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August 8, 2013

Ball named Watermelon Queen

RUSH SPRINGS — — Hot weather and a huge slice of sweet watermelon indicate its time for the 69th annual Rush Springs Watermelon Festival.

Hosted by the Rush Springs Lions Club, the event is Saturday in Jeff Davis Park. Its history goes back to 1940 and after a suspension during World War II, it was restarted.

The 2013 Rush Springs Watermelon Queen is Brittany Ball, a 17-year-old incoming high school senior. Ball spoke to members of the Marlow Lions Club meeting Wednesday.

“I invite you all because it’s going to be a great time,” she said. “You won’t regret (going).”

State Rep. Joe Dorman, also at the meeting is chairman for the festival. He said the event is one of the few small town festivals still around in this day and age. An agritourism event, it showcases area growers.

“It’s my second year as chairman and it’s a lot of fun being so invested in the festival,” said Dorman. “Growing up, it was a special time for kids and it’s nice to pass that on to younger generations and it’s a great feeling to get to help out.”

For Ball, being selected as Watermelon Queen is something she said has been a longtime wish.

“It’s pretty amazing because I always dreamed of being queen since I was a little girl,” Ball said. “I’ve had a blast.”

The Rush Springs Rodeo will begin at 8 p.m. today and Friday in Rusty Acres Arena and a parade is set for 5 p.m. Friday.

Saturday activities begin at 7:30 a.m. with a 5K run. Winners will be announced at 8:15 a.m. Car show registration opens at 8 a.m. and winners will be announced at 1:30 p.m.

Opening ceremonies are at 9 a.m. Saturday featuring the Stephens County Honor Guard and the Pioneer Award winners will be announced.

Local singers, musicians, dancers and even an Elvis impersonator will perform throughout the day.  Tiny Tots contest begins at 10 a.m.. The young boy and girl who are chosen as the winners will help Ball promote next year’s festival.

The watermelon seed-spitting contest registration begins at 11 a.m. with the actual spitting starting at noon.

If you’d rather just eat a melon, there will be slices sold throughout the day and then beginning at 4 p.m., free watermelon will be given until it’s all gone. Additionally, a watermelon auction will take place at 4:30 p.m.

Coronation of the Tiny Tot winners and the Watermelon Queen will be at 7:30 p.m.

A prize watermelon exhibit will show off the largest one of the season.

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