WATER VALLEY – Queen Carlye Washington will reign over the grand festivities of the 50th Water Valley Watermelon Carnival on Friday and Saturday, August 2-3, 2019. She and her court will be presented on Thursday night, August 1st at the Water Valley Town and Country Garden Club’s 26th Annual Music Festival in the Civic Auditorium and again at the Carnival’s opening ceremonies at 6 p.m. on Friday evening at the gazebo in City Park.
The Queen will be on hand all during the carnival to greet and welcome visitors, pose for pictures with children and adults alike, and participate in as many of the park and downtown activities as possible. Park Events will include Arts & Crafts, Children’s Activities, Music, and lots of good food all day Friday and Saturday. Live music begins late afternoon on Friday and continues all day on Saturday.
Friday evening brings on the annual Street Dance at 8 p.m. on Central St. next to City Park, in front of Renasant Bank, the sponsor for this event. Performing this year is Tatum Shappley from Ripley. A Fireworks Extravaganza sponsored by Mechanics Bank will light up the sky at 9:00 PM during the dance intermission.
Free air-conditioned Trolley Rides from City Park to Downtown are offered by the Water Valley Area Chamber of Commerce from 10 AM to 3 PM on Saturday. We hope you will enjoy events in both locations, as well as shopping and dining in local restaurants and businesses.
Two of our long-time events take place Downtown on Saturday. Early that morning, come to the Railroad Park behind the pavilion to register for the free 3K Walk/Run sponsored by Mechanics Bank. From 8:00 to 4:00 on Saturday, you can browse through some fine-looking antique cars in Shuffield Park, behind the Casey Jones Railroad Museum (formerly the RR Depot). This Annual Car Show is sponsored by Fischer Properties and the Shuffield Family. That’s also where the 2nd Annual Antique Car Parade will begin Saturday morning at 10:00.
There will be a special presentation of former Watermelon Queens on Saturday morning at the City Park Gazebo. Many of these former queens will be in attendance to help celebrate the 50th Watermelon Carnival, starting with the carnival’s revival year in 1980. After the Queens’ Presentation, you’ll want to participate in those messy, sticky, and exciting Watermelon Games, followed by the much-anticipated Biggest Melon Contest at the Gazebo.
In the early afternoon, everyone can participate in our Queen’s favorite event, when she and her family provide and pass out free ice cold watermelon slices to visitors and locals alike. This is something people of all ages look forward to with great anticipation. You don’t want to miss this sweet and juicy treat, so refreshing on a warm day!
On Saturday afternoon at 5:30, winners of the Memphis Barbecue Network-sanctioned Barbecue Cooking Contest will be announced in many different on-site cooking categories. Additional off-site categories are open to anyone and include Best Sauce, Best Side, Best Dessert, and Best Anything Watermelon. Be there to see some top BBQ winners walk away with the top prizes. ‘
Only 100 Taster’s Choice tickets will be available for purchase on Saturday behind Renasant Bank from 9 a.m. until they are sold out. Always a favorite, ticket holders are served barbecue samples and get to assist in selecting the winner, who takes home a $1,500 cash prize!