Carytown is an urban retail district lining Cary Street at the southern end of the Museum District. The district includes over 300 shops, restaurants, and offices. Located near The Fan District, the district is known for having a bohemian flair. The area has thrived as a center for high-end, independent retail shops and boutiques, and is also home to one of the city's most beloved institutions, the Byrd Theatre, a restored movie palace that has operated continuously since 1928 and shows second-run films for a famous $2 ticket price. The district is also known to have a significant gay and lesbian population, is host to the annual Carytown Watermelon Festival, and is also host to the annual new years eve ball raising above the Byrd Theatre.
Some Carytown shops are open seven days a week, but most are opened from 10:00 am to 6:00pm Monday through Saturday. As seasons change or holidays are approaching, shop hours increase.
The Cary Court shopping center was built in the 1930s and opened for business in 1938. It was Richmond's first shopping center and took hold of the people of Richmond very quickly. This group of stores was especially popular due to the "park and shop" nature it had. As more shops developed on the surrounding property, the entire area became bustling with customers and even tourists.
Many of the shops in Carytown are located in historical buildings. This gives Carytown an older feel to it, and it also shows preservation of history. The buildings had to be repaired and restored after decades in which they were damaged.
The Virginia Department of Historic Resources gives recognition to the Carytown shopping district for its major influence in Virginia's commercial development in the twentieth century.
Month long sale events take place in different stores in Carytown throughout the year. Certain seasons bring annual sales or festivals. Other events are weekly such as the Knit Night at the Yarn Lounge! from 6:00 to 8:30 on the last Tuesday of every month. As for seasonal sales, Fashion First goes on from February until June on every first Thursday of the month. Alongside Fashion Fist there is a Reggae and Ska event on those same Thursdays at night. Other events are listed below.
an environmental film festival
Virginia Commonwealth University French film festival
Ben & Jerry's Annual Free Cone Day
Carytown 10k Run/Walk
This is the event Carytown is most known for. It is a big deal for not only those in Richmond but also for those in the surrounding counties or areas of Virginia. In 2008 Carytown will have its 25th Watermelon Festival.
The 2009 New Year's Eve event was canceled due to lack of funding, although the ball still raised.