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Watermelon festival returns this weekend

By Brian Knox | Published Wednesday, September 5, 2018
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End of Summer Tradition

END OF SUMMER TRADITION – Alvord’s Watermelon Festival will feature a car show, live music, a barbecue competition and more. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

This weekend’s Alvord Watermelon Festival will have some new features that organizers hope will draw a large crowd to the annual event.

Connie Swain, one of the event organizers in the newly formed Alvord Event Association, said they wanted to keep the festival’s tradition alive – a tradition that dates back to at least 1882, she said.

“Our focus is to bring the community back together to really benefit Alvord,” she said.

With the festival taking place in September this year instead of August, one major change is the moving of the Mike Watts Memorial Scholarship Fish Fry from Friday night to Saturday night so it doesn’t conflict with Friday night high school football.

Festivities will kick off Friday at Elm Creek Park.

Competitors in the International Barbecue Cookers Association BBQ Competition will move in from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Check-in will take place at the pavilion that evening.

From 5 to 7 p.m., 95.9 FM The Ranch will broadcast live.

A 42 tournament will be held at 6:30 p.m. at city hall. Proceeds will benefit Alvord Public Library.

A cooks meeting/steak cookoff will be at 7:30 p.m.

At 8, registration begins for the cornhole and washer tournament. Cost is $20 per team, and the winner gets 50 percent of the pot. Second place gets the entry fee refunded. The tournament starts at 8:30 p.m.

Saturday’s activities get started early with breakfast served by the Alvord Area Veterans Group 6 to 10 a.m.

The Watermelon Pageant is 10 a.m. to noon, with registration at the pavilion.

One of the new features – an antique car show and shine – will take place 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Bingo, for a donation per card, will be noon to 4 p.m.

Live music will begin at 4 p.m. with a performance by Terrance Hartley. Other live music performances will include Will Martin at 5:30 p.m. and the Brandon Davis Band at 8 p.m.

Winners of the barbecue competition, raffle and silent auction will be announced at 5 p.m.

The Mike Watts Memorial Scholarship Fish Fry, benefiting Alvord students, is at 6 p.m. Cost is a minimum $10 donation per person.

Another cornhole and washer tournament is at 7:30 p.m. Registration is at 7.

Willetts BBQ food truck will also be on site during the event Friday night and Saturday.

The festival will also feature vendors selling a variety of items.

For the kids, bounce houses will be available throughout the day Saturday.

Finally, the festival wouldn’t be complete without one more important item.

“We are going to have watermelon slices to give away,” Swain said.

Unless otherwise noted, proceeds from the event will go to the Alvord Volunteer Fire Department.

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