Come out to Hope, AR this August for the 42nd annual Hope Watermelon Festival! This year’s celebration includes the Urban Cowboy Reunion Tour with Mickey Gilley and Johnny Lee – plus tons more! August 9th through the 11th, 2018.
Hope Watermelon Festival has been held every August since the mid-70’s, with roots going back to the 1920’s. This beloved and historic festival serves up 3 solid days of food, music, and old-time fun.
Hope, AR has long been associated with watermelons. The original, 1-day festival of the 1920’s saw Hope citizens serving ice-cold watermelon to train passengers, as well as crowning a “Watermelon Queen,” and staging a big parade. While the Depression put the kibosh on this early form of the festival, nothing could keep it down forever.
The Hope Watermelon Festival roared back to life in the mid-70’s, expanded to multiple days. The historic festival now draws upwards of 50,000 visitors each year.
Hope Watermelon Festival 2018
This year’s festival continues the tradition with plenty of food, fun, live music, and contests for everyone!
This year’s headliner concert, Friday night in the park, is The Urban Cowboy Reunion Tour starring Mickey Gilley & Johnny Lee! Saturday night continues the fun with Pro Wrestling and Gospel Fest!
Other events include the annual Hope Watermelon 5K Run/Walk, the Civitan Car Show, and the first-ever Rock/Paper/Scissors Contest. The “Watermelon Idol” talent contest is a must-attend and the county-wide Baggo Tournament is always a blast.
Hope Watermelon Festival also includes more than 140 Arts & Crafts vendors from a 6 state area. The festival also features dozens of food booths offering a wide selection of goods. Local civic club dinners on the schedule include a Lions Club Fish Fry, and Kiwanis BBQ.
And, of course, there will be watermelon.
Ice-cold watermelon by the slice and whole melons from numerous, local melon growers will be on sale at the festival. Watermelon-oriented events include a Watermelon Eating contest, Seed-Spitting contest, and the Watermelon Olympics. The annual Melon Judging & Auction will see some of the year’s bigger melons, tipping the scales at close to 200 pounds!
42nd Annual Hope Watermelon Festival
Hope Watermelon Festival Lodging
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