Hutchinson, Crawford to attend watermelon festival

Hutchinson, Crawford to attend watermelon festival

The 36th annual Cave City Watermelon Festival can boast a governor and congressman in attendance this year.

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson plans to be in Cave City for the event from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. this Saturday, according to his press secretary.

The Watermelon Festival runs for 3 days beginning Thursday, August 6, and running through Saturday, August 8.

The festival features the ever-popular Seed Spittin' and Eating Contest, a performance by Grammy Award-winning Shenandoah on stage Saturday night and a family-friendly atmosphere filled with artisans, crafts and food vendors.

This year's festival will also include a Wet Zone at the park.

Arm bands are $10 each. No pets or alcohol is allowed in the park.

So what makes the Cave City watermelons so good?

"We had the Department of Agriculture, our extension agents, come down and test our soil," Denise Woodridge said. "Also come down and test our watermelons. There's about a 15 mile radius around Cave City that has the sandy soil and that's what makes the watermelons sweet. And they have also done a test of the watermelon itself and the sweetness just goes off the chart."

Activities kick-off with watermelon judging at 5 p.m. on Thursday night.

"We are excited about our entertainment this year," Crystal Crow said. "Thursday night is kind of our gospel night. We've got the Palmers, which is a bluegrass family. Their whole family comes.  They sing and play. Then on Friday night we have Kingsdown which they are just back from a tour in Europe. And then we have the Lockhouse Orchestra on Friday night and then Saturday, we have a whole day of it.  We have Congressman Rick Crawford with his band, County Fare, and then we have David Lynn Jones on Saturday night and then Shenandoah."

To accommodate the extra turnout on Saturday night, additional parking will be available at the High School and Middle School, with a shuttle service to the City Park for a small fee beginning at 4 p.m.

Buses will run every half hour. Car pooling to the park is encouraged.

For more information about entertainment, activities and events, visit www.cavecityarkansas.info or like the "Cave City Watermelon Festival" page on Facebook.

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