The state’s largest watermelons are celebrated each year at the Hope Watermelon Festival in Hope. The 41st annual event, set for Aug. 10-12, includes ice-cold watermelons sold by the slice, watermelon weigh-ins, and watermelon eating and seed spitting contests.
The festival itself dates back to the mid-1920s when the city staged a one-day annual festival. During these, locals served watermelon to passengers on the many trains that stopped in this small town.
Hope also holds title to the largest watermelon in the world. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Arkansas native Lloyd Bright’s 268.8 pound melon (grown on a farm east of town) is the world’s largest and the town also has other watermelons that have made the record books too.
Along with eating watermelons, there will be arts and crafts, food, a 5K race, a dog show, a “Watermelon Idol” talent contest and a concert featuring Joe Diffie on the closing night of festival. The festival is free to attend though there is an admission ticket needed for the concert and parking is $5.
The festival is held at Fair Park at 800 South Mockingbird. For more details call 870-777-3640 or visit hopemelonfest.com.