Picture this. The year is 1948. The world is recovering from World War II. Gas is 16 cents a gallon, a loaf of bread is 14 cents, and you can go to the movies for just one dollar. The kids are playing Scrabble, South Pacific is on Broadway, and the first NASCAR race is held at Daytona Beach. There’s a lot going on in the world in 1948, but something happened this year in a small-town in Oklahoma that has now become a staple to the community and the state.
In 1948, the Rush Springs Watermelon Festival became an annual event in Rush Springs, Oklahoma. This annual event attracts an average of 30,000 festival goers every year and serves more than 60,000 pounds of watermelon at the festival. Rightfully so, Rush Springs is the Watermelon Capitol of the World! If you haven’t guessed it yet, this festival celebrates watermelon. This vegetable (yes, it’s a vegetable) is a staple to the Rush Springs’ economy and is Oklahoma’s state vegetable. Almost all of the watermelons at the festival are grown by local farmers.
As you approach Rush Springs, you’ll see a trailer on the side of the road with a large, bright, metal watermelon wedge reminding travelers of the next festival date. This year, this celebrated festival falls on Saturday, August 11.
When you pull into town on August 11th, get ready for a day full of activities. The fun will begin at 7:30 a.m. with a local 5K and fun run. After running in the race, stick around for fun throughout the day. The day includes a Tiny Tots Contest, a Watermelon Seed Spitting Contest, the Rush Springs Opry, a Free Watermelon Feed, and the coronation of the Watermelon Queen and Tiny Tots.
Throughout the day, there is an arts and crafts show and a carnival with all of the rides and games you could ever want. Don’t miss out on the prize melon exhibit with watermelon weighing in over 100 pounds! The fun doesn’t end there. The Rush Springs Rodeo takes place Thursday – Saturday night.
Want to know more about the festival? Here is the weekend schedule.
8 p.m.: Rodeo
8 p.m.: Rodeo
7:30 a.m.: 5K run
9 a.m.: antique car, tractor, motorcycle and hot rod show
9 a.m.: Opening Ceremony
9:30 a.m.: Tiny Tots Contest
12 p.m.: Watermelon Seed Spitting Contest
1:30 p.m.: Rush Springs Opry
4 p.m.: Free Watermelon Feed
5 p.m.: Auction of the prize watermelons
7 p.m.: Coronation of the Watermelon Queen and Tiny Tots
All Day: Prize melon exhibit
All Day: Arts and Crafts Show
All Day: Carnival
Remember these tips before you go to the Rush Springs Watermelon Festival:
- Wear sunscreen because August in Oklahoma can be hot.
- Bring an appetite for watermelon. Trust us, there’s watermelon EVERYTHING and you’ll want to try it all.
- Don’t forget to bring a little extra cash to buy a few watermelons to take home with you.
We hope to see you at the watermelon festival this year! We are counting down the days.