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Arts and Entertainment

A Taste of Small Town USA: A Day at The Watermelon Festival

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By Liana Aghajanian for LAist

If you’re in the mood to get a taste of small town America, The Watermelon Festival presented by the Sunland-Tujunga Lions Club at Sunland park, with its game booths, watermelon seed spitting contest and all the carnival food a glutton can handle, is the place to be this weekend.

Though today is the last day for the festivities, there’s still plenty of action left, including a watermelon eating contest, greased watermelon relay race, music by 60s and 70s cover band The Heist, and a drawing for a $500 grand prize.

If the old school carnival games aren’t enough to convince you to head on down, the food definitely will. With Italian ice, kettle corn, churros, as well as a hearty helping international cuisine at your fingertips, it will definitely be hard to stop eating. Carnival specialties such as chocolate covered cheese cake on a stick and butterfly potato chips - an inches high concoction made of freshly fried potato chips, bacon and cheese that looks like it came straight out of Paula Deen’s kitchen are also present in all their glory.

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The Watermelon Shed supplies those hungry for red, juicy melon with free slices all day long and the live watermelon carving by Symphony Ice draws a large crowd of festival go-ers anxious to get a glimpse of the intricate designs that can be made using some sharp tools and fruit.

The marketplace, a section set up towards the end of the festival grounds, houses jewelry, clothing and accessories from a number of vendors. The fun house, super slide and other carnival rides are definitely a major attraction if you’re going with kids.

The festivities kick off at 12 p.m. and last until 10 p.m. With just a $1 donation that doubles as a raffle ticket for a money drawing, the Watermelon Festival is a perfect way to experience a different side of L,A. and venture out of your normal routine.

Sunland-Tujunga Lions Club Watermelon Festival
Sunland Park Recreation Center, 8651 Foothill Blvd., Sunland
Noon-10 p.m.