Since 1961


Contests of All Kinds

There are various contests you can enter at the Watermelon Festival – from melon growing, melon eating, seed spitting, arts, crafts, and more. Check out some of our contests and come to the festival to sign up.



Watermelon Carving Contest

Watermelon Carving Contest 5:00pm Daily in the Watermelon Pavilion

For the first time this year, at 5:00pm each day, the festival will hold a Watermelon Carving Contest. The judging will be held in three categories-Most Elaborate or Intricate, Most Fun or Whimsical and Most Humorous.

Three judges, including Celebrity Chefs, will review and decide a winner in each category.  Additionally, festival goers will have a chance to vote for an Audience Favorite award.  Upon completion of the judging, the carvings will be available for purchase. The carving competition is open to the public, but they must register prior to the event and indicate which day they would like to have their creations judged. Entry deadline is July 10th.  To enter please email



Watermelon Growing Contest

Bring your entry to the festival Sunday afternoon for judging (Time TBD) If you’ve grown a competitive watermelon, you might win a prize. Categories include the size, color and taste. You can see the winners in the Watermelon Pavilion. Plant your seeds in April or May. It takes a watermelon 80 to 90 days to grow and ripen. We’ve even had school children do it as a class project! (Please take photos as it grows!)



Watermelon Eating Contest

The Watermelon Eating contest takes place in the Watermelon Pavilion on Saturday and Sunday at at scheduled times. There is a contest for each age group, so make sure you sign up and bring an empty stomach. The Eating contest is sponsored by the Sunland-Tujunga-Shadow Hills Rotary Club.



Watermelon Seed Spitting Contest

All day, everyday at The Spitway by the Watermelon Booth. This contest takes place throughout the festival all weekend long from beginning to end. Prizes based on distance and where the seed stops. One dollar will get you a chance to spit 3 seeds. Cash prizes for the longest spit in each age group are awarded at the end of the Festival. To compete for the cash prizes, register your name, age and phone number with the attendant at the booth. Your seed distance will be recorded. Can you break the record of spitting watermelon seeds 68 feet, 9 1/8 inches set in Luling, Texas? Do it, and you win the $500 prize donated by the sponsor! Sponsored by Breadmasters Enterprises


Wearable Art Contest

Watermelon will be in fashion again this year, so plan to wear something with a watermelon design or theme to the Watermelon Festival. If you like to sew, appliqué or embroider, make jewelry, decorate hats, fix up your flip-flops or bag or parasol, paint melons on your clothes, or create any other item you can wear, now is the time to start having fun making something special for the Festival! We’ve heard you can even wear store-bought clothes or accessories – as long as they have a watermelon motif! Entrants need to register at the Lion’s Den Booth in order to compete. Winners will be announced daily and posted on the Watermelon Website.

NEW: Saturday Only – Watermelon Wearable Art Dog Contest

The Watermelon Wearable Art Dog Contest will be held Saturday only. Feel free to dress up your favorite canine companion for a chance to have them ‘bark’ in the spotlight. But you must also be prepared to clean up after them, too. Thank you. Registration for contestants will be located at the Lion’s Den Booth. Winners will announced and posted on the Watermelon Website.


Recipe Contest

Each year, we invite anyone that thinks they have the best watermelon recipes to enter for 1st, 2nd and 3rd Place in each category and 1st Place for Overall Best Recipe. Watermelon aficionados, gardeners, culinary students; anyone who appreciates the true wonders and virtues of watermelon. The categories open are: Beverage, Appetizer, Entrée, Side Dish Dessert. Limit 2 entries per person. Send in recipes to

Liz Thompson has been in the restaurant/food world for over 20 years as both a restaurant owner/pastry chef and food/restaurant consultant. She attended the French Culinary Institute in New York and made her way to California where she stated as an intern with Michel Richard at Citrus in Los Angeles. She then moved on to Checkers Hotel where she worked as pastry chef for almost five years. After that, she opened up two restaurants, created from the ground up, in West Los Angeles and Citywalk, The Pig, Memphis Style BBQ which was named best BBQ by Los Angeles Magazine. The Pig also received many write-ups in Gourmet Magazine, Bon Appétit, the New York Times and many more national publications. She has worked with several food companies to help get their products to retail, done food writing and had several recipes published. She placed second in the Quady Wine Dessert Competition and has done several pastry demonstrations including KTLA and Laurie Corbin the Food Coach. Liz is currently a culinary instructor at the Art Institute of California-Inland Empire teaching culinary arts and restaurant management.



Contest Questions?

Please contact Richard or Juanita