The Tiny Wisconsin Town That Transforms Into A Watermelon Wonderland Each Year
Every year on the first Saturday after Labor Day, the small town of Pardeeville, 35 miles north of Madison, transforms into the Watermelon Capitol of the World. Home to the U.S. Watermelon Speed-Eating and Seed-Spitting Championships, this small town festival turns 51 years old in 2018. On Saturday, September 8, head to Pardeeville for all the watermelon you could ever want!
This awesome and unusual festival came about after a meeting of the local businessman's association. The men were sitting around, kvetching and came up with the idea of a festival to help draw in tourists and put the town on the map.
That was in 1968 and the rest is history. The first festival was held a few weeks later. With a year to plan, things came together a bit more in year two and the locations chosen for that second festival are still the ones being used today.
It might sound crazy, but the seed-spitting championships are no joke. Last year five new records were set!
The men's record has stood since 1988 when Clark Hodgson spat his seed more than 61 feet! In 2016, Jessica Laufenberg broke her own record by nearly six feet to set a new standard for women of more than 45 feet!
There are also watermelon eating contests with adult and child categories and the times there are difficult to even comprehend. Don't blink or you might miss the whole thing!
One of the most fun competitions is the watermelon carving contest. It's amazing what skilled craftspeople can unearth from one roly poly watermelon!
The town of Pardeeville really is watermelon mad and this little festival that was thought up over some post-meeting beers really has created a niche for this small town.
The watermelon festival here is somewhat infamous and folks travel from all over to take part in it.
Of course, there's more of the featured fruit than you could ever eat in one day and it's used to make a variety of products.
There's a hay ride, games and fun for the whole family at this fun and easy summer festival.
Watermelon is king in Pardeeville and you won't regret taking a ride to Pardeeville on that first Saturday after Labor Day. It'll be a great time to unwind after that first week of school and the juicy, delicious watermelons will be waiting for you!
For more information about the Pardeeville Watermelon Festival and U.S. Watermelon Speed-Eating and Seed-Spitting Championships, check out the
festival webpage here or head on over to Facebook.
Wisconsin is home to a ton of small town festivals.
Check out this great list from last season, but make sure you double check all the dates for this year’s festival!
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