Watermelon Festival draws large crowd

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The 2009 Watermelon Festival in Leachville was a huge success with over 20 booths, lots of entertainment, a car show, activities for children, horseshoe tournament, a rock wall brought in by the U.S. Army, a dunking booth, cake walk, a variety of food, Karaoke, and booths.

Paula Bowen served as chairman for the watermelon festival.

The traditional festival along main street was set up with a bandstand, booths and games. An added attraction this year of an antique car show, rock climbing wall, and games, military booths representing all branches of the military, concession and children's inflatable slides and games were held on the Adams Land Company with proceeds going to the Buffalo Island Veterans Memorial which will be located on Main Street, Leachville. Scott Adams chaired the events for the Veterans Memorial activities.

A dunking booth at the Buffalo Island Veterans Memorial site had lots of volunteers to take a turn getting wet.

Veterans and family members had the opportunity to view the large sketch of the future Veterans Memorial Park. Residents also had the opportunity to purchase a spot on the granite wall to place names of Veterans. The cost is $35.

Members of the National Guard came to Leachville on Friday and helped put up tents at Adams Land Co. for the days' activities.

"We are gathering names for wall," Marilyn Looney said. "This is going to be a great tribute to our veterans from all of our towns in Buffalo Island."

A pageant was held at the Melody Theater on Friday with a concert featuring Petal Shelf on Friday evening. Finding Jimmy Hoffa also appeared at the Theater on Friday evening.

Entertainment on Saturday included Dona Hampton of Manila; Sugar Cane of Jonesboro; Chester Jetton of Paragould; Shillbillys of Paragould; Jessica Stull of Lake City, Shirley Long of Trumann, Lil Elvis from Manila, and The Products of Grace from Leachville.

Residents also had the opportunity to meet two Mississippi County Sheriff candidates, Dale Cook and Tommy Bennett, Jr.

Dr. Claudine Payne, station archeologist and Marion Haynes, with the Arkansas Archeological Survey Blytheville Station was on hand with a booth identifying artifacts found throughout the area.

Bowen said she appreciated everyone who took part in the festival helping to make it successful.

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