The Valley’s 39th Carnival Kicks Off Thursday Night

Watermelon Queen Jessica Smith will preside over the 39th Annual Watermelon Carnival this weekend. – Photo by Jack Gurner

Staff Report

WATER VALLEY – The 39th time in history, thousands of people will be in town this weekend for the Watermelon Carnival to participate in tons of activities including an art show, 3 mile walk/run, a car show, class reunions, live entertainment and a large collectibles/craft fair.

    The festivities kick off with the Watermelon Carnival Music Festival, sponsored by the Town and Country Garden Club, on Thursday, July 31, at the Civic Auditorium. Kimberly Morgan, 2007 Miss Mississippi, will be a featured performer.

The Sharecroppers, will play from 7 until 7:30 p.m. when the Festival will begin. Also included on the night’s program will be entertainment by local talent, and the presentation of the Watermelon Queen.

    On Friday, August 1, there will be all day shopping in the City Park. Sponsored by the Water Valley Junior Auxiliary, the craft show features a variety for arts and collectibles, plus delicious food from different vendors.

    The entertainment begins at 4 p.m. when Brad VanWinkle takes the gazebo and continues until 6 p.m. when Mayor Bill Norris officially welcomes carnival goers.

    At 8 p.m. there will be a Street Dance sponsored by Renasant Bank featuring Braden Gray and Loose Gravel.

    If you aren’t in the dancing mood, there’s always bingo at the VFW on Hwy. 315 beginning at 7 p.m.

Saturday

    Everybody up and at ’em early for the 8 a.m. start of the 21st Annual Watermelon Classic sponsored by Mechanics Bank. This year’s theme is “Running on Empty” and there is no entry fee. The first 200 finishers will get T-shirts and caps. Registration begins at 6:30 a.m.

    While the race gets kicked off, the Water Valley Lions Club will be flipping pancakes at the Lions’ Depot Building on Main Street. There will be more shopping all day long Saturday.

    Entertainment will also begin early at the gazebo in City Park with Promise scheduled for 8 a.m. Several artists will appear leading up to the largest watermelon contest at noon.

Mechanics Bank will again be providing free melon starting at 1 p.m. You might want to save your seeds for the seed spitting contest also at 1 p.m. followed by the watermelon-eating contest at 1:15 p.m.

Along with the food and fun, there is plenty of vendors offering a variety of merchandise for sale. After spending your limit, you can walk across North Court St. for the North Mississippi Regional Art Exhibit at Remedial Specialists.

To avoid the traffic, carnival goers can use the shuttle that will run between the City Park and downtown from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Among the downtown attractions Saturday will be the 13th annual car display at Shuffield Park. Also, the Water Valley Casey Jones Railroad Museum will be open from 10: a.m. until 5 p.m.

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