19th Annual Watermelon Fest this Saturday in Straffordville

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Straffordville Watermelon Festival returns for its 19th year this Saturday, August 27.

A lot of the activities and entertainment are returning from 2015, said Rose Gardner from the Watermelon Fest committee, for an event that annually draws 2,000 or more people to the Community Park in Straffordville.

"We have karaoke, Amanda Underhill, and music by Firelight," said Gardner, outlining their musical entertainment.

The silent auction returns, the library book sale, travelling reptile show, magician Steve Wilson, birds of prey, Fabtastic face painters, and Bogle the Magic Clown.

"He (Bogle) does all kinds of stuff," said Gardner. "He walks on stilts and he makes balloon animals. He's pretty cool actually, the kids really like him."

Martial Arts Canada will do a demonstration, mainly with students from the Straffordville area.

Bayham Fire Department is bringing their Smoke House, which Gardner said was really popular last year.

"Then of course we have our free cotton candy, free rides, and free watermelon. Oh, and horse drawn wagon rides and a petting zoo."

Food and craft vendors are also on site, she noted.

"And we finish with the Movie in the Park (at dusk) - bring your lawn chairs and your blankets and watch Zootopia."

Organizers, who fundraise throughout the year for the Watermelon Fest, will have four bins of watermelons on site Saturday.

"Two we purchase, and two are donated by Howe Family Farms out of Aylmer, which is absolutely fantastic."

The day kicks off early with a Fireman's Breakfast from 7-10 a.m. at the fire hall, followed by the parade at 10 a.m., which starts at the school.

For those who love watermelon - or just having fun - there is a watermelon seed-spitting contest and watermelon eating contest.

"At 11 a.m. we have the dignitary seed-spitting contest with our (Municipality of Bayham) council members, and then in the afternoon we have the seed-spitting contest and watermelon eating contest for everyone else."

Register on-site for those fun activities, which are divided into various age groups.

Admission is free Saturday and donations are gratefully accepted at the gate.



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