(Photo by Ron Flewelling)
This seasonable celebration has an impressive track record of attracting visitors from the surrounding area and beyond...all with one purpose in mind...that of having some good old fashioned summer fun. On June 23 and 24, the annual fete will once again take place and will include a roster of events that are guaranteed to keep one and all entertained. Some of these events are favorite standards familiar from past watermelon days celebrations.
There are also a few new surprises that will undoubtedly raise the excitement at this year's Festival a couple of notches at least. Like they say, everyone loves a parade. With this in mind, the 2006 installment of Quimby's Watermelon Festival will be properly launched as usual with a children's parade.
The theme of this year's pint-sized promenade is "Nursery Rhymes" and is sure to include plenty of keynote characters found between the pages of that weighty Mother Goose tome. The parade will start at 5:30 p.m. on June 23 with the judging taking place at 6.
Quimby volunteers will be front and center again this year knee-deep in numbers at the Bingo stand, always a popular attraction at the Watermelon Festival.
The first Bingo cards will be dealt out and the numbers called starting at 6:30 p.m. on both June 23 and 24. Since it is a scientifically proven fact that any calories ingested during a watermelon day festival do not count, food plays a big part in the popularity of the Quimby fete.
The community center will once again be turned into bodacious bona fide food stand operated by the Quimby Pilgrim Lutheran, St. John's Catholic and Methodist churches.
The food stand will be open on both June 23 and 24 serving up all the proper festival entrŽes, a menu that will range from hot dogs, taverns and coneys and cakes, pies and soft drinks. If an extra dessert is needed after that food stand pit stop, Dale Harvey's
Incredible Ice Cream Machine will be present on Main Street both days of the festival cranking out homemade ice cream. A cake walk will also take place at the community center at 1 p.m. on June 24 just in case there is any room left after that pint or two of frozen sweet stuff.
On June 23, cash drawings sponsored by Central Bank will take place at 8 p.m. ($20,) 9 p.m. ($20) 10 p.m. ($20) and 11 p.m. (two drawings for $25.) ....And yes, you must be present to win. There will be something new unveiled at this year's festival that will be sure to knock folks' socks off, namely the Siouxland Idol Contest. This talent showdown will basically follow the format of the hit television show "American Idol" with contestants strutting their musical stuff in front of judges. Those contestants signing up for the contest will sing for one minute acappella.
The winner at the Quimby Idol competition will move on to a future talent contest pitting the winners of Idol contests in four towns against each other. The victor at this level will then compete at the Spencer Fair later this summer.
Besides bragging rights, the winner of the Spencer Idol sing-off is guaranteed an audition for the syndicated American Idol television program. Registration for the Siouxland Idol contest will take place near the Quimby Fire Station at 5:30 p.m. on June 23 with the talent taking center stage at 6:30. On June 24, the festivities will commence bright and early and encompass the entire community.
Among the events taking place will be a town-wide garage sale and an Arts and Crafts Fair in the Park.
The Arts and Crafts happening will start at 8 a.m. and will include a number of booths and stands featuring hand-crafted items. Since you can't have a decent summer celebration without plenty of watermelon, the Quimby folks will have over 3000 pounds of the popular fruit on hand for this year's festival.
The watermelon, icy cold and fresh from the Texas melon fields, will be sliced, diced and served up to all comers starting at 8 p.m. on June 24. Once again the McDermott Family Shows will be set up both days of the Watermelon Festival to provide the proper carnival atmosphere.
There should be enough rides to challenge anyone's vertigo tolerance to say nothing of testing the levels of your propensity towards motion sickness. All these events, plus the Quimby Firemen's Beer Garden, should be enough to keep fun factor at a respectable level this weekend.
So head on down to the southern end of the county this Friday and Saturday for some watermelon summer celebration. Come early and stay late.
The Quimby folks will be looking for you.