Newberry will form the center of the watermelon world this Saturday for the 77th Annual Newberry Watermelon Festival—complete with parade, pageants, craft and carnival games.
There might be some watermelon to try too.
The festival will run from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the CountryWay Town Center off of State Road 45, and this year’s parade, starting at 10:30 a.m., will include a new golf cart competition with the design theme of watermelon.
The Alachua County Sheriff’s Office will land its helicopter at 9 a.m. and it will be on display throughout the festival.
The event will also include the debut for this year’s Newberry Watermelon Festival Queen selected on Saturday, along with other competitions that include seed spitting to watermelon rolling and hog calling.
At last year’s seed-spitting showdown, Sheriff Clovis Watson Jr. defeated Congresswoman Kat Cammack with a 23-foot shot, winning by 2 feet.
More than 100 vendors have signed up for the event. The festival is free with a $5 cash parking fee going toward the Newberry High School Scholarship Fund.