Watermelon Festival concludes four-day run

Published 5:14 pm Tuesday, August 8, 2023

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MURFREESBORO – With its largest turnout in the post-COVID era, the 38th annual North Carolina Watermelon Festival ended its four-day run on Saturday, Aug. 5.

“We were very pleased with our turnout; this year marked the largest attendance we’ve seen since before COVID,” said Kay Thomas, co-chair of the event’s planning committee. “We received positive feedback from those in attendance. We were also very pleased with our midway vendor, Brinkley Entertainment, Inc.”

As is typical during early August, thunderstorms can pop up at any time. That was the case on Friday, but the “show” went on after the rain passed.

The final day of the festival (Saturday) saw a huge crowd gather along Main Street in downtown Murfreesboro to witness the annual parade. The Murfreesboro Chamber of Commerce was praised for its role in putting together this festive event.

The annual contests of the festival were also part of Saturday’s agenda.

Landry Furlough was crowned as the Little Miss Princess of the 2023 North Carolina Watermelon Festival. She is the daughter of Taylor and Stephanie Furlough of Murfreesboro. Peyton Outlaw was named as the First Runner-Up. She is the daughter of Brian and Victoria Outlaw of Ahoskie. Cheyenne Everett is the Second Runner-Up. She is the daughter of Dominic and China Everett of Spring Lake, NC.

Gracy Peterson, the 2023 North Carolina Watermelon Queen, presided over the Little Princess event.

Hensleigh Powell, the daughter of JJ and Brittany Powell of Murfreesboro, and Axl Salloum, the son of Michael and Brandy Salloum of Conway, respectively earned the titles of Little Miss Farmer and Little Mr. Farmer.

Jodi Taylor of Conway swept the competition in both the seed spitting and melon eating contests for ages 11-and-under.

In the melon eating contest for ages 12-and-over, Liam Conner of Murfreesboro topped the field of contestants.

Kristina Johnson of Franklin, VA won the seed spitting contest for ages 12-and-over.

Saturday’s schedule also included entertainment from the Peanut City Cloggers, R.T. Johnson, Vintage Cross, and the Pizazz Band, as well as a fireworks display.

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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