Clay County’s sixth annual Watermelon Festival presented by Buckler Shows will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday at the fairgrounds located at 2497 State Road 16 West, Green Cove Springs.
Admission is $6, and free for children ages 2 and younger.
Discount admission can be found online at the Watermelon Festival webpage, or by bringing a canned good to the event. All canned goods will be donated to the Food Pantry of Green Cove Springs, Buckler Shows communications specialist Rachelle Gilbert said.
Entertainment and activities include a cutest baby contest, arts and crafts, a free waterslide, face painting, a frisbee dog show, watermelon eating contest and various vendors serving drinks and treats.
Registration for the cutest baby contest is free, but limited to 15 girls and 15 boys each day with the age cut off being 14-months-old. Participants must be present at the contest area no later than noon on the day of the contest.
One female and male winner and one female and male runner-up will be selected and announced; selections are made by a panel of judges. Winners receive $25 “Watermelon Bucks,” money to spend at the festival, a Kohl’s Cares Stuffed Animal, a winner’s certificate and bragging rights, Gilbert said.
The runners-up will receive a Kohl’s Cares Stuffed Animal and a certificate of their placement.
There is no early registration at this time, and those wishing to compete can register at the festival.
In addition to the cutest baby contest, there will be activities and vendors set up, both indoor and outdoor, for families and visitors to enjoy. The indoor activities will be air conditioned to provide relief from the heat.
Adult fun is available too, with watermelon wine slushie mixes, photo opportunities, free corn hole and a watermelon seed-spitting contest. The competition is split into four categories—kids 0 to 12-years-old, teens aged 13-18, adult men and adult women.
Contestants can purchase three seeds for one dollar and compete for their chance to win a prize for their category.
Mobile pony rides and a petting farm will be set up by Pony Tales LLC, an entertainment service located in New Smyrna Beach, Florida. Other vendors and events at the festival come from all over Florida to benefit and highlight agriculture and locally owned businesses in the state.
To stay up-to-date on the event, check the Clay County Watermelon Festival Facebook page.