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County ramping up for watermelons

By Staff
Melissa Cason, Franklin County Times
August is here, and in Franklin County that only means one thing – it's time for the Watermelon Festival.
The 2007 Watermelon Festival will be held Aug. 17-18 in downtown Russellville. The two-day event will have a little something for everyone, young and old.
"The annual attendance for the festival is around 30,000 people," said Lisa Stockton, executive director for the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce.
The event will kick off with local dignitaries and Miss Watermelon cutting open the first watermelon. The winners of the tennis and golf tournaments held prior to the festival's start will be announced during this ceremony, Stockton said.
She added that Jackson Avenue is the hub of activity for the festival. There will be arts and crafts vendors, food, games, a car show, and musical entertainment at the event.
Russellville Police Chief Chris Hargett said that the police reserves and the explorers will be out in full force for the festival. The rescue squad will be on hand to help with any problems with the guests such as heat exhaustion.
"Everything is about the same as last year with the exception of the food vendors," Stockton told the committee members at their recent logistical meeting.
She said that all the food vendors will be located on one city block instead of being located throughout the festival area. Food vendors will be permitted to bring in their trailers after 6:30 p.m. Thursday.
"They won't be able to sell food until Friday afternoon, after the health department inspects them as usual," Stockton said.
There will be one addition to this year's festival. Coca-Cola will bring a large karaoke machine, which will be placed toward Citizen's Bank.
Stockton added that the chamber just received their last order of Watermelon Festival shirts this week. The shirts can be purchased in a variety of colors, including aqua blue, lime green, coral, lilac, buttercup yellow, red, and hot pink.
"This is our last shipment of shirts for the year," Stockton said.
Children's sizes are $10, adult small through extra-large are $12, and 2X through 4X are $15. Long sleeve shirts are also $15.