WatermelonSince 1939, the Hampton County Watermelon Festival has been providing food and fun for Lowcountry families. Continuing this delightful tradition, the 82nd annual festival is scheduled for the week of June 15-22, 2024, providing a variety of community events – many of which are free!Race

Saturday, June 15, kicks off the week-long celebration with a jam-packed day of fun and entertainment, starting with a 5K run in downtown Hampton, SC beginning at 8AcornholeM. The 1 st annual Battle of the Bags Cornhole Tournament promises to be a new festival favorite. Opening ceremonies for the tournament are at 10AM with the coin toss at 11AM. The competition is open to two person teams with a $50 entry. Cash prizes will be awarded for first, second and third place winners. Competition takes place at 200 Mulberry Street (behind Hampton United Methodist Church). Complete the days with the Variety Show, a showcase of local talent, beginning at 5PM at the Palmetto Theater in Hampton.  

At 7PM on Monday, June 17, the popular Youth Parade and Festival Opening Ceremonies take place in Varnville, SC.

Lake Warren State Park is the place to be on Tuesday, June 18 for the Watermelon Festival Children’s Day in the Park from 10AM-12PM. Children up to twelve years old can enjoy face painting, coloring books, games, hot dogs, watermelon slices and more. Festival activities are centered at Lake Warren State Park on Wednesday, June 19.

PupThe annual fishing contest takes place from 6AM-4PM. The event is free for children ages 5 and under. For ages 6 and up there is a $5 entry fee. The park will also host the annual Pet Show. Registration starts at 5:30 PM with the show beginning at 6PM. A $3 entry fee applies. You don’t have to have a dog or cat to enter. Past participants include lizards, livestock and, yes, the calmest (and easiest to clean up after) of pets, pet rocks.

Other events during the festival include a Taste of Hampton County, the Battle of the Towns, country music and bluegrass concerts, the Baby Crawl Competition,
Watermelon Eating Contest, an array of craft and food vendors and the Festival Street Dance.

The festival wraps up on Saturday, June 22 with the grand finale, the main parade from Varnville to Hampton (over two miles!).

For more information on the Hampton County Annual Watermelon Festival go to hcmelonfest.org/events.

Posted by Christina Galbreath-Gonzalez on


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