Published August 31, 2023 | By Lynn Blamires, feature writer for My Local Utah
Fall is a beautiful time of year in Utah. Leaves begin to turn, the temperatures are crisp and cool, and the fall festivals we have looked forward to all year are unfolding. Utah people like to be outdoors, and these events focus on outdoor activities – parades, vendor booths, 5K runs, rodeos, movies in the park, concerts, fireworks, and more.
Watermelon Days is one of the oldest harvest celebrations in the state of Utah. This year marks the 117th annual event in Green River. This little town of 865 people knows how to grow melons.
Green River’s sandy soil and desert climate make for a happier, sweeter melon, and Watermelon Days gives them a chance to show them off. One of the best things about this event is that they will be sampling all kinds of melons all day long.
Watermelon Days are not just about watermelons. Green River grows a variety of melons including cantaloupe, honeydews, and crenshaws.
Here are the events you can enjoy at this festival in Green River:
Friday, September 15
Three-man Scramble Golf Tournament – 9:00 a.m. at the Green River State Park Golf Course. It is $270 per team including fees and a golf cart. Call 435-564-8882 for more information.
Pony and “Unicorn” rides will be offered for the price of $8 a ride. You will have to go to Watermelon Days to find out about unicorns.
Coed softball tournament – see here for details.
Children’s Entrepreneur Market 5 – 8:00 p.m. Whether it’s a lemonade stand or a lawn-mowing service, children love learning how to earn money! This event will help your children experience the wonder of entrepreneurship.
Wild West Dancing 8 – 9:30 p.m. – Come spend an evening and enjoy some Wild West Barn Dancing. Anyone ages 10 and up can do it! They teach all the dances on the spot so everyone can have a great time together. At this Barn Dance, you’ll get to try your hand at line dances, round dances, prairie dances, contra dances, cowboy dances, and some square dancing too. If you live in the West but have never tried Western dancing, then this is the perfect time to do so. Learn, laugh, and mix with people in a relaxed but high-energy environment. Bring a partner, some Western threads, your boots, and a smile.
Saturday, September 16
The Melon 5K Run or Walk – is sponsored by the Green River High School Athletic Department, details are available on the website.
The Melon Days Parade will start at 10:00 a.m. at the city maintenance building on Main and end at the Book Cliffs Lodge. This parade features a giant piece of watermelon made out of wood with wheels. I see it every time I come into town.
The Melon Days Fun Trap shoot will be at noon at the Old Gun Range.
A Melon Carving Contest – Creations must be from local melons and will be on display at 10:00 a.m. at the city booth. You will be amazed at the creativity that will be exhibited here. There is a $100 cash prize for the most creative submission.
Melon Days Photo Contest – Only one photo per submission is allowed. The picture must have a Green River melon displayed, it has to be submitted by September 18, and there is a $100 cash award to the winner.
Maddie Wilson Concert – 5 – 7:00 p.m. Maddie Wilson’s soulful country-crossover style wins new fans wherever she performs, whether a high-energy live concert or a one-of-a-kind music video. After just a song or two, you’ll understand why the Nashville Songwriters Association International recently named Maddie “one to watch.”
Add the vendor booths to these two days of activities and you have more things to do and see in these two days than you can shake a stick at. Not that you would want to because people will think you are missing a screw. Anyway, I love to see what is available at the booths. I can always find something that I can’t live without. Put Watermelon Days on your calendar and see what it is all about. You can get more information on the website.