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Don’t forget: Send in your melon memories

If you missed managing editor Alison James’ column last week, never fear – there’s still plenty of time to share your Watermelon Festival memories for our special tribute coming up in a couple weeks.

One of our biggest events of the summer in Franklin County is the annual Watermelon Festival – which, because of the coronavirus, has been canceled for this year.

For decades the Franklin County Watermelon Festival, coordinated by the Chamber of Commerce, has been the iconic celebration of our county, bringing community members as well as visitors from far and wide to the streets of downtown Russellville for antique cars, children’s activities, great live music, artisan vendors, festival food and – of course – plentiful wedges of sweet, juicy watermelon.

We love covering every moment of this festival, from the moment T-shirts go on sale, to announcing the year’s headliner, to spotlighting the county’s beautiful young ladies in the annual pageant, to being there for every moment of the festival itself – melon contests, local bands, student performers and more.

Even though there’s no festival this year, we feel like we can’t let 2020 go by without some kind of homage to the significant role this event plays in our community.

In tribute to the Watermelon Festival’s considerable history in Franklin County, we want you to help us enjoy and celebrate it, even in a year when we can’t actually have it.

We invite you to send in your written memories or favorite photographs from festivals gone by.

Tell us about the year your grandfather grew the prize-winning watermelon, or the first year you brought your own child to continue the tradition. Share a photo you snapped of your favorite headliner rocking the festival mainstage, or send us that pic of your entire family wearing matching festival T-shirts.

The Watermelon Festival is an important representation of who we are and how we live here in Franklin County – community-minded, family-oriented, arts-focused and fun-loving. That spirit continues, no matter how some pandemic is changing things, and so will the Watermelon Festival – it’s just a one-year hiatus, not goodbye.

Send your photos or memories to alison.james@franklincountytimes.com, and we will feature them in an upcoming edition of the Franklin County Times. Deadline for submission is Aug. 22.