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Mark your calendars for August

By Staff
Jason Cannon, Franklin County Times
It's still a little more than a month away, but I'm excited about the upcoming Franklin County Watermelon Festival.
Set for August 17 and 18 this year, this year's festival is primed to be bigger and better than ever.
The Franklin County Watermelon Festival is an annual two-day event that will appeal to visitors of all ages because of the many fun and exciting things to do all weekend long in Russellville.
Typical of some the best things in life, the idea for the Watermelon Festival came from humble beginnings.
The Franklin County Watermelon Festival was started over 25 years ago by some local farmers. Each year at harvest time they would bring their melons to town to sell them. Some of the farmers cut their melons and gave away free samples as a way to entice folks to buy them.
You can just image how fast those watermelons flew off the backs of those trucks.
There are very few things any better than a cool slice of watermelon on a hot summer afternoon.
These gatherings became very popular among politicians and local speakers and every year more and more people came to hear the speakers, fellowship with their neighbors and eat some watermelon.
The Chamber of Commerce got involved with the festival over 20 years ago and it has done nothing but grow ever since.
Each year, vendors and entertainment keep those two hot days in August lively.
It has become one the largest events in Northwest Alabama and has been recognized five of the last six years as one of the top festivals in the Southeast.
With an extra $5000 from the Alabama Bureau of Tourism and Travel, this year's entertainment could be something serious.
Diamond Rio, the most marquee name on the festival's wish list would be a super-huge draw for the county.
Landing a band of Diamond Rio's caliber – they received the Academy of Country Music's award for Top Vocal Group in 1991 and 1992. In 1992, 1993, 1994, and 1997, they also received the Country Music Association's award for Vocal Group of the Year – would pull fans from across the southeast.
The band also has eight No. 1 hit songs.
In any case, whatever act decides to come to this year's Watermelon Festival will provide quality entertainment.
I'm looking forward to it and I hope each of you have the days circled on your calendars.

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