I may have mentioned it before, but one of the drawbacks of being a watermelon lover in the Northeast is the distinct lack of watermelon festivals in my neck of the woods. Seriously, if you look at the 2015 festival calendar below, they’re pretty much all in the South!
I understand why, of course. Watermelon is grown primarily in the southern United States, and it has a longstanding history below the Mason-Dixon line. But there are plenty of watermelon lovers in the North, too, including yours truly. Maybe I’ll do my best to create a watermelon festival here in Pennsylvania next year. I can’t promise that it’ll be nearly as grand as something like the Luling Watermelon Thump, but every great festival has to start somewhere, right?
Below is a list of some of those notable watermelon festivals happening this year. As always, this list isn’t a complete listing of festivals. There are plenty of others happening around the United States, so if there’s a festival you’d like to see listed here, leave a comment, and I’ll add it!
Check out the “Festivals” page of the National Watermelon Promotion Board website for a much longer listing of watermelon festivals and watermelon days (50 events in all!). If you’re headed to a watermelon festival this year, send a few photos my way (firstname.lastname@example.org), and I’ll post them here on What About Watermelon.
HAMPTON COUNTY WATERMELON FESTIVAL (June 20-28)
LOCATION: Hampton, South Carolina
HIGHLIGHTS: Melon Miss & Master Pageant, watermelon-eating contest, watermelon-growing contest, parade
LULING WATERMELON THUMP (June 25-28)
LOCATION: Luling, Texas
HIGHLIGHTS: Watermelon contest, coronation of watermelon queen, watermelon-eating contest, champion watermelon auction, world championship watermelon seed-spitting contest
PANHANDLE WATERMELON FESTIVAL (June 26-27)
LOCATION: Chipley, Florida
HIGHLIGHTS: Watermelon beauty pageant, biggest watermelon contest and auction, watermelon seed-spitting contest, live music
PAGELAND WATERMELON FESTIVAL (July 17-18)
LOCATION: Pageland, South Carolina
HIGHLIGHTS: Watermelon seed-spitting contest, watermelon-eating contest.
MISSISSIPPI WATERMELON FESTIVAL (July 17-18)
LOCATION: Mize, Mississippi
HIGHLIGHTS: Watermelon seed-spitting contest, watermelon-eating contest, greased watermelon race
LOUISIANA WATERMELON FESTIVAL (July 24-25)
LOCATION: Farmerville, Louisiana
HIGHLIGHTS: Watermelon seed-spitting contest, largest watermelon contest, watermelon decorating, watermelon hunt, watermelon auction, watermelon quality and tasting competition, arm-wrestling contest
HOPE WATERMELON FESTIVAL (August 6-8)
LOCATION: Hope, Arkansas
HIGHLIGHTS: Watermelon Olympics (with a watermelon toss, among other events), a seed-spitting contest, “Watermelon Idol” talent show, watermelon-eating contest
WINTERVILLE WATERMELON FESTIVAL (August 27-29)
LOCATION: Winterville, North Carolina
HIGHLIGHTS: Youth seed-spitting contest, youth watermelon roll contest, watermelon-coloring contest, watermelon-eating contest
UP NEXT: Need a charger? Use your melon!
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