G.W. Swink held the first Watermelon Day in Rocky Ford, CO in 1878. He had a particularly bountiful crop of watermelons that year, so he thought he would share the melons with his neighbors. Lately, 50,000 pounds of free watermelons are given away on Watermelon Day, at the famed Watermelon Pile. The Watermelon Pile will be preceded by the Watermelon Seed Spitting Contest. That morning, there’ll also be a watermelon carving contest.

Watermelon, Watermelon Day, Rocky Ford, COOther activities include a beer garden under the grandstands, a 10K run, a 2-mile kids race, a flower show, needlework exhibits, the coronation of the queen, a rodeo, horse racing, live music, bingo, rides and a carnival, and a demolition derby. Watermelon Day is part of the 138th annual Arkansas Valley Fair, taking place from the 19th through the 23rd. See the fair website for all the info.

After the party - the early days

After the party – the early days

As they say at the fair: “SMILE – You’re in MELON Country.”