2015 WATERMELON CARVING CONTEST: WHICH CARVING WILL GET YOUR PEOPLE’S CHOICE VOTE?

August 17th, 2015 by The Watermelon Guy

It’s coming down to the wire as the competition for the 2015 Watermelon Carving Championship continues. Today marks the beginning of the People’s Choice voting period. In two short weeks, we will announce all of the carving contest winners.22

Compared to last year’s contest, this year’s contestants are definitely bringing their A-game. I’m glad to see that our fans have such talent and skill when it comes to watermelon carving. I guess you could say they really know how to use their ‘melons’ (I’m a better watermelon carver than comedian, I know).

The folks at the National Watermelon Promotion Board have chosen the winners in each category, and now it’s up to YOU to vote for which carvings will win the $250 People’s Choice award for the Beginner and Experienced entries. (If you’d like, check out the official contest judging criteria here.)

To cast your vote, stop by the 2015 Watermelon Carving Contest voting page to check out the People’s Choice award contenders, and cast your vote before August 31. We’ll announce the People’s Choice winners, the Judge’s Choice winner AND the category winners on September 8. Good luck to all of the competitors, and may the best carving win!

UP NEXT: Growing the world’s largest watermelon, part two

DON’T FORGET TO CAST YOUR VOTE FOR THE “PEOPLE’S CHOICE” WINNER ON THE OFFICIAL 2015 WATERMELON CARVING CONTEST PAGE!

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THE 2015 WATERMELON CARVING CONTEST HAS ARRIVED!

June 15th, 2015 by The Watermelon Guy

National Watermelon Month is just over two weeks away, which means it’s time to kick off our Sixth Annual Watermelon Carving Contest. This year’s contest will be similar to the 2014 contest, but with a few key differences:Picture1

  1. ENTERING IS SIMPLER – The National Watermelon Promotion Board has created a handy webpage that allows you to easily upload photos and entry information.
  2. MORE PRIZES – Each category will be separated into a group for beginners and a group for experienced carvers. Each sub-category of competitors will feature a 1st, 2nd and 3rd place prize.
  3. A “JUDGE’S CHOICE” AWARD – The fans have voted on a “People’s Choice” award in the past (and will again this year), but we’ve added a “Judge’s Choice” award, too.
  4. JUDGING CRITERIA – To help guide your carvings and let you know how each carving will be judged, we’ve created a judging criteria sheet, which can be downloaded here.

HOW TO ENTER

The deadline for entries is August 4th. Like I mentioned above, the new web page makes entering this year’s carving contest easier than ever before. You’ll need at least two photos of your carving – one photo of your carving, and one photo with you holding or standing next to your carving.

As always, you can enter more than one carving. In fact, the judges will award extra credit for each additional carving you submit. You can get credit for up to five additional carvings, but feel free to enter as many carvings as you’d like.

CATEGORIES

Below are the five categories in this year’s contest. Feel free to check out the carvings on the National Watermelon Promotion Board website for inspiration.

  1. Most Elegant Carving
  2. Best Fruit Basket Carving
  3. Funniest Carving
  4. Best Animal Carving
  5. Star-Spangled Carving (Show us your most patriotic carving!)

PRIZES

Each category will be divided into “Beginner” and “Experienced” groups, with 1st, 2nd and 3rd place prizes for each group. Prizes include a $150 Amazon.com gift card for 1st place, a $100 Amazon.com gift card for 2nd place, and a $50 Amazon.com gift card for 3rd place.

The first 25 entrants will AUTOMATICALLY receive a Dexas watermelon cutting board as a bonus participation prize. (Limit one cutting board per person.)

After the August 4th deadline, we’ll post EVERY entry on the contest Web page and let the fans choose the “People’s Choice” winner, who will receive a $500 Amazon.com gift card. While the fans are picking their People’s Choice, the judges will be busy reviewing all carvings in order to pick the “Judges’ Choice” winner, who will also receive a $500 Amazon.com gift card.

That’s it, folks! If you have any questions between now and the August 4th deadline, leave a comment here on the blog or e-mail me at jslice@whataboutwatermelon.com. Good luck, and happy carving!

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To enter, visit the official 2015 Watermelon Carving Contest Web page. An outline of judging criteria and official contest rules can also be found on the contest page.

UP NEXT: What activities are on your summer to-do list?

Remember, all comments left on the blog this month are entered to win our June prize – a set of watermelon dip bowls – so comment as often as you’d like! 

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INTERVIEW WITH A WATERMELON CARVER: NAN DYE

May 27th, 2015 by The Watermelon Guy

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Our May watermelon carver interview is with Nan Dye, who was born in Thailand, but now lives in Knoxville, Tennessee. She’s a dental assistant, which means she’s good with her hands and a natural watermelon carver.

Nan’s carving in the 2014 Watermelon Carving Contest stood out because it was a beautiful rendition of the contest logo (that’s it below). She took home the second place prize in the “Most Elegant Carving” category and has big plans for this year, too.

Nan and I talked briefly recently about carvings and other watermelon topics, and here’s what she had to say:

TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF. WHEN YOU’RE NOT CARVING WATERMELON, WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO?

When I’m not carving, I love to spend time with my family. We often go hiking, kayaking, biking, and experiencing all of the beauty that Tennessee has to offer. I also love cooking Thai meals for my friends and family.

WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO START CARVING WATERMELON?

I love to see the positive reaction on people’s faces when they see my watermelon carvings. Their reactions inspire me to carve even more intricate and beautiful carvings.

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WHAT SORT OF CARVINGS DO YOU LIKE TO CREATE?

I don’t have a specific type of carving that I prefer as I am inspired by all objects that I encounter each day. Since April showers bring May flowers, I find that I have been carving more flowers than usual.

WHAT’S BEEN YOUR MOST MEMORABLE WATERMELON CARVING?

My most memorable carving was one I did for Chef Aaron McCargo Jr., and was shown on CNN.

WHEN IT COMES TO EATING WATERMELON, DO YOU PREFER CHUNKS OR WEDGES?

While both chunks and wedges are great, I prefer to just cut the watermelon in half and dig in with a melon baller!

WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU AS A CARVER? WHAT WILL YOU BE CARVING THIS YEAR?

I plan to donate one carving per month to various retirement communities in my area. I also plan on winning the 2015 Watermelon carving contest! :)

UP NEXT: Making watermelon jelly

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SIX QUESTIONS WITH A WATERMELON CARVER: DUSTIN EVANS

March 18th, 2015 by The Watermelon Guy

The 2015 Watermelon Carving Contest is still in the planning stages (it’ll kick off in June), but the folks who will be images (1)submitting masterpieces for the competition are busy carving watermelon as we speak. Okay, maybe they’re not carving watermelon right now — although some of them might be — but they’re probably at least thinking about their carvings.

One of those carvers is Dustin Evans of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. Dustin was one of the biggest winners in last year’s carving contest, taking home the first place prize in the “Funniest Carving” category, the first place prize in the “Star Spangled Watermelon” category and a third place finish in the “Animal” category.

The most amazing thing about Dustin’s watermelon-carving story is that he’s only been carving for about one year. Actually, the carvings you see in this blog entry — including the gorilla below — were created by Dustin when he had about four months of watermelon-carving experience under his belt. I took some time recently to chat with Dustin about all things watermelon, including his plans for this year’s carving contest.

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TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF. WHEN YOU’RE NOT CARVING WATERMELON, WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO?

When I’m not carving watermelons, you can usually find me at the drawing table in my art studio. I’ve done freelance illustration and graphic design work for comic books, kids’ books and websites for the last 10 years. If I’m not drawing or carving, then you will most likely find me in the kitchen. I have a passion for food, and I love to cook, especially for my family.

WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO START CARVING WATERMELON?

I feel like me carving watermelons was an interesting mix of destiny and happy circumstances. About one year ago, I began working at the Tulsa, Oklahoma Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in the banquet kitchen to supplement my freelance income. I’ve always had a passion for food, so it made sense for me to get a job in the kitchen.

I began working in the banquet kitchen, and once my chef learned about my art background, he said he would like me to try my hand at fruit carving. I wasn’t quite sure what that involved at the time, but I started researching the topic, and I was blown away by the amazing creations you can make out of watermelons, fruits and veggies. I gave it a try, and I was instantly hooked. This was a totally new medium for me, and I began learning with each carving I created.

WHAT SORT OF CARVINGS DO YOU LIKE TO CREATE?

I really like creating portrait etchings in watermelons. I wanted to push the limits of what I had seen examples of, so I started creating portrait carvings of the different celebrities that come to town like ZZ Top (below), Dolly Parton and Joan Jett.

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WHAT’S BEEN YOUR MOST MEMORABLE WATERMELON CARVING?

The most memorable watermelon carvings for me so far are the two carvings I created for Chef Robert Irvine. He came to Hard Rock to do his live show, and I created a portrait carving and a replica of his logo. When Chef Irvine saw the carvings I created, he was so impressed, he wanted to meet me in person. Who knew that carving watermelons would lead to such an incredible experience?

WHEN IT COMES TO EATING WATERMELON, DO YOU PREFER CHUNKS OR WEDGES?

I’m a wedge guy! There is nothing better and that wedge of watermelon. It comes with a nifty rind handle that you can hold, which leaves your other hand free to add shake the salt on top. I also really enjoy adding watermelon to smoothies. It just gives you that delicious and refreshing flavor that makes you feel like you’re on vacation.

WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU AS A CARVER? WHAT WILL YOU BE CARVING THIS YEAR?

I feel like I have progressed from just carving single watermelons to creating entire displays out of watermelon. I really want to push the boundaries of what is possible and create displays that leave people thinking, “I never thought that was possible!”

One of my BIG goals is to eventually have my carvings featured on Food Network. I want to bring watermelon carving to the forefront of food entertainment. Why not? This year I will continue carving watermelons for the different shows that come to Hard Rock as well as doing some elaborate displays for different holidays.

UP NEXT: Spring has sprung!  

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