Since 1961

53rd Sunland-Tujunga Watermelon Festival Announces Talent Lineup and Special Guests

The 53rd Sunland-Tujunga Lions Club Watermelon Festival is pleased to announce the exciting headliners and main stage line-up, special guests and new attractions for their 2014 event. The festivities will be held, July 19 and July 20 on the infield of Santa Anita Park.

Saturday night at 7:00pm, the Grammy Award winning recording group Rose Royce will take the stage. Best known for their Platinum and Gold sellers they are one of the funkiest bands around with a string of hits that include “Car Wash,” “Wishing on a Star” and “I Wanna Get Next To You,” to mention a few. Radio stations all over the world play these hit recordings everyday and they’ve been dazzling audiences world-wide for more than twenty five years! Come see Rose Royce live, playing their greatest hits and much more!

Sunday night at 6:00pm, The Finalists featuring Elliot Yamin of “American Idol” and Melissa (“MJ”) Jimenez of “The Voice,” with Jack Mack & the Heart Attack Horns. This dynamic show features the hardest working band in “Soul” business with television fan favorites from two top rated music shows. Elliott Yamin’s hits include “Wait for You,” “Fight for Love” and “Can’t Keep Loving You (From a Distance).” Melissa (“MJ”) Jimenez is well-known for her performances on Wyclef Jean’s “Touch Your Button” and “Dance With Me,” from the motion picture “First Daughter.” With their combined energetic performances, this is a not to be missed performance!

On Saturday, at 10:30am, the Main Stage will open with a performance by the Verdugo Voices Glee Club and Jr. Glee Club. These wonderful and talented young performers are always a joy to hear, followed by the ever popular Coronation of the Watermelon Queen, King and their Court. (The Royal Court contestants run to raise money for various school programs and organizations in the Sunland-Tujunga area.) On hand to assist with the coronation will be Special Guest Brandi Harrison, the reigning 2014 National Watermelon Queen. At noon the Caribbean flavors of Tropical Punch take the stage, followed by the Radio Disney Road Crew at 1:00pm. Vaudevillians Evans & Rogers will take the audience back to the Golden Age of music with their performance at 2:00pm and Louisiana legends Henry Turner, Jr. & Flavor join the festivities at 3:30pm with their mesmerizing brand of soul, reggae and funk. Last year favorite’s Landia Band returns at 5:00pm this year with their grooving, chunky funky rhythm and razor sharp riffage. A great opener for Rose Royce!

Sunday’s Main Stage lineup opens at 10:30am with a special performance by the Dill Purple Geniuses, whimsical characters along with the talented Dill Genius Kids and host Jennifer Hopson, put on a fun-filled show featuring story-telling, singing and skits. McDonald’s Chief Happiness Officer, Ronald McDonald performs at 11:00am and will also be on hand for photo ops. Noon brings the cool breezes of the Caribbean to the festival with the popular band Upstream. Rock Theatre, a teenage troupe of singers and dancers take the stage for two half-hour sets at 1:30pm and 2:30pm. Blues rules for returning fan favorites The Bull Dawg Blues Band at 3:00pm and Mike Fell and His So Called Friends at 4:30pm, great intros for our blockbuster closer of The Finalists featuring Elliot Yamin, “MJ” Jimenez with Jack Mack & the Heart Attack Horns.

Special Guests this year on Saturday include the Radio Disney Road Crew and 100.3 The Sound radio station from 11am to 2:00pm. New this year is Power 106FM from 2:00pm to 6:00pm. On Sunday both the Kings Ice Crew and Galaxy Star Squad, with a soccer activity, return from 10:00am to 3:00pm. Be sure to stop by all their booths to play interactive games and have chances to win prizes.

The Watermelon Pavilion will have hourly carving and cooking demonstrations. Chef Poon will again be carving his whimsical and easy creations, along with culinary students. At 5:00pm daily, a Watermelon Carving Competition will be held. Celebrity Judges for Saturday include Watermelon Carver Jim Morey, who will also be doing demonstrations and Celebrity Chef Hiep Thi Le who has appeared on Food Network’s “Chopped.” Sunday’s celebrities include Lisa Loring who portrayed ‘Wednesday’ on the original “Addams Family” television show. Festival goers will also have a chance to bid on the fantastic carvings and take one home as a souvenir in our daily raffles.

New Attractions for this year are pony rides, a petting farm, a zoo, the Euro Bungee and Bubble Rollers. The Trompers of Eagle Rock’s vintage car club will also have muscle cars and hot rods on display…and you can also discover the world of the Rolling Robots, not to mention that Lucky and Winnie, the Santa Anita Race Track Mascots will be available for photo ops too.

So mark your calendars and come have some fun at the 53rd Sunland-Tujunga Lions Club Watermelon Festival, July 19 and July 20 at Santa Anita Park. Enjoy rides, games, live music and refreshing watermelon slices all day long and don’t forget to enter the Watermelon Eating and Seed Spitting Contests! Elliott YaminMelissa Jimenez HAT HastingsJack Mack