There’s nothing better than biting into a slice of cold, sweet watermelon on a warm, sunny day. Something about the juicy fruit somehow transports you back to a simpler time that fills you with happiness and ease. If you’re ready to experience the sensation, you have to visit the Newberry Watermelon Festival here in Gainesville, Florida. Whether you have a love for watermelon or are simply looking for something fun to do in the Florida sun, this is a fantastic festival to attend!
Make sure to plan the rest of your trip with our complimentary Vacation Guide. Find so many more wonderful attractions in Gainesville that you have to visit for a complete trip! Our handpicked, local recommendations help so many travelers plan unforgettable vacations to our awesome city!
Everything You Need to Know About the Newberry Watermelon Festival
Traditions of the Watermelon
Free watermelon slices, watermelon eating contests, seed spitting contests, and pie baking competitions are just a few of the fun and creative traditions at the Newberry Watermelon Festival. Locals spend all year growing the biggest watermelon possible for all to enjoy during the event. Don’t forget to catch the naming of the winner, as well as the coveted crowning of the Newberry Watermelon Festival Pageant! This is truly one of the best watermelon festivals in Florida that has people road tripping from all over to experience the fun.
Discover the History
In 1946, the area experienced tough times as veterans returned home from World War II. The townspeople were desperate to bring back a sense of happiness to the community. After noticing the approaching watermelon harvest, they turned the occasion into a full-blown celebration! And people have been celebrating this amazing watermelon festival in Florida ever since. Now, you can find festivals in Gainesville every month that continually put smiles on people’s faces.
The Festival Location
When the event was founded in 1946, it was held in a small skating rink in the center of town. However, because this the festival continues to grow year after year, the location moves repeatedly. It’s the committee’s dream to purchase land to host the fantastic food festival. Check out the Watermelon Festival Schedule to discover where to get your watermelon fix this year!
Complete Your Trip at Sweetwater Branch Inn
If you’re planning on attending the Newberry Watermelon Festival, Sweetwater Branch Inn is the perfect place to stay. We’re located just 30-minutes from the festival grounds, and only 5-minutes from the heart of downtown Gainesville.
Our Inn also offers all the best amenities to create a comfortable vacation. Refresh by our saltwater pool, unwind with our complimentary Wine & Cheese Hour, and finally, retreat to the serenity of Luisa’s Room where you’ll find a six-foot jacuzzi tub awaiting you. You won’t find a better place to spend a weekend here in Gainesville, Florida. Check our availability and join us!