The Yoakum County Watermelon Round-up is held each year in early September in Plains, Texas. Yoakum County is located in the southwest corner of the Texas panhandle, on the New Mexico state line. The Yoakum county seat is in Plains. The Watermelon Round-up includes meeting the Texas Watermelon Queen, fun and food for the whole family, as well as plenty of delicious free watermelon!
The first Yoakum County Watermelon Round-up was held in September 1996 and it is one of many summer watermelon festivals around the country, according to the National Watermelon Association. 93 percent of the land in Yoakum County is farm or ranch land. Farmers were able to bring irrigation to this farmland in the years following World War II. In the mid-1970s, much of this farmland was irrigated and farmers were able to plant watermelon as well as sorghum, cotton and alfalfa.
The Yoakum County Watermelon Round-up features entertainment for the whole family including music, arts and crafts booths, children's games and all-you-can-eat red and yellow watermelon for free. There is also a classic car show with prizes, included the much coveted "Queen's Choice Car," which is picked by the Texas Watermelon Queen. There is also plenty of live entertainment such as roping events, a toddler and fun run and pig races.
In 1997, Yoakum county celebrated its centennial with some very special events at that year's Watermelon Round-up. Over 70 members of the county participated in an original play written by a county resident and performed exclusively at the Watermelon Round-up. This special event was presented in addition to the regular Watermelon Round-up activities such as food and craft booths, rodeo events, a watermelon run, seed-spitting contest and plenty of free watermelon slices.
The Texas Watermelon Queen
Each year, the Texas Watermelon Association selects a Watermelon Queen to serve as an ambassador. The Watermelon Queen serves for one year, visiting supermarkets and schools as well a festivals such as the Yoakum County Watermelon Round-up. Her appearances help promote the watermelon in Texas. Each year, the Texas Watermelon Queen competes in the National Watermelon Queen Pageant. The National Watermelon Queen travels the nation, discussing the versatility and nutritional value of watermelons with patrons in supermarkets and other venues.
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