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Hill Country Living

It’s that time of year again! The week of all weeks in Water Valley, the pentacle of the year. Annually, all that we have done thus far and all that we shall do hereafter is in response to this glorious weekend.

Watermelon Carnival is upon us and, in mere hours, I will have spent every dime I’ve made in the last month on tickets for my kids to jump on a trampoline while wearing a harness. I’m not sure why their trampoline at home, which requires no harness and zero expensive tickets won’t suffice, but that’s one of the mysteries of the Watermelon Carnival. Somehow, normal things you already have at home but for free are more exciting under the Watermelon Carnival name. Like, say, watermelons.

Okay, granted I do not have a rock-wall at home or a petting zoo. But I do have a small, brick retaining wall and my neighbors have two goats. I bet if I hung a sign on either that said it was an official part of the Watermelon Carnival, then my kids would go for it. The Watermelon Carnival has done an excellent job at branding.

Today is Tuesday and by Wednesday evening my youngest child will be in full “drive by the park” mode. His constant need for me to drive by the park for any signs of carnival set up will be in full swing and I’ll use up an extra gallon of gas just for this. It’s honestly pretty stalky. 

Typically, the first thing to pop up that he can participate in is the petting zoo. Once you see the ponies attached to poles on that spinny thing that slowly circle around for the eternity of the weekend, winding off the minutes of the Watermelon Carnival like the hands of time, you know it’s on. 

I’m looking forward to being confused by the barbecue event again this year! I can’t ever tell if I’m invited to that. Like, is it open to the public? I feel like maybe it’s not due to the public not being able to find the entrance. Do I need a separate ticket? 

They always look like they’re having fun back there and I would really like an entire pulled pork sandwich with hot sauce and slaw made by a barbecue team. Why does it close down whenever I get hungry? Should I wake up earlier? Why is the best food behind the bank? 

Why would the Watermelon Carnival be so cruel as to tease me with seemingly inaccessible barbecue? 

My goal for 2018 is to get to the bottom of this mystery and report back, keeping in mind that I’m sure everyone already knows the answer but me.

Each year I have a personal conundrum about what to do Friday night. I mean, obviously I’ll go to the Street Party but considering I’ll also be running the Watermelon Carnival 3k at 7:30 the next morning, I have to decide exactly how much I’m going to do at the street party, if you know what I mean. 

I always plan to “just go see the fireworks” but, well, let’s just say that the Watermelon Carnival 3k is never my fastest race of the year. I hope lots of you all decide to run or walk the race. It’s really fun, quick and easy! 

I know everyone will have a terrific, Watermelon-y weekend and if there’s any way to end a summer then this is it. Have fun, Water Valley!

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