The Cave City Watermelon Festival slated for July 29 through 31 is quickly approaching.

In addition to the many festivities, a powerhouse lineup of live music will take place and includes the grand finale performance by famed country artist Tracy Byrd.

Tracy Byrd is graciously returning to the Cave City Watermelon Festival this year and will be on stage July 31st at 8:30 p.m.

Prior to the last-minute cancelation of last year’s festival due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, Byrd was slated to be the festival’s featured artist and has agreed to return to perform at the 2021 festival.

The Cave City Watermelon Festival is the culmination of celebration of the watermelon season and the “World’s Sweetest Watermelons”.

Since 1980, Cave City has reached far and wide to include surrounding communities in the celebration.

“The watermelon festival is the largest festival in the region and has been voted one of Arkansas’ Best Festivals,” a representative of the festival said. “While watermelons are still at the center of our celebration, we also celebrate the people and businesses that make the Cave City area one of the greatest places in Arkansas!”

Events will kick off Thursday night, July 29 at 5 p.m. with entries for the Melons for the “Prize Melon” judging at the park.

At 6 p.m., the White River Family Fun “Wet Zone” located at the softball field will kick off and run until dark. Armband purchase is required.

Also kicking off at 6 p.m. on the Orilla Vallie Stage will be performances beginning with The Ellis Family, followed by Believers Worship Group at 7 p.m. and the Jordan Family Band at 8 p.m.

Friday July 30, events kick off at 5:30 p.m. with the Watermelon Speed Eating Contest which will take place behind the Orilla Vallie Stage. Signup will begin at 5:15.

The water park will also open from 6 p.m. until dark with purchase of armband required.

Also at 6 p.m. live entertainment will kick off on the Bank of Cave City Main Stage featuring Erin Walters followed by Marybeth Byrd at 7 p.m. and Daniel Peck at 8:30.

On Saturday July 31, it will be a fun filled day packed with events beginning with the Melon Dash 5k Race at 7 a.m. at the City Park.

The Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast will take place from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. at the First Baptist Church FLEC Building. Tickets are $5 and may be purchased at the door.

From 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., at the Cave City Park, the Cave City Cruizers Car Show will kick off. Registration is from 9 a.m. until 12 noon with judging to take place at 12 noon and awards to be presented at 4 p.m.

At 10 a.m., the Watermelon Parade will kick off on the main drag through town.

An address from Mayor Jonas Anderson will start at 11:30 a.m. on the Orilla Vallie Stage at the park in Cave City and live music will begin at 12 noon with the Deadwood Groove band.

The Wet Zone will be open from 12 noon until dark at softball fields, a purchase of an armband is required.

Also at 12 noon, the Cave City All School Reunion will take place at the Cave City Middle School Cafeteria.

More live entertainment will take place at 1 p.m. on the Orilla Vallie Stage featuring the Gravel Yard Bluegrass Band, followed by Anna Brinker at 2 p.m.

The Watermelon Growers Games will take place at 3 p.m. at the Orilla Vallie Stage followed by the Free Watermelon Feast at 4 p.m. behind the Orilla Valley Stage.

At 5 p.m., the Prize Melon Auction to benefit Arkansas Children’s Hospital will kick off at the Orilla Vallie Stage and live music on the Bank of Cave City Main Stage will start at 5:45 p.m. with Steve Boyster performing.

Following Boyster, Dixon Street will take the stage at 6:45 p.m. and to end the evening, Tracy Byrd will take the stage at 8:30 p.m.

There will be no shortage of vendors, memorabilia and other activities taking place throughout the festival.

Cave City Watermelon Festival website:

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Lauren is a an award-winning journalist who decided after 10 years of newspaper experience to venture out. Hallmark Times was born.