LUCEDALE, Miss. (WKRG) — Lucedale’s 10th annual Watermelon Games is expected to be the biggest hosted by the city yet.

Starting promptly at 9 a.m. Saturday, the event will feature activities for all ages at the courthouse square on Cox Street:

  • Watermelon rolling contest for children 4 to 7 years old
  • Rind tossing contest for children 8 years and older
  • Obstacle course for children, separated by age divisions

A watermelon eating contest for children, separated by age divisions, serves as the final keynote event.

“They put their hands behind their back and bury their face in a slice of watermelon,” said George County Chamber of Commerce administrator Annis Dailey. “By the time they finish, they got watermelon in their ears, their hair and all down their face. Whoever eats down to the rind first wins.”

The games coincide with the county’s farmer’s market and art walk that has averaged 30 vendors each week this season. The watermelon celebration would usually mark the end of the spring season, but it’ll be extended through July 2.

“The farmers asked to extend it one week because they have a lot of produce coming in and they wanted a chance to sell it. I think it’ll be a real good two weekends for them,” said Lucedale alderman Louis Valentine.

City of Lucedale, George County and the chamber of commerce sponsor the festival. Free watermelon slices will be given to attendees. Prizes for contest winners and an inflatable water slide will be provided by Enviva.

Last year’s games saw the largest turnout over the last 10 years with 50 children competing. This year, organizers are expecting upwards of 100 competitors.

Watermelons are donated and available for sale by Courtney, Eubanks and Stringfellow farms. The eating contest winners will be crowned and the farmer’s market will end at 10:30 a.m., as long as produce is still available.