Just a fifteen minute drive from the house is the town of Pageland, South Carolina, the self proclaimed watermelon capital of the world and home of the Pageland Watermelon Festival. Although we have lived here for 30 years we never got around to attending the annual festival which is held the third full weekend in July (since 1951). This year we were determined to see what it was all about.
We arrived just before the parade was to begin. People lined both sides of the street almost as far as I could see in both directions.
It was a typical parade featuring everything from the fire department, to the high school marching band and cheer leaders, to beauty pageant queens, to the town mechanic and other local businesses. My favorites were the grown men playing with toys.
…and for a little tongue-in-cheek poke at stereotypical cultural flavor…
I was surprised that there wasn’t so much as a slice of watermelon to be found in the entire festival. I was expecting there to be watermelon smoothies, watermelon sherbet, watermelon anything… but no, the only watermelon I saw was a huge boulder painted to look like a chunk of watermelon. I’m sure they brought out some watermelons later for the watermelon eating contest and the seed spitting contest.
I had a fun conversation with this gentleman who offered to get rid of all my aches and pains. I told him, “I don’t have an ache or a pain in my body.”
He said with a grin, “I can fix that!”
I laughed and said, “I bet you can!”
Then I asked, “Do you have anything for a toothache?”
“I sure do,” he said as he produced and brandished a claw hammer!
He was well prepared for a Smart Alec like me!
No festival in these parts is complete without the requisite car show.
We didn’t stay for the watermelon seed spitting contest or the other activities. On the way home at the Pageland Farmers’ Market there were plenty of watermelons to be found.