Today the family and I spent the day at the Rush Springs Watermelon Festival, in Rush Springs, Oklahoma. Was it hot – yes. but not as hot as it’s been in years past. Was it fun – absolutely!
The first stop we made at the festival was at the carnival rides – Amelia couldn’t wait to ride the dinosaur “coaster”. That excitement lasted until about 3 seconds into the ride, at which point her expression was anything buy joyful. Poor thing! By the third round, she looked a little less terrified, but still not very happy about the ride. Up next, the tilt-a-whirl. Again, it was a ride that looked more fun from the sidelines. Our cart turned and turned – it was the perfect cart – if you were into that sort of fun. But, for Amelia, the end couldn’t come quickly enough. Oh well, on to the watermelon seed spitting contest!
I know, a watermelon seed-spitting contest sounds like a wildly good time, right? Well, okay, maybe not, but still something you don’t see every day. From what we could tell, each contestant gets two watermelon seeds to spit across the stage. We watched a gentlemen spit a seed over 12 foot. Next to go was a 10 year old little girl, who only spit her seeds 6 feet. I guess in the speed-spitting arena, this isn’t too far. At least not according to the older man sitting next to me who informed me that she wasn’t good at all. I didn’t expect trash-talking on the sidelines of a watermelon seed spitting contest, but I guess every sport has groupies.
It wasn’t long before Amelia was ready to move to the next watermelon hot spot – the prize watermelon tent. The had perfectly shaped melons garnering the top-three spots. There were also ribbons for the three largest watermelons. Anyone want to guess what the biggest melon was? Hint – it weighs more than Troy! At 214 pounds, the blue ribbon winner was definitely the largest I had ever seen. In fact, it was a full 100 pounds larger than last year first place melon! Who knew!
We stopped by lots of booths that afternoon, sampling salsa, drinking root beer from a jug, and trying to find what little shade we could. The University of Oklahoma was there with the Sooner Schooner. The OU Rufneks were even on hand with Boomer and Sooner, the OU horses. What a great photo opportunity for the kids. Elliott was super excited to pet the horses and sit in the Schooner!
Finally, it was time for the best part of the festival – enjoying a giant slice of watermelon. The best $1 I spent at the festival. We sat under the shade of a tree and let the yummy watermelon dribble down out chins. Elliott and Amelia couldn’t decide if they wanted to use the flimsy plastic fork or just lean in a take a bite. Either way it was delicious. We even ran into Amelia’s preschool teacher (Ms. Julie) and her little kids. They joined us for watermelon slices then we all headed over to play on the tractors. There were tractors of all sizes and the kids enjoyed climbing up and “driving” the monster machines (another great photo opportunity).
By this time, the kids were getting a little restless. We stopped by the playground to play, but even that wasn’t enough to keep them playing. They were just ready to head home. So, after piling back in the car, with our watermelon goats milk soap and all the other goodies we picked up, everyone was ready for a nap. On the way out of town, we stopped and bought watermelons from the back of a pickup. It also seemed like everyone in Rush Springs has a garage sale on the festival day. I can’t blame them – the festival likely doubles the towns population for the day. Of course, I had to stop at a sale or two. I’m a sucker for a lemonade stand – so when we stopped for lemonade from a group of little boys it was obligatory to shop their garage sale, too. One more roadside produce stand and I was done for the day.
Overall, the day was a success. Next year, Troy and I are going to go early and run in the Watermelon 5K. I’m planning to make an entire day of the event, watching the entertainment, maybe spitting a few seeds for sport, shop the Rush Springs Main Street and hitting the endless line or garage sales heading out of town. There is just something special about small town OK, I always want to go back for more.