Potwin, Kansas, celebrates the end of summer with a massive town festival. The watermelons are ripe, so the pinnacle of the partying is the watermelon. People bring their own or donate watermelons to create a party that lasts for two to three days, depending on the year. A visitor to Kansas in late August will find this quiet town lit up with activities such as dancing, parades and music.
A watermelon-themed parade marches through the center of Potwin. Floats, bands and other groups line up to march down Main Street and celebrate the watermelon. The festival king, queen, prince and princess are featured in the parade, as well as the most creative themed watermelon decorations.
Watermelon Olympics and Softball Tournament
The Watermelon Olympics are open to adult teams of two males, two females and one substitute who is either male or female. Teams are judged on a parade decoration, then on individual events. The events include watermelon carving, seed spitting, relays, races and watermelon skiing. The softball tournament begins on the first day of the festival and runs through the weekend.
Young participants in the royalty contest have pictures submitted by their parents. Festival guests then vote on the pictures and the winners become the watermelon prince and princess. The prince and princess's duties include riding in the parade and enjoying the festival.
After registration, motorcyclists can ride in the parade and then ride in a group through Potwin and surrounding areas. The riders contribute money to support future Watermelon Festivals. Raffles are held, where the bikers can win motorcycle replicas or other biker related prizes.
The festival hosts booths for kids in King Park. The booths include face painting, ball tosses, dart games, a moonwalk and football or basketball tosses. The kids spend an afternoon in the park playing together and challenging each other to games. The games are non-competitive, therefore, no one receives prizes for being the best in any particular game.
The Pat Adam's Variety Show is held at the Community House. Citizens of Potwin register to participate in the show and bring their best talents to the stage. Actors, musicians, magicians, and any other talented citizen takes the stage to demonstrate their abilities. The show has no judges or prizes; the variety show is strictly for fun and interest.
Potwin Idol Contest and Street Dance
The Potwin Idol Contest is a small town version of "American Idol." Singers demonstrate their best voice on stage and judges choose a winner with runner-ups. Elimination rounds are completed until a winner is determined. The festival ends with a nighttime street dance hosted by the fire department. A disc jockey provides the music and the whole town is invited to gather in the street for a giant dance party.
- Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images