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Watermelon fest a hometown hit

First Posted: 9:21 pm - July 19th, 2015 Updated: 12:27 am - July 20th, 2015.

By Corey Friedman - cfriedman@civitasmedia.com



Corey Friedman | The Cheraw Chronicle Seven-year-old Makyla Clark of Pageland closes her eyes as Linda Johnson paints her face during the Pageland Watermelon Festival on Saturday.
Corey Friedman | The Cheraw Chronicle Organizers projected that about 25,000 people would attend the 2015 Pageland Watermelon Festival.
Corey Friedman | The Cheraw Chronicle Amber Walton of Charlotte, North Carolina, holds her 10-month-old daughter Ariane Smith during Saturday’s festivities in downtown Pageland.
Corey Friedman | The Cheraw Chronicle Kids and parents take a spin on the merry-go-round after a passing storm temporarily shut down amusement rides at the festival on Saturday.
Corey Friedman | The Cheraw Chronicle Nine-year-old siblings Elisha and Elijah Ford of Pageland ride the Ferris wheel on Saturday afternoon.
Corey Friedman | The Cheraw Chronicle Three-year-old Julie Davis blows bubbles at the Pageland Watermelon Festival while holding hands with her grandmother, Michelle Poole of Laurinburg, North Carolina.
Corey Friedman | The Cheraw Chronicle Matt Staton of famed Chesterfield barbecue house Pig-N-Vittles sells watermelons on the festival grounds Saturday.
Corey Friedman | The Cheraw Chronicle Mike and Mary Whitis of Marshville, North Carolina, walk under an umbrella as light rain falls on the second day of the Pageland Watermelon Festival.
Corey Friedman | The Cheraw Chronicle Jerry Rivers, left, and Tony Rushing, both of Pageland, check out a truck bed full of watermelons for sale during the festival on Saturday afternoon.
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PAGELAND — Downtown downpours couldn’t wash out the family fun as the 2015 Pageland Watermelon Festival wrapped up its second and final day Saturday.

Two afternoon showers sent festival-goers scurrying under trees, tents and canopies for shelter, but the show went on after the stormclouds passed over Pageland. The two-day festival brought a projected 25,000 people to the western Chesterfield County town of about 3,000.

Beginning Friday afternoon, the festival in the heart of downtown Pageland featured amusement rides, fair food, live music, a car show, rodeo and 5K run in addition to a watermelon seed-spitting contest, children’s beauty pageant and teen talent show. The Pageland Chamber of Commerce organizes the event.

First organized in 1951, the Pageland Watermelon Festival is among South Carolina’s largest two-day summer fests. It celebrates the town’s biggest cash crop and is scheduled to coincide with the summer watermelon harvest.

Signs touting Pageland as watermelon capital of the world welcomed visitors to the festival, but the town faces friendly competition for that title. Cordele, Georgia and Weatherford, Texas, among a handful of other U.S. cities and towns, also claim to lead the world in watermelon production.

Corey Friedman | The Cheraw Chronicle Seven-year-old Makyla Clark of Pageland closes her eyes as Linda Johnson paints her face during the Pageland Watermelon Festival on Saturday.
http://thecherawchronicle.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/web1_DSC_01391.jpgCorey Friedman | The Cheraw Chronicle Seven-year-old Makyla Clark of Pageland closes her eyes as Linda Johnson paints her face during the Pageland Watermelon Festival on Saturday.

Corey Friedman | The Cheraw Chronicle Organizers projected that about 25,000 people would attend the 2015 Pageland Watermelon Festival.
http://thecherawchronicle.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/web1_DSC_01351.jpgCorey Friedman | The Cheraw Chronicle Organizers projected that about 25,000 people would attend the 2015 Pageland Watermelon Festival.

Corey Friedman | The Cheraw Chronicle Amber Walton of Charlotte, North Carolina, holds her 10-month-old daughter Ariane Smith during Saturday’s festivities in downtown Pageland.
http://thecherawchronicle.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/web1_DSC_01741.jpgCorey Friedman | The Cheraw Chronicle Amber Walton of Charlotte, North Carolina, holds her 10-month-old daughter Ariane Smith during Saturday’s festivities in downtown Pageland.

Corey Friedman | The Cheraw Chronicle Kids and parents take a spin on the merry-go-round after a passing storm temporarily shut down amusement rides at the festival on Saturday.
http://thecherawchronicle.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/web1_DSC_01581.jpgCorey Friedman | The Cheraw Chronicle Kids and parents take a spin on the merry-go-round after a passing storm temporarily shut down amusement rides at the festival on Saturday.

Corey Friedman | The Cheraw Chronicle Nine-year-old siblings Elisha and Elijah Ford of Pageland ride the Ferris wheel on Saturday afternoon.
http://thecherawchronicle.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/web1_DSC_01821.jpgCorey Friedman | The Cheraw Chronicle Nine-year-old siblings Elisha and Elijah Ford of Pageland ride the Ferris wheel on Saturday afternoon.

Corey Friedman | The Cheraw Chronicle Three-year-old Julie Davis blows bubbles at the Pageland Watermelon Festival while holding hands with her grandmother, Michelle Poole of Laurinburg, North Carolina.
http://thecherawchronicle.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/web1_DSC_02151.jpgCorey Friedman | The Cheraw Chronicle Three-year-old Julie Davis blows bubbles at the Pageland Watermelon Festival while holding hands with her grandmother, Michelle Poole of Laurinburg, North Carolina.

Corey Friedman | The Cheraw Chronicle Matt Staton of famed Chesterfield barbecue house Pig-N-Vittles sells watermelons on the festival grounds Saturday.
http://thecherawchronicle.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/web1_DSC_02301.jpgCorey Friedman | The Cheraw Chronicle Matt Staton of famed Chesterfield barbecue house Pig-N-Vittles sells watermelons on the festival grounds Saturday.

Corey Friedman | The Cheraw Chronicle Mike and Mary Whitis of Marshville, North Carolina, walk under an umbrella as light rain falls on the second day of the Pageland Watermelon Festival.
http://thecherawchronicle.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/web1_DSC_02451.jpgCorey Friedman | The Cheraw Chronicle Mike and Mary Whitis of Marshville, North Carolina, walk under an umbrella as light rain falls on the second day of the Pageland Watermelon Festival.

Corey Friedman | The Cheraw Chronicle Jerry Rivers, left, and Tony Rushing, both of Pageland, check out a truck bed full of watermelons for sale during the festival on Saturday afternoon.
http://thecherawchronicle.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/web1_DSC_02791.jpgCorey Friedman | The Cheraw Chronicle Jerry Rivers, left, and Tony Rushing, both of Pageland, check out a truck bed full of watermelons for sale during the festival on Saturday afternoon.

By Corey Friedman

cfriedman@civitasmedia.com

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