August 15, 2017

2017 Watermelon Festival!

The stage was set. A long table donned a bright red vinyl cover. The contestants patiently waited for the start. Then, fans began to circle around the table, each supporting their contestant or just watching for the show. As the watermelon eating contest took off, so did the chunky spray of watermelon as participants shoved their faces into the fruit as quickly and ferociously as they could. Just one of the many opportunities people had to gorge themselves. The food came in many forms: watermelon, ice cream, Mulligan's fish tacos.

But, the fun came in even more forms. There were running seamlessly throughout the day. Including, the ice cream eating contest, the seed spitting contest, and everyone's favorite: the watermelon eating contest. Thanks to the planning of our very own crew, and a day of help from many volunteers, there were activities for all to enjoy regardless of their interests.

Many kids tried their hands at a plethora of lawn and . Some even took the opportunity to turn their own hands to wax with the ever-popular “Wax Hands” station. However, the favorite of the day seemed to be the inflatable that offered not only a large bounce house but a waterslide to cool off afterward. “Food and Fun” was the motto of the day. But the 11th Annual Watermelon Festival had a lot more to it than that.

The Outer Banks Bicycle and Pedestrian Coalition

The entire festival supports the Outer Banks Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Coalition. A group with a positive mission: “To help facilitate the education and awareness of practical bicycle and pedestrian safety to drivers, pedestrians, cyclists and all those who live or visit the Outer Banks of in a positive and proactive manner.” Unfortunately, too many people are injured or killed every year on the Outer Banks trying to cross the highways on bicycles or on foot. For , this was an issue that everyone could get behind. Following the Watermelon Festival, we raised a total of $4723!

But, you can't measure awareness. Just getting people to recognize the issue at hand and respect the rules of the road can have a lasting effect on the community. So if everyone does their part to pay attention and respect the safety of others, hopefully, the issue can be eaten away as if it were just a piece of watermelon.

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