2005-07-14 / News

Watermelon Festival planned for Aug. 13;

Sometime near the turn of the 20th century, a farmer in Florida developed a thick-rind watermelon that was fabulous for shipping all over the country. It also grew to a fairly hefty size. Being a Populist, the man named his melon for Thomas E. Watson, the noted Populist statesman from Thomson, Georgia. Since that time, the Tom Watson melon has shown up in county fairs winning blue ribbons ever since.

In celebration of those melons, the Watson-Brown Foundation is planning its Second Annual Tom Watson Watermelon Festival. The festival will be held on Saturday, August 13, 2005, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The foundation is seeking arts and crafts vendors and educational organizations for the festival.

Arts and crafts booths rent for $25 for a 10’ x 10’ space and vendors must submit an application and a photograph of their art or craft item. There is no charge for a booth whose primary mission is education. These booths may sell items as fund-raisers but must offer some type of activity for the public during the festival.

Last year’s inaugural festival was very well attended, and this year promises to be much bigger, according to organizers. This is a family oriented event, so all vendors and educational spaces must be in keeping with that, they advised.

Interested vendors are asked to contact Mary Anne Coussons at 706-595-8886 or Michelle Zupan at 706-595-7777 to secure an application for either type of booth or for additional information. The application deadline is August 1, 2005. The festival is held at Hickory Hill, the historic home of Thomas E. Watson, at 502 Hickory Hill Drive, in Thomson, Georgia.

Taylor and Kelley Randall of Clinton, S.C., spent Saturday and Sunday with their grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. C.H. Randall Jr., Lyn Randall of Tybee Island visited from Thursday through Saturday.

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