Philipsburg

On Centre: Around Philipsburg | Watermelon-eating contest highlight of Heritage Days

There is just something about watermelon.

The striped green fruit is a summer icon. The red flesh runs juicy and sweet. The black seeds, well, is there anything more quintessentially seasonal than pinching them like little flat torpedoes, except maybe spitting them into the grass while you eat gloriously messy slices of melon at a picnic?

I didn’t think so.

There is really nothing you can do that improves on the summer fun-ness of watermelon.

Unless you are a kid with a competitive streak, that is.

One of the highlights of Philipsburg Heritage Days every year is for kids only.

It’s the annual watermelon-eating contest.

It is always held Wednesday night. It is always sponsored by Hi-Way Pizza of Chester Hill. Registration starts at 7 p.m. The melonpalooza gets going at 7:30.

Eager kids dive face first into deliciously red and drippy fruit. They chow down, heading for the white start of the rind. And if they don’t win, hey, there was still a big chunk of watermelon.

It’s the kind of thing you can imagine in a Norman Rockwell world. It’s a Pollyanna sort of small-town summer ritual.

And no one needs to tell the kids that watermelon is actually healthy, right? We can just keep that to ourselves.

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