Cave City bills itself as having the “world’s sweetest watermelons.” Find out for yourself July 29-31 during the 41st annual Watermelon Festival, which offers three days packed full of fun and entertainment for the entire family.
Activities include a children’s fishing derby, 5K run, car show, pancake breakfast, parade, school alumni reunion, speed eating contest, seed spitting contest, free watermelon feast, prize melon auction, incredible food, kids wet zone, and live music. Local businesses will hold special events throughout town as well.
The festival is the largest in the region. While watermelons are at the center of the celebration, the people and businesses that make the Cave City area one of the greatest places in Arkansas are also celebrated.
The event starts Thursday, July 29 with live music. Taking the stage at 6 p.m. is The Ellis Family, followed by Believers Worship Group at 7 p.m. and the Jordan Family Band at 8 p.m.
Friday activities begin at 8 a.m. and last all day. Music starts at 6 p.m. with Erin Walters, followed y MaryBeth Byrd and Danielle Peck. Peck hosts SiriusXM’s Y2Kountry and is an accomplished recording artist and performer. Soon to be release is her third studio album, “How Freedom Feels.” No stranger to country fans, she’s enjoyed chart success with the songs “I Don’t,” “Findin’ A Good Man” and “Isn’t That Everything.” Peck has cultivated a loyal fan base on the road, performing hundreds of shows both as a headliner and in support of country music’s biggest names.
Saturday kicks off with the Melon Dash 5K at 7 a.m. at the city park and a Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast at First Baptist Church. The Watermelon Parade is at 10 a.m. Live music begins at noon and features Deadwood Grove, followed by The Gravel Yard Bluegrass Band. The Watermelon Growers Games begin at 3 p.m. with a free watermelon feast at 4 p.m. The prize melon auction is at 5 p.m. and benefits Arkansas Children’s Hospital. Live music begins at 5:45 p.m. with Anna Brinker, followed by Dixon Street and Tracy Byrd. Byrd signed to MCA Nashville Records in 1992, breaking through on the country music scene that year with his 1993 single “Holdin’ Heaven,” which reached number one on Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks.
It’s likely festival goers will hear him play “Watermelon Crawl,” a fitting song to help celebrate this Cave City festival. The watermelon growers work hard all year long to produce the festival watermelons and proudly stand behind every melon they sell. Only genuine Cave City Watermelons have the registered trademark sticker.
By Jill Rohrbach
About Arkansas Tourism
Arkansas Tourism, a division of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism, strives to expand the economic impact of travel and tourism in the state and enhance the quality of life for all Arkansans. The division manages 14 Arkansas Welcome Centers and employs more than 60 staff members across The Natural State. For more information, visit www.arkansas.com.