It was 1973 when Grand Bay, Alabama revived an early 20th-century local tradition and put on the first Grand Bay Watermelon Festival of the modern era. The festival is courtesy of the local Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and it begins today, with free admission, at 3 p.m. On the 4th, there’s a $5 per vehicle charge for the 8 a.m. till 4 p.m. festival but admission comes with all the locally grown, ice-cold watermelon you care to eat!

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There’ll be lots of other great food at the melon shindig: bar-b-q ribs, Polish sausage, chicken on a stick, doughnuts, sno-cones, and more. If you enjoy wholesome, family oriented fun then this is a great way to spend your 4th. There will be a large children’s area with activities like pony rides, a petting zoo, face-painting, and train rides. There’s a pretty baby contest on the 4th. The 4th is also when the Annual Shine & Show (a classic car show) takes place. Of course, there’ll be live music and plenty of arts and crafts booths to peruse. For all the details, see the festival website.