True to its name, Ribs, Pigs & Watermelons (http://www.rpwbbq.com) is a food festival and pro competition that celebrates barbecued meats and the refreshing pink fruit in equal measure. Under a main tent at Huntington State Beach, watermelon is used in watermelon-carving demonstrations and seed-spitting contests. Meanwhile, more than 50 culinary teams from around the country—and a few from the show BBQ Pitmasters, as well as states such as Iowa, Kansas, Nevada, and California—clash on the grills. Each prepares their best takes on chicken, pork, and brisket, which are then judged throughout the weekend by professionals and lions disguised as humans. More than a dozen small-lot craft beers provide ideal pairings for these meats, and an outdoor stage encourages guests to dance off the grub with live performances by Maureen and the Mercury 5, Lil' Mo, the Dynaflos, and other artists. In the end, all of this revelry is for a good cause—all proceeds go to support programs that benefit the city's homeless.
Groupon has 50% Off on tickets (http://www.groupon.com/deals/ribs-pigs-watermelons)