2012 Watermelon Park Festival

Posted by  | October 19, 2012  at 11:02 AM  

Del McCoury
It was watermelons gone wild at the 2012 Watermelon Park Fest: they were floating, dancing, and I'm pretty sure I spotted a few filled with something extra fun (and that was just the fruit!). This event not only boasted one of the best line-ups in the region, but also ensured that everyone was kept entertained all weekend long.
Morning Slow Jam with Mike Ward
For many, mornings at The Melon started out with a slow jam hosted by Mike Ward. Friday morning when I first walked up to the jam, I was greeted by the familiar chords of Country Roads and took it as a sign that it was going to be a great weekend. Whether you played banjo, bass, or even a box, you were welcomed into the jam no matter what your skill level or weapon of choice. Unfortunately, I had left my tambourine and spoons back in WV, but next year I'm coming prepared be it with flatware or *fingers crossed* a fiddle.

Boomtown Hoops
The "official" tunes weren't slated to start until mid-afternoon, which gave festival-goers the opportunity to participate in some workshops, take the kiddos out for crafty time, or perhaps just catch a quick cat nap. Workshops for the weekend ranged from flat-footing to song-writing, to hooping with Boomtown Hoops . Youngsters were kept busy (a key element for those afternoon nappers) with a variety of arts and crafts including foam sword sculpting and the highly-anticipated watermelon carving/boat race.

Now let's get down to business and talk about the tunes! The Melon had three stages: Main, Side, and THE Dance Tent. The Side Stage was the site for this year's Watermelon Park Fest Band Competition (almost as highly-anticipated as the watermelon boat race). This year's competition featured bands from as far as way as Australia! The Green Boys took home first prize, but 2nd place (and my personal pick) went to Chelsea McBee & The Random Assortment from Shepherdstown!

My favorite part of the Main Stage shows were the musical medleys and melding of musicians. The only thing better than seeing one great band, is lots of great bands joining together to do what they love for a crowd that loves what they do. Del McCoury, Larry Keel, Tim O'Brien, Bruce Molsky"Fiddlin" Dave Van Deventer--at several points there was so much musical talent on that stage, sending out such great vibes, you felt like you could burst from happiness.

Larry Keel
THE Dance Tent was a-mazing. After the Main Stage affairs came to an end, you knew that the party was just getting started. Dance Tent acts included The Whiskey Rebellion, The Hot Seats, Dirty Bourbon River Show, and The Woodshedders. To say The Dance Tent lived up to its name would not be doing that crowd justice. There was enough energy inside that tent to light up Berryville for at least month.

The Woodshedders
Dirty Bourbon River Show
Dirty Bourbon River Show
The next Watermelon Park Fest may not be 'til September, BUT Watermelon Park Campground will once again be home to the Shenandoah Riverside Festival in June, and I've heard they have quite the party planned! To keep up with everything, I highly recommend you "Like" the following pages on FacebookWatermelon Park Campground, Shenandoah Riverside Festival, Earth Korps, and of course Watermelon Park Festival!

For more pictures from the 2012 Watermelon Park Festival, visit Pretty in the Panhandle on Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151036109151816.419956.337235741815&type=1&l=0ebfe6a16c


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