By David Howell
WATER VALLEY – It’s that time of the year again. For the 48th time in the city’s history, the watermelon will be celebrated. Thousands will gather at City Park and all around town to participate in activities that range from a walk/run to class reunions, all set to a musical beat provided by day-long entertainment from the park gazebo.
Activities kick off Thursday night at 6:30 p.m. with the Watermelon Carnival Music Festival sponsored by the Town and Country Garden Club. The annual musical treat will feature local talent.
Friday will feature all day shopping at city park with plenty of arts and crafts alongside food vendors offering a wide range of festival and carnival style food items to tempt the taste buds.
On Friday, singer Melvin Mordecal followed by Talbot Adams will provide music from the gazebo from 4 to 6 p.m. when the opening ceremonies begin. Water Valley Mayor Larry Hart will welcome carnival attendees and Anita McGehee will sing the National Anthem. Dr. G. and Friends will take the gazebo stage from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
The street dance sponsored by Renasant Bank will get underway at 8 p.m. and break for the 9 p.m. fireworks show. Saturday morning activities start early with the 30th annual 3K run/walk at 7:30 a.m. sponsored by Mechanics Bank and the 22nd Annual car display at Shuffield Park at 8 a.m.
At 9 a.m. music begins at City Park with Tom Foolery on the gazebo.
The air conditioned trolley begins its runs between City Park and downtown at 10 a.m. so that visitors can get a taste of downtown shops, boutiques and restaurants. At 11 a.m. the watermelon games begin at the Renasant Bank parking lot followed by the Largest Melon Contest at noon.
Ice cold watermelon slices will be served at the south end of the park beginning at the southwest end of City Park at 1 p.m. and music will resume from the gazebo at 1:30 p.m. with Tanner Mills.
Eric Deaton will take the center stage at 2:30 p.m., followed by Sounds of Tyme at 3:30 p.m.
For a complete lineup of events at the city’s big event, be sure to check out the special section included in this week’s Herald.