If Aug. 3, 2017, seems like any other Thursday to you, then you clearly don’t know about National Watermelon Day.
Celebrated annually on Aug. 3, National Watermelon Day honors the cool and refreshing fruit that is a summertime staple. The most-consumed melon in the U.S. by weight, the watermelon is low-calorie, contains no fat or cholesterol and has low amounts of sodium, meaning it’s healthy as well as delicious.
There are plenty of ways to honor this juicy fruit on its special day, from whipping up a pitcher of watermelon margaritas to hosting a summer party (or both). Keep reading for tips to celebrate National Watermelon Day without spending too much money.
Plant a Watermelon (or Two)
The best way to celebrate National Watermelon Day is to nosh on watermelon slices, reserving the seeds for planting. To grow your own watermelon, you will need 10 to 15 watermelon seeds, a planting pot or a sunny outdoor piece of land, dirt and water. Follow these instructions from the National Watermelon Promotion Board to turn your watermelon seeds into a beautiful fruit:
- Fill the pot with dirt. (Skip this step if you’re planting directly into the ground.)
- Place seeds approximately 1-inch deep into the dirt.
- Water immediately and once per week.
- Expect to see plants budding in roughly 10 days.
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Make Your Own Watermelon Face Mask
Watermelons contain 92 percent water and are jam-packed with nutrients like Vitamins A and C, making them great for the skin. National Watermelon Day is the perfect occasion to test the skin-boosting benefits of this fruit by making a do-it-yourself mask.
Follow this recipe from beauty, health and wellness blog The Beauty Bean to see if watermelon can help you get softer, more luminous skin:
- Mix 1 tsp. watermelon juice and 1 tsp. plain Greek yogurt.
- Apply the mixture to your face, letting sit for 10 minutes.
- Rinse the mask using cool water. Dab dry with a towel.
Learn How to Carve a Watermelon
There’s no reason carving fruit should be reserved for October. On National Watermelon Day, try your hand at watermelon carving.
The National Watermelon Promotion Board website has an entire section where you can learn how to carve a watermelon, including step-by-step directions and helpful videos. Look to it to create your own watermelon animal sculpture or basket to hold watermelon chunks and other fruit. You might find this cheap summer hobby so fun that you continue carving throughout the year.
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Throw a Summer Party
Watermelons and backyard summer cookouts go hand-in-hand. On National Watermelon Day, invite a few friends or neighbors over to your abode for a party.
Stick with the theme of the day by serving grilled watermelon and other watermelon-based dishes, as well as watermelon beverages like watermelon margaritas. If you don’t have any go-to watermelon recipes, fire up the grill and try the following Grilled Spicy Watermelon recipe from the National Watermelon Promotion Board.
Ingredients: 1 Tbsp. lime zest, 1/4 cup lime juice, 1/4 cup honey, 2 tsp. garlic chili sauce, 1 medium watermelon
- Preheat the grill.
- Whisk lime zest, lime juice, garlic chili sauce, salt and 3 tbsp. honey.
- Cut watermelon into 1-inch thick wedges.
- Drizzle watermelon with remaining honey.
- Grill watermelon for approximately two minutes per side, or until lightly browned.
- Remove watermelon from grill and drizzle with lime dressing made in Step 2.
Host a Watermelon-Eating Contest
A silly way to celebrate National Watermelon Day is to host a watermelon-eating contest with your friends. The object of a watermelon-eating contest is to be the fastest person to eat a wedge or slice of watermelon down to the rind. Official watermelon-eating contests stipulate that contestants can’t use their hands, though you can certainly modify this rule for an at-home contest.
If your guests prefer not to gorge, try a watermelon seed-spitting contest instead. All you need for this event is a flat area, a tape measure and plenty of watermelon seeds.
Attend a National Watermelon Day Celebration
There are plenty of fairs and festivals throughout the summer, but only a handful are dedicated to watermelon. Some of these festivals are held on and around National Watermelon Day, including:
- NC Watermelon Festival: Aug. 2-5, Murfreesboro, N.C.
- Outer Banks Watermelon Festival: Aug. 3, Nags Head, N.C.
- Water Valley Watermelon Carnival: Aug. 4-5, Water Valley, Miss.
- Knox County Watermelon Festival & Great American Grill-Off: Aug. 4-5, Vincennes, Ind.
If you can’t travel far to celebrate National Watermelon Day, just head to your local Tropical Smoothie Cafe. Guests who buy a full size wrap, salad, sandwich or flatbread through their Tropical Rewards App will get a free Watermelon Mojito Smoothie Aug. 3-8. If happy hour is more your thing, head to Bonefish Grill on Aug. 3 for a Fresh Watermelon Martini — or any martini — for only $5. Just looking for a quick watermelon-flavored pick-me-up? Head to Whole Foods from August 3-6 and snag two bottles of WTRMLN WTR beverages for just $5.
For more watermelon festivals throughout 2017 and beyond, consult this everfest calendar. Also check your community calendar and social media for any watermelon-related events.
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