By Jack Gurner
WATER VALLEY – Once again the weather may be the big story for the 40th Watermelon Carnival. Last year it was the excessive heat. This year it may be rain.
At press time Tuesday evening, the National Weather Service was predicting an even chance of precipitation for most of the weekend. The only good news is the temperatures are expected to be about ten degrees lower than the 2008 Carnival.
Last year an excessive heat advisory was in effect for the entire weekend. On Saturday morning, the NWS upgraded the advisory to an excessive heat warning, as a combination of high temps and high humidity inundated the area toping out with a heat index of nearly 120 degrees.
The rain chances for this weekend are 60 percent on Thursday, 50 percent on Friday, and 40 percent on Saturday.
Attendees will be out of the weather for the opening event at the City Auditorium Thursday night. The Watermelon Music Festival kicks off the weekend at 7 p.m. with an introduction of the Queen and Court as well as a variety of entertainment.
Friday’s events include entertainment beginning at 4 p.m. in City Park followed by opening ceremonies at 6 p.m. There will be concessions in the park all day.
The street dance gets underway with Busted Screen Door at 8 p.m. and the big fireworks show is set for 9 p.m. The fireworks should be visible wherever you are in town.
Another indoor event will be Friday evening’s 6 p.m. art show opening reception downtown at Bozarts on Main Street.
Saturday gets a running start with the Mechanics Bank 22nd annual run at 8 a.m. If you’d rather walk or ride a cart, there’s the O’Tuckalofa Open Golf Tournament beginning at 9 a.m. at the Yalobusha County Club.
There will be day-long entertainment at the City Park bandstand and the always popular largest melon contest at noon. Downtown you can see the car show at Shuffield Park.
If you need to get indoors, there’s the Water Valley Casey Jones Railroad Museum and the art show continues at Bozarts.
For more detailed information, please see our special Watermelon Carnival section which includes stories about the various events, as well as a schedule provided by the Water Valley Area Chamber of Commerce.
Water Valley Chamber of Commerce Public Relations Director Mary Sue Stevens and Executive Director Bonnie Cox display carnival keepsakes available for the public. The memorabilia includes the 16th Edition Christmas ornament available for $15 at area banks or the Chamber of Commerce Office. Also available are Carnival t-shirts, which are offered at the Chamber office or Carolyn’s Flowers and Gifts.
The Chamber also has the Souvenir Programs for $5. These anticipated souvenirs can be purchased at a variety of locations in Water Valley including the Chamber of Commerce Office, Clip, Snip and Curl, Hair Trendz, the Herald office, Mechanics Bank, Regions Bank, Renasant Bank, The Family Heirloom, the Hair Shop, Turnage Drug Store and Varner Printing. The books cost $5. The books are also available by mail order for $10. To place a mail order, send your money to the Chamber office, P. O. Box 726 Water Valley, MS 38965