This summer, one of Arizona's oldest food festivals is back after lying fallow for several decades. First held in 1949, the Arizona Watermelon Festival is an old-timey Glendale tradition that once brought together up to 40,000 people each year to celebrate local agriculture. The revived version will retain many of the original events, including melon carving, a beauty pageant, and games like tug of war and watermelon toss.
At past festivals, there were up to 80,000 pounds of the watermelon, so expect there to be thousands of watermelons on hand at Murphy Park to feed the crowds. The hefty fruit, donated by local growers like G Farms, will also be integrated into other foods, including ice cream by Papa Ed's and savory dishes in the festival's culinary contests.
Excited to sink your teeth into some juicy melon? The Arizona Watermelon Festival will take place from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, June 8. More details are to come, but expect lots of food trucks, summer fun like a giant slip 'n' slide, and the crowning of the Miss Arizona Watermelon Queen.