Every year, countless festivals come to town around Gainesville, Florida, bringing thousands of guests to the area. With so many things to do here, an added event is icing on the cake! One of the most unique celebrations that graces Alachua County is the Newberry Watermelon Festival. If you love watermelon and appreciate history, you will love this event!
After you decide to attend the Newberry Watermelon Festival, plan the rest of your trip! Our area is filled with countless other wonderful attractions. For a complete list of handpicked, local recommendations, take a look at our complimentary Vacation Guide. This valuable resource has helped so many travelers plan unforgettable trips to Gainesville, so get a copy today!
History of the Newberry Watermelon Festival
The Newberry Watermelon Festival has a touching backstory. All the way back in 1946, the area was going through some rough times as the veterans returned home from World War II. Some townspeople realized that the residents were desperately in need of some good news and celebration. The American Legion Post 149 took on the challenge. They realized that the watermelon harvest was due soon, so they decided to make a celebration out of it. They have been celebrating ever since!
What You’ll Find at the Newberry Watermelon Festival
Take a wild guess at what the main component of the Newberry Watermelon Festival is. Yes, you guessed it! It’s watermelon. This event has held its traditions since its first occurrence in 1946. Free watermelon slices, watermelon eating contests, seed spitting contests, pie baking competitions, and more have been a part of the festival since the beginning. The most popular events during the festival are the Newberry Watermelon Festival Pageant and the watermelon growing contest. Locals spend all year growing the biggest watermelon possible for the coveted bragging rights!
Where Does the Watermelon Come From?
The Newberry Watermelon Festival calls for a lot of watermelons! The melons used during the festival are always graciously donated by a local grower. The donations are a true testament to how much this festival helped the town.
Where is the Newberry Watermelon Festival?
Because this festival keeps growing every year, the location has moved repeatedly. Back in 1946, it was able to be held in the skating rink in the center of town. Since, it has been moved from location to location. Now, it has been moved to the Canterbury Equestrian Showplace. It is the committee’s dream that they will one day be able to purchase their own land to hold the Newberry Watermelon Festival
Where to Stay During the Newberry Watermelon Festival
If you’re planning on being in town for the Newberry Watermelon Festival, stay with us at Sweetwater Branch Inn. It’s just an easy, half hour drive away from the festival grounds! Here, you will find all the amenities you would expect in a world-class inn and much more. Our property is in the heart of Gainesville; you are biking distance from downtown, yet set back away from it all enough to relax. Refresh by our saltwater pool, enjoy Wine & Cheese Hour in our gorgeous gardens, or retreat to your room or cottage. Book your stay today!