Watermelon Fest Features New Events and Shenandoah
Cave City bills itself as having the “world’s sweetest melons,” which it shares and celebrates each year during its Watermelon Festival. The 36th annual event is set for Aug. 6-8 and will feature new events and Grammy award-winning band Shenandoah.
This year’s festival features old favorites like seed spittin’, watermelon feasting, and the Watermelon Festival parade. New this year is a wet zone for children, and rodeo events.
Activities kick off at 5 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 6 with watermelon judging, the Barking Beauties dog show, and a truck pull. The Palmers, a family bluegrass band originally from Arkansas and now residing in Louisiana, take the stage at 8 p.m.
Friday’s events begin at 9 a.m. with the kids’ fishing derby. Friday evening features live music from local bands The Lockhouse Orchestra and Kingsdown. The Cave City Cruizers hold a drive through and burn out, and the night is set to end with a rodeo event co-sanctioned by the Arkansas Cowboy’s Association / International Professional Rodeo Association.
Start Saturday’s fun early with the 3rd annual Melon Dash 5k at 7 a.m. Sponsored by the Bethany Project, all funds from the 5K support the organization’s Smart Start back to school event. The Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast is a community favorite and serves plates until 10 a.m.
The Watermelon Festival parade begins at 10 a.m., kicking off an afternoon full of children’s activities. D&S Arena hosts a farm animal petting zoo. Bounce houses and a wet zone set up at the park with arm bands available for $10. Mattie’s Flea Market hosts a “Meet the Animals” featuring Baby Tito the capuchin monkey, Rudy Roo the kangaroo and a baby camel.
Also scheduled for Saturday, the Cave City Cruizers and the Tri County Antique Tractor Club set up and show off. The Cave City Sharpshooters host a horseshoe pitching tournament as well.
The watermelon grower games begin at 3 p.m. featuring watermelon eating, melon tossing, watermelon stacking and more. At 4 p.m. the Cave City registered watermelon growers provide a feast with the world’s sweetest melons available for sampling. A seed spittin’ and watermelon eating contest follows. At 5 p.m. the prize melon is auctioned with all of the proceeds donated to Arkansas Children’s Hospital. At 7 p.m. the D&S Family Rodeo presents mutton busting and a kid’s bull riding competition at the D&S Arena.
Saturday is also a day full of music. Headlining this year’s Watermelon Festival is Grammy award-winning band Shenandoah. Also taking the stage is County Fare featuring Congressman Rick Crawford. David Lynn Jones, Garrett Duncan and Luke Stroud and the 50’s Beat are all set to perform throughout the day as well.
Admission to the festival is free, with the main stage and most scheduled events taking place at the Cave City Park. Parking will available adjacent to the park. On Saturday night, to accommodate the expected turnout, additional parking will be available at the Cave City High School and Middle School with a shuttle service available for a small fee.
Feel free to bring your lawn chair and plan to make yourself at home in Cave City for the 36 annual Cave City Watermelon Festival.
For more information, call 870-283-5301, visit www.cavecityarkansas.info, or like the “Cave City Watermelon Festival” page on Facebook.