Watermelon Jubilee offers fun for all ages

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 28, 2007


A weekend filled with everything from hand-made purses to a petting zoo, from tractors to tons of local talent - not to mention plenty of ice-cold, juicy slices of watermelon - is fast on its way.

The Greenville YMCA Watermelon Jubilee will arrive Saturday and Sunday, August 11 and 12, beneath the tall southern pines atop Watermelon Hill.

Vendors are still signing up this week, said Diane Burkett of the Y.

&#8220We expect to have over 50 vendors and already have 45 signed up for Jubilee weekend,” Burkett said.

Among the items browsers can expect to find on Watermelon Hill are jewelry, hand-crafted oak tables, children's clothing, handmade purses, candles, pillows, leather items and live plants.

Youngsters can enjoy an enlarged Children's Area this year, with a bungee jump, pony rides, a petting zoo and more planned for the youngsters.

&#8220We also have a lady who will be taking antique-style photos of the kids and a vendor will be on hand with smaller reptiles for sale we know the kids will just love,” Burkett said.

In addition, children of all ages can admire the selection of vintage tractors on display courtesy of Old Time Farm Day, along with &#8220hogs” courtesy of a Wetumpka motorcycle club.

Talent will also be on display both Saturday and Sunday.

&#8220We have local singers like Neal and Faith Braden scheduled, along with a number of Millie McDonald's vocal students from both Greenville High and Fort Dale

Academy on Saturday. On Sunday, several local performers will perform gospel songs, with Blu Braden closing things out with a gospel hour,” Burkett said.

Big-name entertainment in the form of native son Marty

Raybon, formerly of country band &#8220Shenandoah,” comes on Saturday night with a concert on the football field at 7 p.m. (to be moved to the Y gym in the event of rain).

&#8220Rock Killough will open for Marty, who will play his first 45-minute set. Renny McNaughton will perform during Marty's break and then Marty will come back to close out the concert. Folks should bring their lawn chairs and expect a great night of music,” Burkett said.

Concessions will also be available that night, with VIP tickets available which include finger foods, an autograph signing and photo op with the star before the concert.

For $10, festival-goers can gain a one-day admission to the Jubilee which also allows admission to Saturday night's concert. Advance admission/concert tickets are available at the Y and will also be sold on Saturday at the information booth, Burkett said.

Concert tickets will be $15 Saturday night at the gate.

Raybon will also perform briefly at 1 p.m. Saturday atop Watermelon Hill to give attendees a taste of what they can expect Saturday night.

And speaking of taste, plenty of tasty treats will be offered both days at Jubilee.

&#8220We'll have festival foods like homemade barbecue, funnel cakes, shaved ice, and homemade ice cream. Barber's will be with us offering homemade milkshakes. Of course, we'll have lots and lots of watermelon, all you can eat,” Burkett said.

&#8220We will have lots of good eats, fun and good entertainment at Jubilee and we hope the people of Greenville and Butler County will come out and support us.”

A hand-stitched watermelon quilt is being raffled off for just $1 a chance, to be given away at the close of Jubilee Sunday afternoon, and copies of the 25th anniversary Watermelon Jubilee Cookbook will be on sale for $10 each.

Watermelon Jubilee runs from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $3 for adults and $1 for children.

For more info, contact the YMCA at 382-0550.