IT’S FESTIVAL SEASON! THE 2015 WATERMELON FESTIVAL CALENDAR

May 12th, 2015 by The Watermelon Guy

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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 (watermelonexperts@gmail.com), 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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SECOND SLICE: DO YOU THUMP YOUR WATERMELON?

May 20th, 2014 by The Watermelon Guy

Some people thump their watermelons and some people don’t. (For the record, I don’t.) But it’s an interesting topic, so I’ve decided to give this 2012 blog entry another look. Leave a comment with your thoughts on thumping and don’t forget to sound off in the poll on the right.

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I’ve written in the past about how to choose the best watermelon using the three-step “Look, Lift, and Turn” test. In that blog entry, I also mentioned that tapping or thumping a watermelon to determine ripeness isn’t the most reliable tactic.

But that hasn’t stopped millions of people from drumming on watermelons in the grocery store. There’s even a smartphone app that will analyze the sound of a watermelon thump and let you know if the fruit is ripe or not (look for a test and review of the app here on the blog later this month).

Even though the sound test isn’t a scientifically proven ripeness detector, many people (myself occasionally included) still give their watermelon a good knock before placing it in the cart. Which brings me to this month’s poll: Do you thump your watermelon? Let me know by answering the survey on the right and offer your opinion of this method with a comment below.

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