Magee Farms to host first Watermelon Festival this Saturday

UPDATE: The festival has been canceled due to weather.

Watermelon — that sweet, juicy, slice of summer goodness — will be celebrated on Saturday, Aug. 12, at Magee Farms in Selbyville, at the farm’s first-ever Watermelon Festival.

The event, set for noon to 3 p.m., will be held rain or shine, according to Heather Hastings, Magee Farms’ event coordinator.

Although the Magees have been growing watermelons for 15 years, this is the first time the family has held a celebration of the summer staple, according to Hastings.

“We have a Strawberry Festival, so we figured why not have a Watermelon Festival?” she said.

Magee Farms dedicates 266 acres of its farmland to growing watermelons, which are distributed to area supermarkets, in addition to being sold at their farm market locations in Selbyville, Ocean Pines, Md., and Lewes. In addition to regular seeded and seedless watermelons, Magee also produces and sells yellow watermelons, which Hastings said are sweeter than the others.

Locally, watermelons are only in season for about a month, Hastings said, beginning around Aug. 1. “It’s a pretty short season,” she said.

A big fan of watermelon herself, Hastings said, “Me and my dog eat it twice a day when it’s in season. … I wish it was all year long.”

Her preferred method is scooping out the watermelony goodness with an ice-cream scoop, “But I also eat it by the slice.”

The festival will feature watermelon-centric activities, such as a watermelon-eating contest and a seed-spitting contest. Prizes will include gift certificates to the farm store, Hastings said.

Activities will include a bounce house, face painting, hayrides, water slides and activity tables. The Roxana Volunteer Fire Department will be on hand with a fire truck and will be spotlighting its new GEM program for youths ages 10-14. Vendors will also be on hand, including sellers of Thirty-One, Mary Kay and Lularoe.

Food trucks will provide tasty treats for sale, and snow cones will also be available, and the farm market will be open.

The watermelon festival is one of many community events held at Magee Farms’ locations in Selbyville, Ocean Pines and Lewes. On Friday, Aug. 11, Magee farms’ Lewes location will host a movie night. Hastings said plans are being made for the farm’s pumpkin festival in October, which will feature “movie night in a pumpkin patch.”

Magee Farms is located at 34857 Lighthouse Road, Selbyville. For more information, call (302) 524-8128.