Countdown clock ticking ‘til July 27

Published 9:36 am Wednesday, July 6, 2011

MURFREESBORO – As the calendar flips the July, the countdown is on for the region’s largest event.

The 26th annual North Carolina Watermelon Festival in Murfreesboro is set for July 27-30, a four-day run that will see nearly 40,000 people flock to this historic town to help celebrate the state’s juiciest fruit.

This year’s theme will be “Watermelon in Paradise.’

Special festival events include a 5K race and walk, sponsored by Murfreesboro Rotary Club, and an island paradise touch to the music. A large antiques/collectibles/crafts fair, a tasty variety of food, amusements rides, street dances each night, free watermelon slices, and watermelon games and contests are included in the schedule of events.

And, as always, admission is free.

Featured bands for the nightly street dances are:

Wednesday, July 27 – TFC

Thursday, July 28 – Northtower

Friday, July 29 – Island Boy

Saturday, July 30 – Coconut Groove

Highlighting the festival is the state’s largest agricultural parade that will take place at 10 a.m. on Saturday, July 30 in downtown Murfreesboro, sponsored by the Murfreesboro Chamber of Commerce.  In addition, the festival’s large fireworks show will take place on Saturday, July 30 at 9:15 p.m.

Event organizers are currently seeking entries for the Festival Parade. Those entries should display either an agricultural, historic, and/or patriotic design. Parade officials also strongly urge participants to utilize the parade theme, by including a tropical flavor in their entry.

“I am certain that the 2011 festival parade will be the best yet.  2011 marks the 26th year for this event and the theme chosen is ‘Watermelon in Paradise’. We encourage school bands, civic clubs, girl and boy scouts, churches, and businesses to participate in this fun-filled event.  This event is a wonderful opportunity to express your pride in Northeast North Carolina,” stated Kay Mitchell-Thomas, co-chairperson.

To enter the parade, call (252) 398-4886, or email the Murfreesboro Chamber at:

The North Carolina Watermelon Festival is also seeking contestants for the Little Princess Pageant as well as the Little Farmer and Little Miss Farmer contests.

Applicants for the Little Princess Pageant must be five years old by August 1, 2011.  The first ten applicants only can be taken.  Please call Frances Bunch at (252) 398-4630 for an application form or more information.

The Little Farmer and Little Miss Farmer contestants can be four or five years old.  Please contact Debbie Edwards at (252) 398-3911.

The children will be featured in the Watermelon Festival Parade.

For information on any of the festival’s activities, contact Laurie Brook at (252) 398-7695; email: or visit

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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