Ad Spot

Share your favorite Watermelon Festival memories

One of our biggest events of the summer – nay, of the entire year – in Franklin County is the annual Watermelon Festival. For decades it has been the iconic celebration of our county, bringing community members as well as visitors from far and wide to the streets of downtown Russellville for antique cars, children’s activities, great live music, shopping with artisan vendors, yummy festival food and – of course – plentiful wedges of sweet, juicy watermelon.

Not this year.

Like so many of you, I can’t help but mourn the loss of the tradition this year because of the coronavirus. I don’t want to overstate it, because certainly we have experienced greater losses during the past few months of the pandemic – the loss of lives, of course, being most critical – but I think it’s understandable that we grieve the lapse of something so quintessential to life as we know it in Franklin County.

It’s a big loss for your local newspaper, too. We love getting out there and capturing the sights of that favorite two-day celebration, whether it’s a couple shopping for a handcrafted item, a child performing on the Roxy stage, a car enthusiast admiring the block of classic vehicles or the Watermelon Queen munching that all-important first slice of the festival’s namesake fruit.

We love to capture it all.

But not this year.

In tribute to the Watermelon Festival’s considerable history in Franklin County, we want you to help us enjoy and celebrate it, even in a year when we can’t actually have it.

We invite you to send in your written memories or favorite photographs from festivals gone by.

Tell us about the year your grandfather grew the prize-winning watermelon, or the first year you brought your own child to continue the tradition. Share a photo you snapped of your favorite headliner rocking the festival mainstage, or send us that pic of your entire family wearing matching festival T-shirts.

The Watermelon Festival is an important representation of who we are and how we live here in Franklin County – community-minded, family-oriented, arts-focused and fun-loving – and we just can’t let August go by without honoring that somehow, no matter how some pandemic is changing things.

Send your photos or memories to, and we will feature them in an upcoming edition of the Franklin County Times. Deadline for submission is Aug. 22.