Watermelon Festival

Summer's favorite fruits were being honored in the Main Street city Saturday. We're talking about the 55th Annual Watermelon Festival in historic Monticello.

People of all ages gathered to catch a glimpse of royalty, the kings and queens of the 55th Watermelon Festival.

Along with the kings and queens, various organizations, several Florida gubernatorial hopefuls and local law enforcement all took part in the parade through Monticello's historic downtown district.

The event has become a family tradition for several residents.

"My mom brought me when I was about two or three, and I've probably went to every one since then," shared one resident.

For others it's all about the excitement. The event had something for everyone. The Watermelon Festival began in 1949, but organizers say there were a few years when the festival did not happen.

Chamber of Commerce Chairwoman Mary Drawdy added, "We used to have tons and tons of watermelon growers; we were the watermelon seed capital of the world. I guess that's why we started this Watermelon Festival."

Festival organizers say there were some new attractions entering the mix this year.

"A new event we had this year was the barn dance and dinner at Willow Pond, and that was a good event and we're going to continue it every year," said Drawdy.

From the size of the crowd. Next year's Watermelon Festival should be an even bigger success. The fun continued Saturday night with a gospel concert at Jefferson County High School.