Cordele celebrates its favorite fruit - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Cordele celebrates its favorite fruit

July 8, 2006

Cordele -- The Watermelon Capital of the World wrapped up its 57th annual Watermelon Days Festival. Thousands of people flocked to Cordele for today's event which includes live entertainment, arts, crafts, food, and plenty of the juicy fruit.

There's not much strategy that goes into a watermelon eating contest.

"Got a bunch of seeds but I dont care I'll just eat them too, try to get into the middle first," said best friend Alec Joiner and Matthew Windham.

For best friends Alec Joiner and Matthew Windham, a little motivation is all they needed.

"I'm hungry that's why I entered. I expect by the time this is over, I'm going to to full," said Windham.

The young eaters not only get a mouthful of fruit, but lots of cheers from the crowd.

"It was fun I was surprised because I realized they didn't let them use their hands, that was a hoot," said Susan Burns.

It was Susan Burn's very first time at the Watermelon Festival. She not only watched the contest, she may have found a new hobby.

"That looks like a lot of fun I think I might join in. This one on the end really knows her stuff, I can tell, she's good," said Susan Burns.

The results of the contest were tallied.

"I know I didn't win, I'm pretty sure he did," said Matthew Windham.

Even though the trophy went to someone else, everyone still got a taste of Cordele's signature treat.

In addition to the two watermelon eating contests there were two watermelon seed spitting contests.

Several vendors came to the watermelon festival showing off and selling store bought and handmade arts and crafts. Festival goers had a chance to look at some unique items, from handcrafted purses and even a vegetable peeler that can make smiley faced potatoes.

Some vendors say the watermelon festival is a great time to show off what they do. One woman even makes all natural necklaces with Chinaberries she picks up off the ground.

"This is just something that's locally available, Chinaberries are everywhere, and I just enjoy making things out of materials other people normally wouldn't use," said Joyce Brown.

Today's events included live entertainment, a fast trucks race at the speedway, and a big dance to wrap up the evening.

The Watermelon Festival finishes tommorow with the Middle Georgia Region SCCA Watermelon Grand Prix.

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