If the watermelon is your favorite fruit, you need to attend this annual festival in Oklahoma. Get all of the juicy details inside of this post.
This celebration of the delicious summer fruit has been delighting watermelon lovers from all across the state and beyond since 1948. It goes on every year in August at Jeff Davis Park in Rush Springs, Oklahoma. The three-day family-friendly event, held from Thursday through Saturday, typically draws around 20,000 attendees and is one of the most anticipated happenings in Oklahoma.
Aside from the 50,000 pounds of watermelon in different varieties like black diamond and royal sweet, you’ll find plenty of other classic festival fare from hamburgers to fried dough. Among the fun festivities are an arts and crafts fair with more than 100 vendors, carnival rides, and live entertainment. And—if you’re feeling competitive—there is a seed-spitting contest. At the outset of the event, there’s also a rodeo and calf scramble that gathers some of the best cowboys and wranglers for an exciting and unique show.
To work off all of the watermelons you’re sure to eat, the festival features a 5 and 10K run that anyone is welcome to participate in. Plus, if that wasn’t enough, there’s an antique car and motorcycle show to get your motor running. And of course, you’ll want to stick around for the prize watermelon auction, where local farmers show off the, uh, fruits of their labor. Some of these watermelons weigh more than 200 pounds!
Admission to the festival is free, though some activities require a small fee to participate. Rush Springs, the self-proclaimed “Watermelon Capital of the World,” is only about an hour’s drive from Oklahoma City, making it easy to reach. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 concerns, the festival will not be held this year, but keep an eye out for 2021 plans—the festival plans to be back better than ever.