Hampton County Proudly Rings In 72nd Annual Watermelon Festival - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

Hampton County Proudly Rings In 72nd Annual Watermelon Festival

Hampton County Proudly Rings In 72nd Annual Watermelon Festival

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It's a Lowcountry tradition spanning several decades. Today's Family Fun Day in Hampton County kicks-off the 72nd year of the Watermelon Festival. The week long of festivities celebrates the local produce, friends, and family. The party also draws visitors to boost the local economy. It's days of parties, marked with the melon eating contests, that put rural Hampton County on the map. 

"Of the watermelons we have, we'll be giving away slices all day. They're all locally grown by local farmers," Chairman Jimmie Polk says. 

Polk is this year's festival chairman, after serving 15 years as vice chairman. In the spirit of celebrating the home-grown produce with friends and family, this year Polk has another reason to revel in his hometown's tradition. 

"This year is kind of special because my grand boy, he's really enjoyed it. He was having him a good 'ole time, and he ate some watermelon, so..." Polk says. 

His 18-month-old grandson enjoyed many firsts this year. Polk also enjoys seeing old friends who return to Hampton for the week, which in turn boosts the local economy. 

"It's like Hampton's homecoming as well as biggest party," State Representative Bill Bowers explains. "It reveals the culture in what Hampton County is about, and it is all good things."

"It brings a lot of visitors. There's people that come here every year, a lot of people that grew up here, moved away, and now they come back. This is the one time they do come back to Hampton County," Polk says.

The week will continue with parades, street dancing, and a mud run. For a full list of events, click here

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