Old fashioned fun at the Franklin County Watermelon Festival

This event drew a huge number of people to downtown Russellville 42nd annual event.
Published: Aug. 19, 2023 at 9:04 PM CDT
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RUSSELLVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - A Franklin County tradition is bigger than ever. Huge crowds took advantage of the perfect weather to enjoy the 42nd annual Franklin County Watermelon Festival Saturday. “It’s a community effort.” Matt Uptain told WAFF. He’s the President of the Board of Directors for the Chamber of Commerce. “We try to engage with all demographics all groups all ages, we have something for everyone. This year seems to be very successful.”

The festival really did have something for everyone: a classic car show, live music, a Watermelon Queen competition, and of course a lot of Watermelon. Local farmers brought their melons in for contests to see whose tasted the best and who had the most unusual melon. There was also a contest to see who could spit seeds the farthest. And of course, it wouldn’t be a proper watermelon festival without a prize for the biggest watermelon. Uptain says the winner this year was a whopping 195 pounds.

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Franklin County Watermelon Festival 2023
Franklin County Watermelon Festival 2023(WAFF)

It may sound a bit silly, but Uptain says good, old-fashioned fun like this never goes out of style. “Being a part of a community, a small community like here in Franklin County in Russellville, there are positives to it.” Uptain said. “It’s nice to be in a down home area where everyone can talk and have a good time together as a group, that’s what I hope everybody can take away from this event.”

When asked why the county was celebrating watermelons as opposed to say, cantaloupes, okra or pumpkins, Uptain said it’s just kind of always been that way. “It does feel like this is a tradition for the area, we just do the best we can to make it bigger and better and try not to mess it up if we can help it.”

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