There was more fun than a person could spit seeds at during the National Watermelon Day celebration at Crabtree Farms Produce in Van Buren.
Paula Crabtree, who owns the farm with her husband, David, estimated that over 1,000 people stopped by the event, which combined food, activities and watermelons in a celebration of the national melon day, their customers and the nine 4H clubs in Crawford County.
“This is the second year for us to do this,” said Paula. “The first year was just designed as a customer appreciation day. Then we just decided, as we were starting our new 4H club, that we would invite all the county 4H clubs just to give them a feel of the farm and life on the farm. It’s been great having them involved.”
She said representatives were on hand from each of the nine clubs.
There were many activities for the visitors, from rides in Ron Briscoe’s mule-drawn wagon to watermelon bowling, face painting and watermelon-themed painting projects for the kids.
“It’s been fun and I think everybody seems to have had a great time,” Paula said. “We’ve just tried to make it a fun time where everybody will leave with a smile on their face.”
Some may have even left with a little watermelon juice on their faces thanks to exciting watermelon eating contests for kids, teens and adults.
Over 600 hot dogs were cooked for the visitors.
Paula, who said David’s family has grown watermelons for 25 years, pointed out that the farm will soon be turning its attention from watermelons to pumpkins as fall approaches.
“We’re very seasonal,” she said. “We start with sweet corn about the end of June through the Fourth of July. Then we’ll start with cantaloupe and watermelons and will probably have watermelons until about the end of August. Sometimes we make it to Labor Day, depending on the weather. Then we’ll take about a month break and we’ll have pumpkins.”
Crabtree Farms Produce has been operating out of its Westville Road location for three years.