Beauregard Watermelon Festival
DERIDDER — Sweet summer fun is in store for both young and old June 25-26 in DeRidder at the Beauregard Watermelon Festival, to be held at the Beauregard Parish Fairgrounds.
 
There will be musical entertainment, vendors, food, a carnival, livestock show, petting zoo, a tractor show and much more.
 
This year’s festival is being organized by the Greater Beauregard Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with FOX 29 SWLA ABC. Previous festivals were organized by the Beauregard Parish Tourist Commission.
 
“The Beauregard Parish Tourist Commission hosted it 14 years. We are honored that they chose us to carry the torch to continue the festival, which is part of the Louisiana Association of Fairs and Festivals,” said Lisa Adams, Chamber director.
 
The festival has deep roots in Beauregard Parish, where watermelons are legendary. The “Sugartown Watermelon” has been a celebrated fruit for decades. The first watermelon festival is believed to have been held in Sugartown in the 1950s or 1960s.
 
The festival’s musical headliners will be Geno Delafose & French Rockin’ Boogie performing on Friday, June 25, from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m., and Travis Matte and the Kingpins on Saturday, June 26, from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m.
 
Other musical performers include: BeauShyne & Mahogany Slide, the Davis Gospel Bluegrass Band, Clifton Swamp Band, Hunter Johnson, Louisiana Sideman Band, Jerry Day, the Gene Waddle Band, Signed, Sealed and Delivered and The Lord’s Ambassadors.
 
There will be indoor and outdoor musical venues.
 
There will be a full slate of vendors, also indoor and outdoor. 
 
Vendors will have everything you can imagine - home decor, clothing, yard art and plants, just to name a few. 
 
There will also be 20 food vendors with a wide variety of eats.
 
This year’s event includes a heavy agricultural influence with an antique tractor show sponsored by Southside of DeRidder, a livestock show (which will be Friday, Saturday and Sunday, June 25-27), and a rabbit show.
 
“The livestock show is not just for the competitors — events are open to spectators, too,” said Stephanie Carroll, of the Greater Beauregard Chamber of Commerce. 
 
“Red Barn Farm Tours” will also be at the event. This is a farm-centered tour that allows every child a chance to see, hear, touch and learn about farm animals. The barn is wheelchair accessible. 
 
Also at the festival:
 
— Carnival rides
— A canning contest
— A watermelon carving contest
— A “Family Fun Tent,” sponsored by Christway Church, of DeRidder. There will be free games, watermelon and drinks under the tent.
— A “celebrity” dunking booth
— “Watermelon Magic,” a STEM-learning activity for children sponsored by Ingevity. There will be one class on Friday, June 25 at 5 p.m., and two on Saturday, June 26, at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m.
— Book signings by local children’s authors Chelsea Johnson and Leanne M. Jeane.
— Free COVID vaccinations provided by the Beauregard Parish Health Unit
 
Med Express will be on-site with a cooling trailer.  The Beauregard Parish Sheriff’s Office and DeRidder Fire Department will also be on-site.
 
Festival admission is $5.
 
From 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, June 25, there will be free admission. The opening ceremony will be at noon under the outdoor pavilion. All other times, however, admission will be charged.
 
Military will get in free during the festival, but must have an ID for each family member.
 
Festival sponsors include: Brookshire Brothers, Grand TrueValue Rental, Ingevity, Waste Connections, Seth Joubert State Farm, EZ Street, Cleco, McDonalds, b1 Bank, Cameron Communications, Sabine State Bank, Beauregard Health System, ServPro, BECi, ClearSky Rehabilitation Hospital of Rosepine, Thrift & Spin, Southside of DeRidder, Bryan and Strange, and Dairy Queen.
 
For more information, visit http://beauregardwatermelonfestival.com. You can also like “Beauregard Watermelon Festival” on Facebook. For questions, contact the Greater Beauregard Chamber of Commerce at 337-463-5533.
 
The Beauregard Parish Fairgrounds are located at 506 West Drive, DeRidder. 

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