offering the Getaway Package that includes: one-night accommodations in a Main House room, a $75 gift certificate to restaurant Bistro Twenty Seven, a bottle of sparkling wine and valet parking.

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