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Young boy eating a large piece of watermelon
Timmy Reidy enjoys a wedge of Chiefland Watermelon

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Chiefland Watermelon Festival
A Local Legacy

You might know that watermelons are 92 percent water, but did you know that they came from the Kalahari Desert in Africa?

The first recorded watermelon harvest took place 5,000 years ago in Egypt. Pictures of the fruit were found in paintings on the walls of ancient buildings. From there, the fruit spread to other countries by merchant ships. It is believed that watermelon came to the United States with African slaves.

The people of Chiefland, Florida, have held a Watermelon Festival every June since 1954 to celebrate the city's watermelon farmers and to bring the community together for a family-day celebration. The festival includes many activities. One of the favorites is a watermelon seed-spitting contest. Free cold watermelon, donated by local growers, is served throughout the day. There's also a parade made up of floats with a watermelon theme, high school bands, fire engines, and cars featuring contestants of the Watermelon Festival Queen contest.

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