The 39th Watermelon Festival is now history.
It was one of the largest festivals we have seen in many years.
Food vendors lined the streets, and the Cattlemen’s Association probably had a record year. The weather was hot, but that did not bother the crowd. They came to town and enjoyed this big two-day event.
The Antique Car and Tractor Show was fantastic, and so many folks – young and old – really enjoyed the vintage vehicles. Under the shade trees behind First Baptist Church, folks gathered to view the melons. Some of the largest ever were entered in the contest. The best-tasting melons always are enjoyed by everyone.
Prizes in both categories, largest and best tasting, were given.
I was amazed at the young people that took such an interest in the growing of watermelons. I am sure they have a good secret they use for the growing the huge ones that are on display every year.
I heard one man make the remark, “If you want ‘em to grow fine, just leave one on a vine,” – that sounds like a good title for a song. Maybe Kerry Gilbert will pick up on that and have a hit.
It was such a pleasure and honor to see my good friend Walter Kilgore from Jasper. He was at the first festival 39 years ago, and he has probably been to every one since.
Walter is now 88 years old, I believe, but he is still doing well. He was the winner 39 years ago of the best-tasting melon, a Crimson Sweet.
Many of the old-timers have passed away. I would like to call their names, but it kind of makes me sad, so I will just continue to remember the part they played each and every year.
I really feel the spirit of each one was with us this past Saturday – that’s just my feeling.
Many thanks to the Chamber of Commerce for the excellent joy they do each year. It’s a lot of work, but they always get the job done.
Franklin County: Watermelon Capital of Alabama.
Till next time,