The Big Melon Festival will be held by UF/IFAS Extension Washington County during the Panhandle Watermelon Festival, scheduled June 21-22 at Jim Trawick Park in Chipley.

“To make the contest fun for growers of all types of watermelons, a winner and first runner-up will be recognized for each variety of melon entered in the contest, with the heaviest melon in the class winning $50 and the first runner-up $25,” UF/IFAS said in a news release. “In addition to the variety classes, there will be a $300 grand prize paid for the overall heaviest melon in the contest and $200 for the first runner-up.”

The Junior Jubilee Contest is a free new competition open only to kids 18 years of age and under.

“To participate in the Junior Jubilee Contest, kids must sign-up this Spring (3/4/24 – 3/22/24). Upon signing up, kids will receive seeds and a growing guide,” the news release said. “Through the spring, the kids will grow their own melons and then bring their two biggest back, to enter the contest at the festival.”

Melons entered into the contest are donated to and displayed during the event and sold at auction, which will begin that Saturday at noon. 

All kids who bring a melon back for the contest will be recognized at the auction and prizes will be given for the 10 biggest melons, including a $200 grand prize for the biggest melon. For more information or to enter the Junior Jubilee Contest, contact the Washington County UF/IFAS Extension Office.

“Melons being entered in the contest will need to be delivered to the Washington County Ag Center prior to the festival. Melons will be received and weighed-in at the Ag Center Wednesday 6/19 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. and Thursday 6/20 between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. central time,” the news release said. “If you have melons that you would like to enter in the contest but are unable to deliver during the specified times, contact Mark Mauldin prior to 6/19 to make arrangements. Pick-up may be possible, to the extent practical, provided arrangements are made in advance.”