Fun times in the River City!

By Maria

If you spend any time on our student diarist page, Spider Diaries, you have probably picked up on the incredible number of activities available to students in the Richmond metro area. Well, the summer is no exception to that rule. In fact, the summer is probably my favorite time of year—living in Richmond during the summer offers a virtual smorgasbord of exciting free events. It’s nothing short of fantastic.

Throughout the summer, I’ve had the pleasure of taking part in many free events all over the River City. From food festivals to concerts, Richmond offers something for everyone. Here’s a snapshot of what I’ve been up to.

The annual Lebanese Food Festival is a wonderful event sponsored by a local church. The event features authentic Lebanese food and wine, crafts, Lebanese dancers, and ample opportunity for casual conversation. This is by far one of my favorite summer pastimes. The festival provides you with a great excuse to pig out on delicious food, dance the afternoon away, and enjoy the hot summer sun with good friends. I highly encourage you to check it out next summer!

Each May, the Chesterfield Berry Farm tempts me with promises of ripe beautiful strawberries. Now, growing up, I picked every kind of berry and fruit imaginable with my family. We would pick barrels of peaches, bushels of strawberries, and tons of cherries together. Some of my best memories involve me and my sister sitting under peach trees sampling the sweet peaches warmed by the sun. As an adult, I’ve come to enjoy participating in harvest activities with close friends. Chesterfield Berry Farm offers a unique experience combining hayrides, petting zoos, and delicious ripe strawberries. This year, my roommate and I surpassed my personal record and picked a total of 22 pounds of strawberries. Countless berries perished before ever making it into our baskets.

This year was my first trip to the Greek Festival. How could I have missed this wonderful Richmond event?! The festival incorporates traditional Greek dancing and festivities with spectacular food and a craft festival that truly is a feast for the eyes. I had a wonderful time learning the proper names for all sorts of food and dances. In the end, I left the festival very full and with several new friends.

If you like music, Richmond is the place to be during the summer. There are several summer concert series to choose from including those hosted in Innsbook and the free concert series called Friday Cheers on Brown’s Island. I haven’t been able to check out as many of the bands as I would have liked but the events I have seen were excellent. Nothing beats sitting outside on a warm summer night listening to bluegrass music. Not into Bluegrass? There are tons of other genres represented throughout the summer concert series.

Trust me, if you find yourself in Richmond this summer or next, you won’t be bored! Just pick up the local paper and prepare to be delighted.

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