69th Annual Watermelon Festival takes over Downtown Monticello

By: Sophia Hernandez | WCTV Eyewitness News
June 18, 2019

MONTICELLO, Fla. (WCTV) –

In Monticello, a festival unlike any other, has taken over the Downtown area. Thousands from all over, spent their Saturday at the 69th Annual Watermelon Festival.

When walking up and down the streets, you can see everyone with one thing in tow, and that's Jefferson counties finest-their watermelon.

Dalton Drew, a resident of Monticello, says that when your not eating your way through watermelon slices, the festival is all about having fun,
"It is just cool that a small town like this has so many people here and stuff, and I am glad they do this."

The lines were lengthy, and those that waited, volunteer Kristin Edwards says, all had one question they would ask once they got to the front, "Where are your watermelons from?"

The answer? Edwards shares, their from right in their own backyards. But she also mentions that to get this refreshing fruit is no easy feat, "Over the past several years, the growers in Jefferson County have decreased but we still manage to get fresh homegrown watermelon most every year."

The watermelons are only are not the only thing you can find at the festival. Vendors from clothing stores to antique shops, line up the streets. Almost every hour an activity, like the parade and watermelon games, can be enjoyed by many.

The day long event also has their Ultimate Air Dog Shows were dogs put their tricks to the test, and show the public what they are made of. For the young and old, there is a butterfly exhibit that allows you to feed the butterflies, and see them up close and personal.

Resident Meredith Campbell expresses she's been a festival attendee ever since she could remember, and is so happy with the turnout, "It's been around for so long I feel like people have gotten the word out and people have come and have actually get to see it first hand."

The real star of the show , Campbell mentions, are those in her community, "It's kind of cool because everyone comes out here to little Monticello to look out our town."

Skylar Dickey, another resident says, "We walk around and we know everyone and it makes it feel really special and really at home."

Some like Autumn Manuel say her favorite part is, "Watching all my friends in the parade."

Ashley Brock disagrees, "My favorite is the dog show."

But on thing everyone can all agree on, is what they love...and that's watermelons.

The watermelons sold out this year, and are expected to do the same next year for their 70th anniversary.